Do you ever have these battles with yourself about what you should be doing in your business, as opposed to what you are doing? I think those of us who are solopreneurs struggle with a lot of chatter in our heads. At least I do. Even when things are going well, I’m always asking what I should be doing differently. I’m always trying to grow and stretch, which I view as a good thing, but sometimes just staying the course is the right answer.
I joke with some of my friends, who admit that they have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), when they jump from one idea to the next, or one project to the next, or one business to the next. Although I don’t classify myself as having ADD, I am also prone to jump to something after a period of time. I’m not judging that tendency, just noticing it. We do need to keep growing and keep things fresh in our business, and sometimes evolving into the next stage helps prevent boredom. However, there’s something to be said for staying the course and not killing the momentum we’ve created.
I’ve recently become aware, thanks to the wisdom of Catherine Hilker, that I am wired to seek input from others before making any decisions. Catherine advised me NOT to make decisions in my head, but to seek the input of my trusted advisors and network. Since I am someone who has owned her own business for 20 years, that advice was a bit of a shock to me. At first I thought, “of course I’m capable of making my own decisions.” But then I let Catherine’s comment sink in, and I realized how often I do “bounce ideas off” of those in my network, and those who are experts in areas I am not. I take their input into consideration and usually follow their advice. I’m usually happy with my decision, and the outcome, when I follow the advice.
I’ve also come to notice how my intuition often tells me the right thing, but somehow I question it and think I need to go in a different direction. When I ask my trusted advisors about the issue I’m contemplating, they often affirm my intuition rather than my logic. I’ve been part of two mastermind groups with trusted colleagues who have independently told me to stay the course with my target market, when my mind was trying to lead me to an additional market. My intuition chose the right target market to begin with, and everything I’m doing is working well with that market. However, despite the success, fear creeps in and I worry about running out of clients in that target market, so I start thinking about additional markets. Thankfully before I waste time, energy, money or effort in creating that new market that I’m not passionate about, but think somehow I “should” work with, my trusted advisors reel me back in to stay the course.
How do you decide when to add a new line of service or a new target market to your business? Do you rely on yourself or your market to make those decisions? Do you respond to your existing market’s needs or create something new that you hope your market will want and need?