Have You Lost Your Nerve?

As a young teenager, our family spent carefree summers at a secluded lake house about 2-hours from St. Louis.  I recall getting up early and sneaking off to a secret spot in the woods where someone had built a cool tree house.  The view was spectacular and on many occasions it afforded me quiet seclusion to look far out over the countryside, or when a nighttime stroll was in order, a fabulous spot to stargaze. 

To get to the main part of this ingenious tree house, you had to cross a 30-foot rope bridge strung between two trees, about 25-feet above the Earth.  I didn’t for an instant consider the danger it posed, and yet, today, I would not even consider taking such a risk, now knowing that I’m not invincible, as I’m sure I thought I was at that young age.

So how did I lose this daring bravado?  Why do I find myself steering clear of taking risks?  Isn’t it risk that got me into my own business?  Don’t I take risks every day?

Somewhere along the line I lost that child-like spirit that made me fearless.  Don’t worry though, I don’t think it’s gone, it was just resting. 

Recently, I stepped back and took a close look at my business and where it seems to be headed.  I absolutely LOVE what I do, and enjoy immensely the incredible group of clients I work with, but I wanted to do more.  I wanted to ask my clients what more I could do to help them.  I wanted to find out what new challenges they might face in their businesses, to see if I couldn’t find some way to help them.

About a month ago, I created a short, 5-minute survey and sent it to my networking buddies, clients, and prospects…more than 500 recipients received it, but only one of my clients responded.  This obviously was not the way to reach them, so I picked up the phone and made a few calls.

After leaving scads of voicemail messages, I finally connected with a few.  The common thread seemed to be that everyone feels downtrodden in their businesses.  They’re taking on more of the workload, working longer hours, cutting back on expenses wherever they are able, and riding out the economic storm.

While I certainly understand and feel the economic pinch, maybe I haven’t lost that daring bravado after all.  I’m not waiting for the economy to bounce back; I’m getting creative about finding ways of reaching new clients, and developing new marketing strategies to educate potential clients on the benefits and value of working together.

I think I know a secret.   I might be one of a select few people who realizes that while everyone else is cutting back on marketing, this is probably the best time for me to jazz up and increase my marketing to keep my name, top-of-mind, and maybe even introduce some hot prospect to the freedom of working with a virtual professional.

I’ve started speaking more, writing more articles, reconnecting with past clients, and asking for referrals.  I’ve even added print advertising to a specialized local newspaper because of the larger demands I see outside of my normal niche, to help people who are feeling overwhelmed and unproductive.

So I challenge you to take just a minute to find that daring, invincible child within you and take the necessary steps to keep your business going and growing.  Even if it’s just revamping your marketing materials, creating a new tag-line, updating your website, attending a networking event, or starting that blog you’ve been wanting, now is the time to take action, get organized, consider options to increase productivity and workflow, and stay positive.  And should you need someone to discuss your challenges with, keep me in mind!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com