TALKING BUSINESS WITH MICHELLE HANTON

Why Change = Opportunity for Your Business

Changes are part and parcel of all our lives. From the day we arrive in this world, change is inevitable. We are constantly changing as we grow. Learning. Evolving. This goes on for our entire lives.

Being in business it's exactly the same. Periods of growth and evolution. Change is not unusual, but there can often be resistance to change “we’ve always done it this way” and the feeling that “if it works, let’s not rock the boat”.

However, when you are in business it is important to take a helicopter perspective, to watch trends and be on the lookout for opportunities to grow your business. Those who are able to maintain a big picture perspective are often the first to see an opportunity.

Sometimes changes are planned and other times they are thrust upon us by circumstances; what is important is how a business manages the change. Being individuals means we each react in different ways, but being in business means it's important to be proactive.

Resistance to change

For the last 10+ years, I’ve been helping businesses move ahead by teaching them HOW to tackle challenges that prevent them from moving forward. Almost without fail, each of the businesses I have worked with has known they needed to change but has been held back by fear.

Resistance to change is usually driven by fear. Fear of how they will be perceived for doing something different to the norm, fear of leaving the safe confines of a comfort zone, fear of ditching a business model that has been in place for many years, or fear of moving to another way of doing things because it is so different.

Even if it is unwieldy or unprofitable, it is often a security blanket. After all, it is safe when you know how things work and what is going to happen at each stage of the game. On the other hand, to change means stepping into the unknown.

It’s kind of like jumping out of a plane and hoping your parachute will open. When the aircraft door opens, as you step into the open doorway your heart hammers like it’s going to fly out of your chest and despite that you take the final step because you want this experience. You step into the unknown empty space with nothing more than hope and confidence. Confidence because you’ve done the groundwork, you know your parachute is well packed so you make the jump. At first, you free fall and then, as you plummet towards the ground, your parachute opens and you experience the most wondrous feeling of achievement as you float gently towards your landing pad.

It’s the same when it comes to your business or your career. Sometimes, you have to change things up, and never more so than when times are tough and uncertain economically. Fear is natural. Change takes time. Learning new skills takes practice, but the results are worth it. Now here's the thing...you can do all this on your own. Absolutely you can. Likely as not it will be a stop-start process as you battle alone through the hurdles and obstacles that inevitably pop up to challenge you.

As a business owner, it's not always easy to find handholds to leverage off. But, if you are open and actively searching they are there...in both paid and unpaid forms.

Unpaid forms

These typically include things like free workshops hosted by a range of organisations ranging from your local Business Development Offices, Chamber of Commerce, Live Webinars and even Facebook groups.

All of these are very valuable and have their place. They are especially helpful if you are bootstrapping and cash is very tight.

A word of caution; these can lead you down a number of rabbit holes and infect you with a case of SOS – Shiny Object Syndrome. You hear all these great ideas and start to research or chase after them. The result is quite often that, unless you are very disciplined, you may lose your way and waste time.

Paid forms

These are more typically a workshop, course, business coaching and mentoring. Prices fluctuate enormously and range from under $50 to well in excess of $10,000. When choosing what to pay for, it’s vital to do your research.

As with anything that you are paying for, it’s crucial to measure up if it’s the right fit for your business at this moment in time. My recommendation is always to start with a short course/session with that particular consultant/teacher/presenter. By starting off with a small investment you have the opportunity to assess whether you’re going to be a good ‘fit’ for each other. Mutual respect is crucial.

Engaging a business consultant/coach to help you is a way to fast track through the woods to get to the clearing on the other side. It’s not cheap but it’s highly effective. It’s also not as expensive as you might think.

Having a great mentor or coach makes all the difference in the world. It’s what accelerates your development and growth. They are your encouragement, teacher and supporter. If you’d like a free copy of my tip sheet on choosing the right person to work with drop me an email.

Most important of all...you unlock your own truth so there's no room for procrastination. The truth can sometimes be a challenge to deal with, but if you're serious about moving ahead...it needs to be faced. The key is making sure you’ve got your parachute well packed.

Until next issue…

Michelle Hanton michelle@dragonsisters.com.au0418 898082

www.dragonsisters.com.au

Michelle Hanton OAM specialises in actionable, momentum building support to help move businesses to the next level. She is a multi-award winning international business strategist, the founder of Dragons Abreast Australia and former CEO of Lifeline Top End.

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