When a good idea disrupts the peace!

As business owners, I think we have all been here – we come up with a great idea to either spread an inspirational message, help others and/ or generate sales to improve our cashflow. We’re so excited! We have a mission and a plan. Yeeha!

What we don’t expect, is the exhaustion from all the flurry of activity we feel we ought to do and maybe even disappointed from the lack of outside interest.

Those business owners who are introverts (like me) don’t like shouting from the roof tops so marketing feels unnatural to them. Plus, most business owners like being organised (as do I) but soon get irritated when they start to feel they are falling behind on all the tasks they have to do. Then their passion starts to fade…

I think we all have challenges like this in our business, but we put on a brave face because that’s what were supposed to do!

I love all things related to books (writing, publishing & reading), I’m motivated to help others out if I can, and weirdly I like doing accounts. I’m sure you are the same, well maybe not the accounts but you’ll be passionate about something and do that most days.

Over the years, I have noticed the conditions have to be right for the passion to grow.

Our passions will be built on some external conditions and when those don’t happen we soon fall out of love with what we’re doing. It’s also very clear that when we try to force those external things to happen, such as selling a book or tickets to an event, the motivation to spread an inspirational message and help others disappears very quickly! Also, the more we worry about out finances, the negative effect it seems to have on our income!

I’m currently juggling 2 projects. I’m editing my next book and putting on a morning workshop whilst trying desperately to keep on top of my workload as the year-end accounts pile in in addition to the regular management accounts & coaching work I do. Oh and keep on top of answering emails…

Like most business owners, I find myself constantly asking:

Why the F*** did I think this was a good idea?!

If the ticket sales and interest in book were huge I’d likely be OK with it, but when there is very little interest I have a whirlwind of questions, such as:

  • Are we giving them what they want or what they need?

  • Are we giving what they want in the format they prefer?

  • Is the day/ location/ time/ price OK?

  • Is the marketing effective or ineffective?

  • Have we annoyed people because we’re talking about it too much?

  • Perhaps we’re not talking enough! Could we be more visible?

  • Why couldn’t I find the workshop on the event platform?

  • Are we adhering to GDPR?

And the list goes on….

One thing I am certain of – which brings me a little peace in all of this – is that I have been mindful of the finances. As an accountant, it’s a given… My outlays for both projects are low. The workshop is reasonable: room hire, coffees & croissants. The book costs are a lot higher than the workshop, but I value the professional assistance and know I am getting expert advice.

I don’t know the answers to my questions

Perhaps if you are a marketing expert you could answer my questions, or point me in the right direction, but I know in time I will find out. I also know it takes effort, patience and trust. I am in it for the long haul! I wrote this blog though to share my experience if you are currently going through this, which although I hope you aren’t, I would feel better if I know I’m not alone!

I think we all have challenges like this in our business, but we put on a brave face because that’s what were supposed to do!

If you haven’t gathered by now, I like to challenge the social constructs we have…

purple sheep

I challenged this business facade at a networking event during the early years of my business and got 2 great friends who felt the same plus I’ve received loads of great tips from them over the years! I was also pleased to hear Alisoun Mackenzie share at her Give to Profit conference last month, how she almost put a stop to the whole thing due to fatigue but she felt compelled to continue, however she did make a few adjustments. I’m glad she did because I learnt lots from her and the other speakers over the course of the 2 days.

I do feel compelled to continue with the book and the workshop. I also trust that even if I’m helping a small handful of people it will be enough. I may not get the return on my investment through the sales, but I know I will get it through everything I have learnt in the process. I hope you do too if you’re going through the same.

And it’s true what they say:

There is no better development course, than running your own business!

By Helen Monaghan

Accountant, Coach, and Author

© HM Finance Coaching Ltd

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