Your Biggest Obstacle

Regardless of your role within your business, you have goals. You may own the place and set them yourself or you may have a boss that walked in and laid them out for you. Either way, there are things that need to be accomplished before year’s end or within a few years.

Reaching some goals is pretty easy so I’m not going to talk about low hanging fruit here. I’m going to talk about a goal that either scares you to death or exhilarates you. Take a moment to think about that big goal and answer these questions:

  • What would it mean to you if you actually achieved it?
  • How would you act differently after achieving it?
  • What would you take on that you’re not currently?
  • What would you leave behind?
  • Why is the goal truly important to you?
  • What’s standing in your way of achieving it?

I know those questions aren’t always easy to answer. But think about how empowering it is to know the answers to those questions. Think about how good it would feel to be on the other side of achieving your goals and being the answers to those questions.

Now, let’s focus on what’s standing in your way.

Do you have the skills necessary to reach your goal? Do you have the time? Do you have the energy? Think about what’s holding you back. If nothing is standing in your way, I’d contend that your goal isn’t big enough. Think bigger – dream a little. If you have an income goal that seems well within reach, think bigger. You want your big goal to be attainable, but just out of reach. You want it to scare you a little bit.

More often than not, we have a mental block around what we can achieve. For some people, there’s never enough time. For others, they’ll never be educated enough or experienced enough. The psychological barrier stops them from moving forward. The attainable goal becomes unreachable and they decide to focus on something else like cleaning their office or tweaking their website. Unfortunately these delay tactics sabotage our future and they stifle our ability to reach our true potential.

We’ve all heard the stories of the uneducated kid that went on to be the top salesman. Or the working mother raising four children while making a six figure income from two jobs. Or the serial entrepreneur that seems to have the magic touch and every project turns to gold. For these people, failure is not an option. It’s not in their vocabulary. They do not let limiting thoughts enter their mind. They have a big and very clear vision for their future and nothing is going to hold them back.

As a business owner, you may have a goal in mind, but you may not be sure how to get here. One thing is for sure, what got you where you are today probably won’t get you here you need to be. If business growth is your goal, you have to become a better marketer. You know that you should promote your services, but there’s always seems to be something that pops up. There’s always billable work that needs to be worked on; and of course, the office could always use a little cleaning. A lot of business owners are mentally blocked then it comes to marketing their own services. And it seems easy to justify. After all, a steady stream of referrals isn’t a bad thing. No, it’s not a bad thing; but let’s go back to your goals – your vision for your business. Is your referral flood generating enough business to get you where you want to be? To quote Michael Gerber, “are you working on your business or in your business?”

The good thing about mental barriers is that they can be broken down. I spend a lot of time with clients determining their barriers to marketing and helping them turn it around. The process isn’t difficult, but it does require you be honest with yourself.

Your goals mean something. They’re the future of your business – and life. They are your hopes and dreams for your firm. And there are consequences for not achieving them – mainly in the form of lost opportunity. It may seem difficult to quantify lost opportunity. Yet in my experience, you can quantify almost every aspect of your goals; you just have to keep digging. When you start looking at the lost opportunities that result from burying your head in the sand when it’s time to market, you realize that your business could be completely different. You begin to realize that you’re leaving a lot of money on the table by staying in your comfort zone. If you could no longer think those negative thoughts about marketing, you’d generate more opportunities for growth and profit.

Think about who you would be if you couldn’t think limiting thoughts around marketing your business.

If your biggest obstacle is mental, don’t let that slow you down. Whether it’s getting more training to develop the skills you need or simply changing the way you think about marketing, you control your own destiny. The key is to take action now. Stretch a little outside of your comfort zone. When you dream big about your business and imagine living the life you’ve always wanted, you’re not going to let a little thing like a limiting mindset hold you back.

And if you’re still stuck yearning to take your business to the next level, just email me. I specialize in working with success professional service firms that struggle to attract more clients.

Nick Rice

Nick Rice is a visionary accomplished marketing coach that works with successful service business owners who yearn to take their business to the next level yet struggle to attract more clients.

Nick is the co-author of "The Age of Conversation", an Expert Blogger for Fast Company magazine, and authors an AdAge Power150 blog on the topic of marketing and branding.

Download his free report, "7 Principles of Attracting More Clients," at www.nick-rice.com

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Comments

  1. I read a LOT of blog articles. This is one of the very few that I have sent to the printer. It wants contemplation with a cup of coffee, a pad of paper and NO distractions.

    Thank you.

  2. Bill, I hope that’s a good thing. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Learning to market your business when your expertise isent in marketing is quite a challenge in itself. However the internet has made it more of a level playing field which is fantastic. Thanks for the article.

    Be Inspired
    Sean M Kelly

  4. Sandra Boss-Wright says:

    An excellent new tool for managing some of the obstacles
    Nick was talking about is http://www.referralkey.com/

    Built with the small business owner/professional in mind it is worth taking a peek.

  5. I loved this article as the only one currently working for my company with high goals and noo money to back them up but i am not giving up atitude even if i have to go back to work at manuel labor to support this business i love what i do even if i don’t get paid for it .I think what I do is needed for kids today with so many people working and so few parents home .