Change Is So Terribly Difficult…Or Is It

A few months back. I heard the shocking results of a study. It illustrates clearly how difficult change is.

They took heart disease patients who had gone through some serious heart procedures. These were at risk patients to begin with who had issues with weight, sedentary lifestyles, and poor eating habits. These folks had gone through experiences that leads to you to reevaluate your life awakened to the fact that life is short.

Coming out of it, these people were told they must lose weight, eat better, exercise – change their lifestyle. This wasn’t a light threat. Their doctors were giving them the facts. They were basically told, “CHANGE OR DIE.” They followed them and found that 90% of them were back to their old habits within 6 months. That scare, at it was a big one, wasn’t enough to get them to change.

A second group who had gone through the same thing enrolled in support groups. They met with others with similar health issues. They all faced the same “charge or die” sentence.  In this group, the results were drastically different. They found that 78% were able to make the needed changes and kept with those changes for years.

It hit home the message that in the absence of support, environment wins. We cannot change unless we provide ourselves with a support system that keeps us on track and focused on the changes we need to make.

The same is true for our businesses. If we want to succeed at making the changes we need to make to take our businesses to the next level, we need support. Many of us start our businesses because we are good at something. We are good at doing taxes so we start doing taxes for the people we know. We know law so we start writing contracts for people or we represent them in court. For me it was my skills on the web, Infusionsoft, and online marketing. I started building websites and online marketing campaigns for people.

What happens as you work to build your business is you have to make changes.  And these are drastic changes. They are changes that are even more difficult because they have nothing to do with the expertise that got you started to begin with.

My biggest challenge when I was starting out was that I needed to focus my service offerings. I needed to become efficient at doing fewer things. Because I was so strong technically, I could:

  • build websites,
  • configure Infusionsoft campaigns,
  • build sales funnels,
  • record video,
  • do voice overs,
  • fix email systems,
  • run IT departments…

the list goes on and on.

Whenever a customer needed something I knew I could do, I offered to do it.  My skills and abilities, what enabled me to start my business, now stood in the way of growing my business.  I would spend time doing customer work and that time kept me from:

  • better focusing my business,
  • training and developing team members to do the work, and
  • kept me as the major roadblock things back.

Like the heart patients, support is what I needed.

I was fortunate to have found the Marketing Automation Group Mastermind. It was a group I joined six years back and two months after I incorporated.  I joined it to learn the Infusionsoft which is that tool is now a huge part of my business. What I got from that group was so much more. I met fellow small business owners. I didn’t really know many before that.  Some were farther along than I was. Some were not. What we had in common is we all wanted to take our businesses to the next level.

What I quickly realized was I now had access to business owners open to sharing their experiences with me. They were willing to give me feedback and holding me accountable to changes I wanted to make.  As part of that mastermind, we had to explain our businesses to each other. We had to discuss the challenges we faced. We had “hot seats,” as we called the, where we ask the group to hear us present a challenge we wanted to overcome.  We sincerely started caring about each other’s success.

The feedback I receive was painful at times and it was exactly what I needed.  It usually led to me:

  • changing the way I ran my business,
  • facing a shortcoming that was holding me back,
  • reaching out to a key resource for additional help or
  • dropping ideas that were not working.

It was my support group and without it, I NEVER would have made the progress I made my first three years in business.  I have to thank that group for all they enabled me to accomplish.

So my advice is, find yourself a mastermind group. If you can’t find one that works for you, find  a coach, mentor, adviser, a fellow business owner and get that outside help.  Running your own business is tough enough.   Change is terribly difficult.

Don’t doom yourself to failure.

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