Like many business owners, I use the Christmas holidays to ‘re-think’ my business – take stock, review what worked and what didn’t in the previous year and make plans for the year ahead. This year, I spent a lot of time thinking about what didn’t work in my business as distinct to what did. And when I looked at what didn’t work, it all came back to one common theme.
I tried to follow someone else’s system, or model, for business success.
I’ve written (or ranted) about this on my personal blog, where I talked about my resistance to being ‘fenced in’ by societal ‘titles’ – I’m not a consultant, coach, mentor or advisor… I’m a combination of all of those things… but the ‘system’ that says I need to have a strong, recognisable, ‘google-able’ title… well, it sent me in circles of despair and frustration for a lot of last year. Because that model doesn’t work for me. Another system that I tried, despite my thoughts on it, were long-copy sales letters. Won’t. Do. It. Again.
My point is not to list all the things that didn’t work for me though.
My point is:
there is more than one way to build your business
I know you know that… in theory. But I also know that just like every other business owner I’ve ever met, you’re a seeker. A seeker of information, of ideas and better ways of doing things (if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this blog). And being a seeker is fantastic! The problem arises when our seeking moves from sparking ideas to wanting to ‘replicate’ someone else’s system, you know… “well if it worked for them, it should work for me too”.
Only if your circumstances, context, experience and business is identical to ‘theirs’.
In the age of information at our finger-tips and ‘gurus’ on every second webpage, magazine cover and conference stage, it can be very easy to be lulled into the trap of thinking there is a way, a recipe, a turn-key system for building your business. But for most of us, there’s not… there’s frameworks, generalised principles, there’s great ideas and inspiration… but how you make it work for you… well, that’s very much up to you.
So if you’ve ever beat yourself up for not being able to make a system or model work for you…
If you’re a learning junkie with a never-ending list of things to improve in your business or if you just sometimes feel like you’re the ‘only’ person who feels that none of the ‘systems’ or ‘models’ out there are ‘it’ for you, rest assured. You’re not alone. There is definitely more than one way to do anything in business. And your way might well be the best.