It happened to me this week with some clients. We were going round and round and not really getting where they wanted to be. I could feel the frustration building on both sides and I was starting to take things personally. Part of the reason things were getting so goofy is because I did not lay out a clear path in the very beginning about how the process works and the importance of doing various steps in a specific order. (Note to self: This is the tough love portion where you have to look at your part in why things are not going the right way. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but it is the key to getting out of your cul de sac.)
It’s easy to take things personally at times, but here’s another harsh reality. They didn’t hire you to be their friend. They hired you to be the professional that can help them accomplish their goal. If you end up being friends in the end, fantastic, but right here, right now, you are the professional.
Which leads me to the question I always ask myself when I am stuck and unsure of what to do next:
“What is the professional thing to do?”
The answer is always very simple and clear cut. For me it was to lay it all out for my clients of this is the next step that we have to take before we can move forward with anything else. They may or may not like it, but it is essential to them achieving their goal. When I am focused on being professional I am also able to communicate more clearly and take out the personal (read wishy washy and insecure) verbiage.
This questions applies to every aspect of your business.
Is business slow? What is the professional thing to do? Try calling some clients you haven’t talked to in a while to reconnect or follow up on that lead that you let fall through the cracks.
Feeling unsure about how your skills stack up? What is the professional thing to do? Get out there and research your market. Enroll in a class
Asking yourself what the professional thing to do is in any given situation is a fantastic filter question that will instantly snap you back to action mode. Give it a try today.