We all deal with issues on a daily basis that hinder our ability to move forward with our personal plans, life goals, and business successes. I'm not talking about money issues, family issues, or things you are aware of, but rather, issues that elude your consciousness but yet waste a lot of time and money.
These are the types of things that, from an outsider's view, would seem silly, but from your point of view they are completely normal. We are often shocked when an outside influence points out the issues and shows us a better way. These are great moments of serendipity.
Consider for a moment someone who uses a screw driver to fasten 2 pieces of wood together. Imagine that the flat head screw driver is the only tool this person ever learned to use. This person knew other tools existed but they were afraid to learn how to use the other tools alone. They were afraid to make a mistake or get hurt. One day this person must use a nail, instead of a screw, to fasten 2 pieces of wood together, but they never learned how to use a hammer, so they use the butt end of the screw driver to band the nail through the wood. This is certainly a dangerous action, but they don't know that there's a better way.
Then there are situations we deal with that we consciously know are getting in our way, but we keep making excuses to finding a way to solve them. Let's call these situations "business road blocks."
I often here jewelry industry folk tell me that they need to build a website, or they need to understand social media, or they need to figure out how to better their business, but they don't understand how to do it. There seems to be a simple solution to that: Learn how to do it or hire someone to do it for you.
Reading this jwag.biz blog is a great way to plug into one knowledge base you could use to better your website, understand social media, and help you better your business, but there are plenty of other resources available within the jewelry industry that you can search for too.
I feel that the educational resources to help solve your business road blocks are readily available if you actually search for them. Free and paid resources are out there. The harder part of the problem solving process is actually taking action.
Taking action requires a commitment to making a change. Many of the business road blocks I hear about are actually caused by personal attitudes.
When people tell me they need to build a website, but haven't yet, I know it's because of a personal road block.
When people tell me they need to get involved with social media, but they don't understand it, I know it's because they are not allowing themselves to take the time to experiment until they do understand it.
When someone tells me that they need to figure out how to better their business, I want to know why they keep making excuses for not taking the time to learn how to do just that.
It always comes down to time. It's simply impossible to keep making excuses and expect to reach your goals without putting the time and effort in. If you really want to do something, you'll find a way to do it. If you don't find a way, you'll find an excuse.
Over this last weekend at the MJSA Expo in NYC I spoke to several people in the jewelry industry that specifically said "I can't afford to hire you." I thought that was a little odd to say to me considering I was not making a sales pitch, they had not asked me for service rates, and I don't have any of my consulting fees even listed on my website... So how did they know they couldn't afford my services?
My personal point of view is to always try to keep an open mind and listen to what people can do for me, especially at a trade show. If I'm lucky I might find my own personal Yoda, or Leonardo da Vinci to help inspire me in ways I never expected. How many personal sacrifices do you think I would make just to actually spend some time with Yoda?
I doubt that Yoda would even talk to me if I said "Afford to pay you, I cannot. Ask you a question, I will anyway."
When you start a conversation with someone by saying "I can't afford you" what you are actually saying is "I don't care about you, and I'm unwilling to pay you a cent, but I will take this opportunity to ask you a question that I expect you to answer while we're face to face."
Succeed in business, you will not. If an approach like this, you always have.
You should first ask yourself how much money you are wasting by continuing down the bumpy business path you are on before you say that the cost of a solution is too expensive.
I find it interesting that the people who say they can't afford something which might change their life are also the people who complain that things never change. They keep themselves in a continual loop of working too hard.
I think I'm heading into some deep philosophical topics with this Daily Golden Nugget. The point I'm trying to make is that you should always find out what you can learn from someone, if they can guide you towards improving your life, and how they can help you with business before you tell them you cannot afford their services.
If you're a new reader to my jWAG Nuggets, I welcome you and I hope you will post comments when you find something interesting. You've found this good resource because you made an effort.
Those people who said they could not afford my services will probably never look at my business card, they will never bother to help themselves, they will keep making excuses as to why they get nowhere in life, and they might even keep using that screw driver backwards when they need to drive a nail through wood.
There are two types of business owners in this world, and I'm glad that you are reading this, because you are the type of person I do this for. The other type of business owner needs to either wake up, or go get a 9 to 5 job.