Getting one’s arse in gear – a tale of networking and getting on with it!

Pro-Cras-Tin-A-Tion…. (proh-kras-tuh-ney-shuhn)

“the act or habit of putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention”

I feel like ‘procrastination’ should henceforth be spelled as above, since it’s all about putting things off – seems somehow fitting to introduce a few dashes, capital letters and some dots….

Now this has always been one of my best skills – putting things off – I’ve been a master putter-offer for some time. In all areas of my life, and since I can remember, why would I do something now when I could do it later? This resulted in me keeping hold of a few boyfriends far longer than was necessary in the 80’s and seems to have developed into a bad habit now I’ve turned 50! If I’m not rushing out the door at the last minute to get somewhere by the skin of my teeth, frantically clearing up and hoovering the house 5 minutes before guests arrive, or ironing school uniform every morning just because 5 shirts seemed like a chore on Sunday night, then I’m having great business ideas and putting them on a shelf in my head marked ‘pending’.

My very tolerant friends and family have got used to me being ever so slightly late all the time, but it’s a bit rude really isn’t it? I’ve been trying to work out what makes me rebel against being organised and pro-active. I wouldn’t say I’m lazy – I am always busy with something, but maybe not always the right things!

How do we break this habit then? Well, I’m not sure about the school uniform or the housework thing, but certainly with regard to the business thing, I think I’ve finally understood how I can break this bad habit! It’s called accountability!

Since about February, I have been planning (and I use that word very loosely) how I’m going to take my glass business to another level and actually make some money – like real income type money, not hobby money – and I have slooooowly been acclimatising myself to the world of NETWORKING (deep breaths!) Yeah I know right? Scary!

Now I’m a fairly good talker, in fact it was once my paid job to stand up in front of lots of people and talk (I was a management development trainer) so the actual talking bit of networking isn’t the scary bit for me…. it’s the “am I a real business?” and “will anyone be interested in what I do?” and “what if they just stare at me blankly?” (Like at the hockey that time – you know the one, and if not, scroll back a couple of years…)

So, how do you turn these (frankly self-limiting) barriers around and make yourself confident to get on with it? Well, you have to realise that it’s all a mind set issue. Actually when you find your ideal network, (there may be some trial and error involved here – look at it as kissing a few frogs) you gain something very powerful – the support of other people who want to see you achieve stuff!! Add that to ‘saying it out loud‘, and you have accountability. I have personally found 3 great networks, which are all a bit different, but all have one thing in common – I feel confident and comfortable enough there to ‘say it out loud’. I say what I am aiming for, what I need and what I’m going to do to get myself there. Once I’ve voiced these things to my groups, I often find that someone else has a great idea to add to my plan, is willing to help me, or just that now I’ve put it out there, my mindset has changed from ‘pending’ to ‘action’, with a deadline of before the next meeting or sooner! No room for procrastination now, because there’s no way I want to stand up at my next meeting and say ‘oh yeah I didn’t actually get around to doing that!’ This is so important if you are, like me, a one-woman band, solo-preneur, micro-business of one, etc etc because you don’t have a team or a boss or shareholders to hold you accountable – nobody is going to sack you, smack your hand or give you a warning for being late or ineffectual – your business will just FAIL. YOU are your own boss, so YOU have to motivate yourself, but having networks where you can hold yourself accountable to others, is very powerful. Soon you realise that just as procrastination is a bad habit, networking is a good habit, and that actually you will be networking away wherever you are and with everyone you meet! So go on – look up your local networks – yes now! Off you go! In the words of Mr Nike, ‘Just DO It!’

Here are some I recommend from my own experience:

ABC Networks – There are several fortnightly meetings held across Kent

Women in Business – Several across the SE – I attend the North Kent & Medway group

Sally Marshall’s Steer Your Business Academy – get in touch with Sally!

And for all your mindset reprogramming needs, you really need to meet Ash Lawrence AKA the #flipfloppsycho

Go on, you know you want to!fullsizeoutput_1dc5

Here I am (far right) networking with some of my Women in Business group – look, we are all laughing! Nothing scary about this at all!!

Bev x