5 Business Changes I’m Making in 2013

“I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.”

~ Georgia O’Keeffe

5 Business Changes I’m Making in 2013

by Andrea Novakowski

One good thing about being in business as long as I have is that you no longer need to do something just because everyone else is doing it. At some point, you have to choose what truly fits you. No more trying to put a round peg in a square hole. Working on my 2013 business plan over the last few weeks, I’ve decided this year will be all about doing it my way.

That means no more shoulds. No more doing for the sake of doing. For me, 2013 will be less about doing and more about connecting. It’s time to honor my introverted self and do business in a way that takes care of me!

Here are five things I’m giving up in 2013, based on what worked for me and what didn’t in 2012.

1) No public speaking. Granted, speaking in front of audiences has brought me business over the years. So I started out last year with the goal of delivering nine talks. As I began working on my goals, however, I found myself constantly dreading that one. It was a struggle to find the energy to reach out and arrange speaking engagements. By April, I’d changed my mind about the goal. Of course, the next thing I knew, the International Coach Federation-New England had notified me I was going to be inducted into their Hall of Fame. Along with this great honor came a speech. My friend and coach, Cheryl Dolan, did a fantastic job of helping me prepare the talk, and I even managed to have some fun with it. But the preparation took time away from my business, and the experience just reinforced my awareness that I prefer interacting with people one-to-one rather than doing public speaking.

2) No networking groups. Notice: I didn’t say no more networking. As I say, making connections with big groups is not my forte. I tend to do better in one-on-one situations. I shine when I can listen to what you are saying, connect deeply, be moved, and learn. In a network meeting, there is only time for quick acknowledgements and check-ins. These types of relationships do not make my heart sing. I’m looking to forge deeper connections in 2013. Don’t be surprised to get a phone call from me inviting you to coffee or lunch.  I want to know you better.

3) No doo-dah time. This wonderful term comes from my coach Natalie Manor.  Doo-dahing is what happens when you create a to-do list, choose your top three priorities, and then proceed to organize your top desk drawer, pay your bills, or do errands. Yes, these are all worthwhile tasks, but not when your priorities are set for your day’s work. Doo-dahing can be a particular problem when you work at home. You have to throw in just one load of laundry before preparing for a new client. Or you go toss the ball for the dogs. The list is endless. This year, I’ll focus on my priorities when I say I will. (Then I’ll take a break before moving on to the next project. All work and no play makes Andrea a dull coach!)

4) No more 24/7. In order to provide the guidance, clarity, space, and support that my clients ask of me, I can’t be “on” all the time. I need to define my work hours. I need to set aside time to take care of myself, so that when I am working, I can be as sharp and creative as possible. When I take time to go to the gym, eat well, sleep well, and do my yoga, ideas and connections flow better for me and for my clients.

5) No arguing with myself. This often happens when I neglect #4. I become less clear in my decision making. My options stay open, and I start going around and around in circles. Yes, some issues do require time to be explored from all sides, but many day-to-day decisions can be settled with the snap of a finger. Instead of going back and forth over every decision until I feel drained, when a choice comes up, I’ll check in with my goals and values and see whether it fits or not. End of discussion.

I don’t know what 2013 will end up looking like as a result of these changes. I do know that my work, and my life, will be more enjoyable when I’m being true to myself.

Coaching Call To Action

This week, take some time to review your 2013 goals.  Do they fit who you are?  Do they inspire you?  Or do you need to make some changes so that you can be true to yourself?