Do you know your business patterns? No, I’m not talking about interior design here. Let me back up with a story.
One of my first business advisors, many years ago, was a guy by the name of Alex. Alex didn’t like calling himself a life coach or business coach, because of all the associations one gets when they think of a ‘life coach’ (you’re picturing yourself laying on a big leather sofa, aren’t you.)
Alex always had the best advice, and once I asked him what made him so successful. He said that he was able to spot patterns – and just being able to tell people about their patterns (to which they were all unaware) made all the difference.
We all have patterns in our professional work – circumstances in which we always behave the same way – and some patterns are good, and some patterns are not. But as I like to say in my website critiques, you can’t read the label from inside the jar.
I can see your patterns on your website.
I never really thought of myself in the pattern-spotting business, but over a cup of tea recently I pondered this thought, with a variety of client website mockups and critique questionnaires laid out in front of me. And then it dawned on me: quite often, I can see your (bad) patterns on your website. Here are some examples, just recently:
- You’re afraid of selling – or unsure about your product. So you inadvertently made it hard to find it, and your website copy is cringeworthy – if you aren’t confident, I’m not either.
- You’re not really sure what your priorities are, and all I am getting are mixed messages. It kind of feels like you’ll do “anything” for “anybody,” which is leaving me feeling cold and unwelcome.
- You get bored easily, always ready for the next thing, which probably explains why your website’s information is out of date, and the last blog post was in 2009.
I wrote all of those as “you” by intention. Did you see a little bit of yourself in any of those?
Get a fresh perspective, even if it hurts.
If you’ve got a repeating pattern in your professional work, it could be killing your success. Maybe you aren’t a finisher, and always leave the last 10% of a project a mess – and it shows. Maybe you’ve got a confidence issue and everybody knows but you.
When it comes to business, it doesn’t matter what you think your strengths and weaknesses are – it matters what your clients think your strengths and weaknesses are.
You need that fresh perspective, especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve gotten any feedback. Talk to your clients (the ones who will be honest), get a mentor, take my website critique or creative consultation, or join a mastermind group.
Because your patterns are showing.