Delaying the Inevitable

Best Way to BeginEver heard the saying ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today’? I recall my mum using this phrase when I was a teenager and watched a lot of television to avoid studying. Now, I’m having those moments (or hours) where instead of doing business stuff, I’m eating chocolate and catching up on the latest episodes of Rake. Yes folks, I’m procrastinating.

I’ve started thinking about what changes I need to make to improve my business. I’ve identified that the hard stuff for me is making sales calls. I’m good at the softer side of marketing via social media, posters and paid advertising. I do well with networking as I love getting out in the community. However, when it comes to contacting businesses to talk about what I do, I feel out of my comfort zone. So, how do I change this?

Firstly, by recognising…

I need to stop delaying and make it happen
If I don’t, my business won’t grow
I need to stop making excuses

How to Make it Happen

I spoke with my friend Amy, a business developer for a large HR firm, where sales is second nature to her. Amy’s advice was to write the sales pitch, prepare the list of companies to call, track the outcome of the calls and plan for future follow up.

Why Sooner Rather than Later?

My marketing coach Marion also offered words of wisdom, saying that I could be the solution to someone’s problem, and until I make myself known then clients won’t give me work! Marion suggested I get onto it soon because if I keep procrastinating, then another six months will pass without being “known”.

Excuses, Excuses

Ok, here are my excuses for not making sales calls…

I need write the workshop materials before I sell the course
It’s school holidays/a long weekend (short week)
I am busy enough with other work right now

Some of the job seekers I meet with also put things off in their search for a new role. Whether it be updating their resume, calling up recruitment firms or clicking the apply button for an advertised role. Some of the reasons people delay looking for work include ‘My resume is not ready’, ‘I’m going to use this time to paint the house’, ‘If I apply and am called for interview, I won’t feel confident enough’ and ‘I’m OK for money right now’.

Finding Momentum

Looking for work takes a lot of self-motivation and it’s easy to get distracted by other things. To help find momentum, I encourage people to schedule a certain amount of time each day on their job search and to choose a time where they can focus best. I write more about this in my positivity post here.

People get motivated in different ways too, such as working better when under pressure, and it’s about finding what works for you in boosting your own productivity. Breaking down your tasks into manageable steps or chunks is another helpful tip. It’s a competitive employment market, but there are plenty of opportunities out there, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you will see results.

And, yes, I’ll be taking my own advice and I’ll let you know how this works out!

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