When the boot’s on the other foot!
Have you ever heard the saying ‘The cobbler always wears the worst shoes’? There are a few variations of it, sometimes it’s the cobbler’s wife or children with the dodgy footwear, but the meaning is always the same: often, those closest to someone don’t benefit from that person’s expertise.
I once found myself on a Discovery Call, listening to someone tell me that they were struggling with their time management. It’s a story I often hear: a founder/entrepreneur is so busy working in their business, that they don’t have time to work on it.
I talked them through some of the ways I could help, and as I hung up from the call took a quick look at my calendar to schedule a follow-up mail to them. Eventually I found a half-hour gap 6 weeks in the future at 10.30pm on a Saturday, as my time till then was taken up with work tasks, meetings, and the odd gap for family life. Sleep was crammed in on a random Tuesday for a few hours, if I was lucky!
OK, that might be something of an exaggeration, but the point is: it can happen to the best of us. We can all be the Cobbler with the hole in our shoe. In my case I was so entrenched in doing those jobs needed to keep the company going, that I wasn’t doing the ones that would help the business grow, such as following up on leads, potentially letting good new business walk out the door.
So what’s the solution?
“You cannot put the same shoe on every foot” Publilius Syrus.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ fix, not in reality, but that important first step is to stop, take a moment and admit the fact that your boots are letting in water. Are you the business coach not taking their own advice about expansion and growth? Perhaps you’re the software developer who hasn’t backed up the system properly in weeks. (Don’t feel too bad about that, Pixar nearly lost Toy Story 2 for that very reason!)
In my case, I was able to see what the problem was, and walk myself back far enough to the point where I could start putting the right building blocks and processes in place to stop my calendar looking like something that would give even the toughest CEO nightmares. Talking through it with a colleague who was able to give me some accountability really helped as well – there’s nothing like having someone tease you for not taking your own advice to give you some perspective!
Time for a change:
If your trainers are looking a bit past their best but you don’t know what to do about it, get in touch. I’ve been in your shoes, I can walk the walk, and I’m as tough as old boots (OK, I’ll stop now). If you want to explore how to create the focus you need to build your business, then please get in touch or book in a call at jamespotten.com/businessgrowth