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What all business owners should know about Atelophobia

impostor syndrome

What is Atelophobia?

Atelophobia is the fear of imperfection, fear of not being good enough. Also known as impostor syndrome. This comes up a lot in my line of work as a business coach and it manifests itself in lots of different ways *ahem, sometimes excuses* with my business owner clients; ‘It’s not the right time for me to get this done right now, I’m too busy with XY and Z,’ ‘That thing I’m putting together that will attract loads more clients; it’s not quite ready yet’ or  ‘I just need to get more *insert any one of – confidence, money, time, knowledge, qualifications…’

This fear of imperfection can be debilitating to your business and your own personal development. It stops you from setting goals of any kind for fear of not reaching them and ‘failing’; it prevents you from really going after what you want and what you know you could achieve, but most of all it stops you from ever finishing projects or tasks you start – which in turn has a negative impact on your mindset and becomes a fully prophesying circle of inaction. You never gain the business development traction you know you could achieve. Many projects you once had huge enthusiasm for sit dormant in folders and in-trays at 80% complete.

In our fast paced environment, if we’re not moving forwards, we’re moving backwards. I once worked with a business owner, a coach actually, who suffered with this fear of imperfection. She put together some amazing new coaching programmes she just knew would attract the kind of clients she would love to work with and knew she could really help achieve massive, positive change. Once she’d done that she filed the beautifully prepared coaching programmes and filed them in her in-tray. Job done.  She’d gone ahead and completed 80%. You never achieve results from things you don’t finish. Obvious, right?

Strategy to remove your doubts (and impostor syndrome)

I use many tools with the business owners I work with to help them move through the perfection paralysis. One strategy is to gauge your perception of the effort and results you achieve of tasks and projects you are involved in, as a percentage. Really think about what and how you deliver, review the results. Once you think and discuss this you may find you over-deliver – way above and beyond 100%. It will stop you feeling ‘not good enough’ or undervaluing yourself or allowing your clients to control your business more than you do.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Do you have the fear of goal setting?

It’s an actual thing, so you’re completely normal! You are suffering from the fear of setting goals. Why? Fear of failure is more than likely sitting at the top of the list – failure sitting there defiantly and yet quietly. You have been holding back from sharing this big fear with other people, so in your head you are justifying the reasons you are not moving forward in your life or business: it’s not the right time, the money isn’t there to support the goal, not enough people want what I want to put out there.

Whereas the real reason is that you are scared that you will fail or even worse…fail again.

By not setting any goals for what you really want to achieve you are experiencing an even greater feeling of failure, one that you are suppressing and pretending isn’t really there. You are diverting your attention onto other, lesser projects or focuses in the hope that the desire to go after that thing you really want to achieve will go away. It won’t though will it, because you’ve been thinking about that thing, whether it has a name or not yet, for a long time, maybe even years. If you carry on like this, you know eventually you’ll be left with no choice but to go after it as that is what your heart wants and it’s not going to let up, so ultimately it’s a case of now is better than later.

The truth is out there!

It’s the sole reason why when clients come to see me to work out their future paths and what they really want to pursue in their business, at this stage they feel they don’t know what that exactly looks like. However, it never takes long before they come out with a great picture of their future business and all the intricacies of what that involves. It shows answers have been buried deep and after a little prompting, a few challenging questions in the right places and reflective exercise the answers were there and waiting all this time.

Let’s call her Pauline. Pauline came to me to gain clarity on her future career or business path. After her 3rd coaching session, Pauline shared that her real passion lies in creativity, recently renovating and up-cycling a few household items, with extraordinary results. Her body language completely lightened, her voice was full of excitement and passion and her face as the realisation dawned was priceless. That’s the power of business coaching…

I used to have the fear too, in my early days of my business. Getting frustrated with setting goals I just didn’t achieve. The difference was that I was unprepared to give up on them. So I kept setting big, bold goals and taking consistent daily, weekly action against them. I knew this was what I wanted to do and was good at; helping others achieve their dream businesses too – we are here to make a difference with other people, for me that’s helping business owners find financial freedom, balance and more simplicity and motivation for their future.

Ready to overcome your fear of setting goals for your business? Follow the link and book your place for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal Setting Workshop.  


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Who’s in your small business team?

Every small business owner needs a team around them. However small you believe your business to be; ‘Nothing ever great was accomplished alone’, so said Reinhold Niebuhr.

Becoming an ‘expert’ at skim reading?

It may be you are experiencing little time to focus on developing your small business and if you did you wouldn’t be confident you could service their needs due to busyness. You are starting to skim read important emails, client interactions, and not responding as you would like to, or know you should be, dropping the ball and generally not treat your clients to the high level of service you originally set your high standards to.

Carrying on in this vein will start to mean you feel like you’re always fire fighting; client issues, staffing problems, supplier challenges – they will start to appear from all angles if they aren’t already.

The entrepreneur not the technician

The E-myth, by Michael Gerber, spells this approach to running a small business perfectly. Are you the entrepreneur in your business or the technician? The one who is creative or the one who is ‘doing’ in the business?

Behind every successful small business you will find its owner managing relationships with a small but perfectly formed team of professionals who can be relied on to have challenges highlighted to and then come up with workable solutions, without too much need of the owner getting involved to any great degree. Running a small business now, even service led is about having a productive website (one that actually works for you) social media presence, a successful marketing plan and successful execution of it. How can you expect to do all this; being the Entrepreneur and the Technician and keep your clients happy with new business coming in at the same time? Build your business to flourish.

Stop asking so much of yourself, alleviate the pressure and start finding people around who can help take away some of the ‘technician’ jobs off your plate. There may be a little bit of short term pain, but the longer term you’ll be opening up your entrepreneurial side to increase bigger and better opportunities.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Immediate Increase and Easy Growth to the Next Level

September being a month of new beginnings and the need to make fresh starts, for business owners a summer of both busyness and / or quiet, mean that by the time October arrives we can often be in a state of overwhelm, frustration and even an intense dislike towards what our business has become. Continuing in this vein will lead you into wanting to throw in the towel mixed with thoughts around not wanting to fail either. Hence major resentments towards what you’ve created and confusion around what steps to take next…

There are always solutions. When you’re in the midst of thick fog it’s little wonder you cannot see a way out. Here’s to tackling your top challenges to take your small business to the next level and get out of overwhelm.

Upskill your staff members

Your team / staff members are not working as efficiently and effectively as you believe they could be. You feel they are taking advantage of your good nature and not taking your business seriously. You know you are overpaying them for the work they are doing and could be making their roles work more for your business.

You have probably spent hours reflecting on this, thinking this way and that, bemoaning their behaviour and attitude. Let’s be more effective than this. Write down all the aspects of their behaviour and role that you want to improve (and later in the process, how) and then create an opportunity to discuss and communicate with them focusing solely on the areas that will have the most positive impact on you and your business.

Reevaluate your current processes

A dramatic change in your industry, local demographics, government policy, client contracts or political shift (Brexit) has massively impacted your customer base and their buying decisions. It’s dramatically changed your small business and impacted your usual way of operating. Something needs to change within your business otherwise you will get left behind your competition, being unable to fulfil your client contracts and working harder to deliver against less profitability.

It can be easy in our businesses to overlook the everyday activities, the ones we are doing over and over again, because we have been completing tasks this way for months and years and they work doesn’t mean they will always work best in that way, times, technology, experience changes. Go through your processes and see what can be streamlined, what’s working, what’s not working.

Recently, working with a business owner who runs a business with over 20 staff members, he went through this ‘Reevaluating Processes’ exercise and found he was losing business (and resource efficiencies) due to the fact they were mostly quoting for work whilst on site at the end of the day. He now has changed his process so all ‘quoting jobs’ are started and completed first thing in the morning. This has meant when jobs go ahead (and are now more likely to go ahead) the work can be actioned that very day, making the work more profitable; no need for return visits, making the customer happier too.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

When is a Business Coach right for you and your business?

Business coach

How do you know when coaching is right for you, will it work, how will I get a return on my investment? All valid questions, and ones I asked myself when I was selecting the right business coach to work with. Do your due diligence, background research, speak to clients they’ve worked with and so on. First of all ask, when is a business coach for me and my business…?

You want to create a better work-life balance

You’re a business owner who is working too long hours, working on aspects of your business that deep down you know you shouldn’t be working on; someone else could do them more easily, effectively for you to focus on business development tasks. When you aren’t working you and your over active brain are struggling to be present – you keep focusing on tasks that need to be done, that haven’t been and working out solutions to challenges you’re unable to overcome. If you carry on like this you know everyone around you is going to end up suffering too, if they’re not already. A client had this issue and found himself working 7 days a week, so working out his income he realised he was working for less than minimum wage and realised he wasn’t really pleasing anyone like this. Clients were asking for more and more (for less and less) and his wife was less than pleased, of course.

With a few simple tweaks to his service offering and a confident and clear pitch, he was able to go back to his same clients and offer added value (for less of his time) at a higher rate of investment. All his clients agreed and they are now referring quality leads too.

You know you could be working more smartly

Your working week is getting fogged by repetitive tasks, increasing admin related actions and generally your brain is flitting from one activity to another. You feel like your business has become less about the things you love and the purpose of why you started in the first place and more about the activities that surround the actual product and service you’re offering. Your time is being squeezed and you know there must be a better way of working as you know if you continue like you, you’ll become more demotivated and disillusioned with self-employment and what it is to run your own business.

Once you gain clarity, direction and really start to focus in on what you want to achieve and why, it’s so much easier to work more smartly. Your brain gets given the space it needs to see the wood more clearly and what needs to be done to get more out of the time you have to spend it on the activities you love to focus on.

You want to be earning more money, but feel you haven’t the money to invest.

The one clear statement to make here is: If you could have, you would have done it by now and by ‘it’ I mean created the success you want to see. Stop beating yourself up; stop telling yourself you should know how to do this, you’ve been doing it long enough or you’ve read enough books, been on enough courses etc. It can simply be about being given the time and space to think through challenges and solutions with someone who has been there, done it and can ask you all the right questions and guide you to find the right answers to unlock the success in you and your business. Remember the old adage ‘You can’t cut your own hair.’ The most successful business coaches will have a coach too. If you don’t invest what will happen?


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Reasons for not starting your business and how to combat them

positive mindset

Developing your business from ideas through to the taking action and implementation stages can be daunting for most. Fear of failure, effort, stepping outside of your comfort zone are all common reasons for not going ahead with the steps that will encourage the positive changes you really want to see. As a business coach I hear lots of according to those giving them seemingly valid reasons for not starting and building a business. However, those who dream and plan for what they want in life and follow through with the steps that will get them achieving the change they initially envisage, the personal and professional rewards can be priceless…

The most common ‘reasons’

If I had more money or won the lottery I would…we’ve all heard of the lottery winners who have won and then lost it all again, clearly showing that money is not the answer. Being crushed by a meteor is considerably more likely than winning the lottery, so this thought process is, unfortunately, not going to help you achieve your dream business. Developing your thoughts into a plan and taking action on that plan will. Start by taking the pressure off yourself and easing those feelings of fear of failure etc. Take them out of play. At this point, it’s you or you and a coach, trusted friend getting your ideas out of your head onto paper and thinking about the steps you could take to get you closer to achieving your dream business. Acknowledge the obstacles remembering that any obstacle big or small can be overcome. Think about the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart, Steve Jobs – they must have encountered a million and one obstacles and all were solved.

If I were more clever, experienced I would…ask yourself this: in the past how have you got more clever and more experienced at something you loved to do? Is it by actually doing? If you ‘do’ working alongside an expert/more experienced person in that field and reading around the subject you will find you become more clever and more experienced more quickly. Want to start your own business? Work with a business coach, read lots of books about starting and building your business whilst following the steps above. You’ll be surprised at the building momentum.

I just need to do a little more research…this can be a real stumbling block to taking definite and clear action on a plan, how do you know when you know enough? To stop you from continually prevaricating extract small actions from your research stage that make you do and take action on something concrete. For example: speak with a key person to find out more about x, write a list of all the important bits you understand so far, develop a plan for how you might develop and implement the stuff you know so far.

If I had more time…we all have the same amount of time in any given day, week, month. The pressures on our time is continuously squeezed. It’s what we do with our spare time that makes the difference. Think about your time wasters; social media, emails, driving to and fro and so on. How can you use that time more effectively? Time chunk – only use social media and emails during a certain time of the day. Use driving to listen to business audio books. Write down daily, weekly actions big and small to follow through with during the new time you create.

I know of someone, let’s call him Adam who got given the money to start his dream business and went on to wish he hadn’t received it as he felt it dampened his drive and ambition to really achieve his goals.

The key messages are be grateful for what you do have and turn those around, use them to your advantage and start taking action; however small the steps are. Ultimately all of these are excuses. The dictionary definition of ‘excuse’ is: ‘seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify.’ Want to live a full and priceless life? Stop the excuses.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Celebrating 10 years in business! Share the success

Looking back to the beginning, I know I wasn’t able to plan for 10 years into the future of my business, who can? All I did know, back in February 2007 when I resigned from my corporate job, was that I wanted to run my own business and I would make it work, come what may! Of course along the way there have been major highs, bigger lows and now like any of my fellow happy, successful business owners, I’ve created a business I’m proud of and one that allows me to live a great life and work with people I love to help. I’m sharing my best lessons learned for you business owners out there on your path to success…

Best Learned Lessons

Get help straight away – no successful person ever said – ‘I did it all on my own’, so as soon as you feel yourself needing help or preferably before this, recognise your knowledge and skills gap and bring in the professional support you and your business need. Do this and you’ll achieve your goals so much more quickly, painlessly and above all bring in the success you seek more seamlessly than you could ever imagine – something that you can’t put a price on. Invest and back yourself from the outset, find the money; you’ll save yourself a fortune in lost earnings and stress in the long run.

Farm out the stuff you don’t want to do – as above, it’s your business, only do the tasks you love and/or you’re great at. All else, pass them on to an expert in that field. You’ll save yourself from demotivation and dislike of your business and in the process you’ll free up the time to focus on other good stuff and the tasks you love to do and that you’re great at – it’s these that will bring you your financial return. You’ll also be surprised at how more easily, effortlessly and brilliantly that same task will be completed by an expert.

Keeping it fresh

Business Development focus – Running a business is like maintaining a well oiled machine. It always needs food, petrol, oil and maintenance of some description. Setting aside dedicated time every month to focus on business development is a must for any business owner. Don’t do this and your lovely ‘machine’ will become rusty, antiquated and eventually, due to lack of customers or poor customer retention, in need of a major overhaul that could take you years and a lot of money to get back on track. A little love and affection (focus!) each month will keep you and your business earning the money you want, working with clients you love and attracting new opportunities and business as you go.

Positive mindset

The key to any successful person, many would argue (including me) is a positive mindset. A challenge when times are tough, but practice it throughout your professional life and it becomes much easier to access. Don’t be afraid to share your fears and insecurities with your trusted network, you’ll be more respected for being open and you’ll be surprised at how many step forward with offerings of the right support and opportunities for you.

Stop berating yourself for mistakes or tasks not moving forward as quickly as you’d like, a high achieving and successful business owner once shared these wise words with me: ‘you’ll never experience entrepreneurial nirvana’. Once I allowed this to sink in I started to enjoy the day to day trials and tribulations of running a small business much more as I knew I’d never find myself in a place thinking, yes, I now have everything sorted! There’s always new and exciting things to be achieved both personally and professionally so let’s enjoy the ride!

A Business Coach’s’ Best Tips

Surround yourself with honest, positive and good people who are just like you. Like great friends and good family your business network will always be there for you when and if you need them.

Think of yourself up as a specialist or an expert from the outset. You have created your business because you love what you do, no one else on the planet does it like you do it and you will always find a way to get the right answers and solve the problem/s your customer has. Right? So, you are more than enough, go ahead and consider yourself as an expert in your field.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Need help in your business but find it ‘easier’ to do it yourself?

business success

Where’s your head at?

You have been in business for a number of years now, running it successfully and your clients love what you do. You’re now in the lovely position that you have a solid customer base who are returning to you time and time again.

You spend your week delivering a service you love but you are run ragged! As well as working hands on with your customers, (which you love to do) you’re utilising every spare minute and hour here and there on admin activities, managing your customers experience and keeping on top of the day to day with little or no time for what you know and want to be focusing on: business development and marketing activities. Your lack of business processes means you are often doing the same activity over and over, you know you have lots of inefficiencies in your business. You want to continue to grow; gain more profitable business without even more of an impact on your time and work-life balance. You think this is currently an impossible and unachievable goal.

The time is right

So, you know you need some help with your business, but you’re unsure of what kind of help you need – perhaps you feel you can’t find the right kind of support that you and your business needs and often you feel it’s more cost effective for you to do it yourself, which of course impacts on more of your time. Does this sound about right?

As time moves forward in your business, if you’re not already, you know you’re heading towards burnout, with major feelings of de-motivation on the horizon and your stress levels are peaking. Continuing to run your business in this vein will mean the service you delivered to clients who once loved you will start to wane, as you struggle to keep on top of your day to day. Your business will stagnate and you’ll be unable to progress in the ambitious way you want. In today’s market if you’re not moving forward – you are now unable to achieve a standing still position, instead you and your business will soon start to move backwards, as your competition leaps ahead with innovative ways of working, new products and services and a more efficient way of interacting with new and existing customers. Don’t get left behind.

Food for thought

I’ve worked with lots of business owners who have all experienced the same challenges. One person’s story comes to mind. Lisa runs a health and well-being practice. Due to unresolved experiences in the past and negative, scarcity beliefs around the financials in her business, coupled with feelings that she should be doing everything herself; otherwise it would feel like failure, she kept the purse strings well and truly closed. Once this particular business owner was able to relinquish the need to keep such a tight control on all aspects of her business and let these go for the greater good of her sanity, enjoyment and progress of her business, once she was able to address unresolved past negative issues, she was finally able to outsource the tasks that were taking up all her energy and time and put in place processes and procedures to remove herself from all the little time consuming activities. Only then was Lisa able to realise the kind of business she had dreamed of – a small team of assistants, bigger, more suitable premises and another team member to work alongside her and when she was away.

Always a catch 22, or now is the right time to hire in the help you and your business needs to progress? Consider these pointers for making the best step forward:

  • What will happen if you continue working in the same way?
  • Write down everything you do, that you don’t love to do in your business
  • Know that the best person/s for you and your business are out there
  • Focusing on all the work you really love in your business is more profitable in the long-term
  • Understand what your beliefs are around moving you and your business forward

 

Know that ultimately you have got this. You’ve built up a successful business and all this needs is the right level of focus, tweaks here and there and a level of sustainable support which means you can get your business to the next level.

I work with lots of small business owners to help them achieve big changes in their business. If you would like to find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to arrange a chat to find out what steps you can take to move you and your business forward you can contact Clare here.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.