#69: Are You Ready to Do the Work?
Updated: Oct 7
I talk to a lot of business owners who bemoan the issues they are having in their companies—sales aren't strong enough, turnover is too high, their management team members are at cross-purposes with each other, the marketing message is muddled—and who say that they are ready to make a change. But only a small fraction of them ever do, and the reason is simple: They aren't ready to do the work.
Look, I get it. Making seismic change in your business is HARD. Hell, making small changes in your business is hard. Any change is hard. We wear grooves in our days, in our work, in our brains, and it is really hard to jump out of those and into something new. It's why giving up a habit like smoking or drinking or eating Raisinets at night while reading SciFi novels is so hard. (That last one is just something random, and totally not a specific example from my personal life.) The grooves are worn, and there is real, hard work to be done to get out of them.
That's why, in my initial meetings with potential clients, one of the most important things I find out is whether they are actually ready to do the hard work that comes with making a change. Because if they aren't, we're going to waste a lot of time (theirs AND mine) and money (usually just theirs) to end up right back where we started.
And there's nothing wrong with being honest and saying that you aren't ready. Really. I'm not ready to give up my Raisinet habit right now because I have a million billion other stresses in my life and I'm trying to make seismic change in my professional life while *gestures broadly at everything* is happening in the world, so I'm gonna stay right here and read my Kim Stanley Robinson while eating delicious chocolate-covered raisins. When shit calms down, maybe I'll try to switch to apple slices, but for now, I'm good.
Your business is the same way. Maybe you just don't have the mental bandwidth to make a big change. Maybe you are hunkered down right now, dealing with a million billion other things. That's okay. (I will say that having a framework to deal with those million billion things might help, but only if you are open enough to the process and willing to dig in differently than you are now.) The people and processes that will help you make the changes you want to make will still be here in six months, or two years, or whenever you look up and realize, yeah. Now's the time. I'm ready to put down the metaphorical Raisinets and get to work.