“Pull up your big girl panties,” she told me. Early on in my business, one of my advisors told me, “Diane, pull up your big girl panties and make some big girl decisions in your business.” Why did she say this? Because it could get me more clients, more success, and more money.
When we start our careers, we are really good at what we do. Based on the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, we go through three stages in our business:
The 3 stages of my business
When I got into my career, I wasn’t standing in the CEO role. I wasn't stepping into the Manager role. I was the Technician: I was good at my craft and I showed up, but I was making emotional decisions rather than business decisions.
How did that show up? Well, I felt the emotional urge to help everyone. I often got close to my coaching clients and, when they ran into trouble, I gave them extra support, even if they couldn’t pay.
If I was living the CEO role, I would have had business-focused rules around that. So, the phrase “put on your big girl panties” really applied to me. It pushed me to step into that bigger power role (the Manager or CEO), step into that business space and make those tough decisions.
In the early stages of my business, my actions and decision-making were not reflecting the CEO role. They were reflecting the Technician, the one who is passionate about what they do, is close to the work, the one whose heart bleeds for the client.
Have you ever done this? Have you ever thought like you're doing something truly amazing in your business that’s helping people, but you’re not really considering if it’s a good business decision?
Using Key Performance Indicators
To help you move from Technician to CEO, look at measurable Key Performance Indicators. What are your profits and losses on this product or service? Get ruthless and cut out things that just don't fit. Ask yourself three questions:
Are you working on the weekends when you don't want to? Are you working with clients that you don't want to? Are you doing different tasks or agreeing to different projects that you don't want to do?
Make decisions that serve your goals
Make decisions that serve you and your clients. Be sure that you’re making decisions as a person who is pulling up their big girl panties: making choices that serve your goals.
We can easily get distracted by shiny objects and new opportunities. When you look at each shiny object through that CEO lens, and not as the Technician, you can better determine which opportunities to take. And then at that point, you can say, “You know what? Nah, I'm not going to do that. Because that's not serving my goals.”
Does this shiny object or opportunity meet your immediate goals? If not, pull up your big girl panties and say no. Sit in that CEO role.
I get that you have a big heart and want to work with everybody, so make a business decision that satisfies that need. Maybe you create a scholarship program or create some boundaries on giving. Perhaps you give away programs to a set number of deserving students, or you donate 10% of your profits to a foundation or charity. That is a strategic business decision, not an emotional decision. You’re setting boundaries.
I’ve set boundaries like these in my business. I have two sponsored spots in my business where, at any given time, I invite up to two people to work with me at a reduced rate that they can afford because, otherwise, they would never be able to work with me. It’s for people I have a desire to work with and who desire to work with me. Because this is a CEO decision. I am better able to coach them to a point where they can grow enough to move out of these sponsored spots and afford my full rate.
And if someone comes to me and asks if those two spots are filled, I won’t be tempted to offer more sponsored spots because I have made a business decision that there are only two places. This rule applies whether you are a solopreneur, a sole proprietor, or even if you're incorporated and you are the only one in your business.
Stop making emotional decisions now!
How many times do you need to pull up your big girl panties? Do you need to make these hard decisions? Where do you need to make them? Are they serving you? Are they not serving you?
To hear my business advisor tell me to pull up my big girl panties was like a slap in the face because I wasn't doing it! I was totally making emotional decisions. And it wasn't just hurting me and my business, it was also hurting my clients.
Next time you need to make a decision in any aspect of your life, I hope that you make ones that serve you, serve your goals, and serve your business or life decisions.
Until next time, stay dynamic!
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