Welcome to Odds n’ Ends, a monthly newsletter by me, Michelle Spalding, focusing on business, empowerment, and occasionally something to make you laugh. I’m glad you’re here.
Alas, spring is here, which is also my favorite time of the year. So many flowers are sharing their first blooms, and it’s as if the Earth is welcoming us all back from a long winter’s slumber.
In business, spring is also when the dreams we dreamt over winter start to happen. We are planting more seeds, knowing that not all will grow into mature plants but that the more we cultivate and nurture them, the better chance we have of reaping the harvest we want later in the year.
Mother Nature has a lot to teach us about business:
- First, be Yourself – Plants don’t worry about the one next to them; they do their own thing. In other words, a rose isn’t trying to be ivy and vice versa.
- Nurture – Seeds require water, sun, nutrients, and a suitable climate to be successful. So do people! Nurture yourself and the people you’d love to work with, including team members and trusted colleagues.
- Embrace Diversity – Biodiversity helps plants live their best life with fewer herbicides or pesticides and larger yields. In addition, diversity enables us to become more innovative, robust, and kinder people.
Not everyone or every business is in rhythm with the current season; some are wintering in the middle of our summer, dreaming of new things. Others are harvesting the seeds they planted months ago in our spring, which have blossomed into new clients or opportunities.
The one thing that nature has for us all as a reminder is that things take time – a seed planted today doesn’t yield fruit tomorrow. So be patient with yourself, dream, plant, and the harvest you wish for will come – don’t keep picking at the seeds you planted to see if they are doing anything – I promise, it won’t help them grow!
“I’m feeling so overwhelmed – I don’t know what the next right step is,” began my coaching client. Like many, there was a lot on her plate, demanding business, young kids, an elderly parent she cared for, and a close friend going through some scary health struggles.
“I feel frozen, which is not helping things, but I can’t seem to do anything other than put out fires all day. I just need a week off to catch my breath.”
For the first part of our call, I listened and let her express the frustration and grief she was feeling. Just letting it out, she said, was helpful. As you can imagine, this wasn’t the life or business she dreamed of, and she knew things had to change – but how?
One step at a time – that’s all we can do.
Together we devised a plan that she felt was workable – first up, some self-care. For her, that meant recommitting to daily 30-minute walks—next, a few hours each week, uninterrupted, to work on the new hire she desperately needed.
Next, I suggested my favorite app, Brain.fm, and headphones, along with shutting down emails and other notifications. Lastly, she reached out to a nearby sibling asking for help with their elderly parents.
At our next session, she shared that just having a plan was huge. She was still doing interviews and hoped to have someone in place soon. But, most of all, she said, “nothing has changed, but I’m feeling way more optimistic.”
I shared with her the Monthly Blueprinting Worksheet. Pick up a complimentary copy, try it out for yourself, and let me know how it goes.
Marketing doesn’t have to make you feel like a used car salesperson – nor does it mean doing things that make you feel out of integrity. Sure, it may mean pushing you outside of your comfort zone – but that’s not compromising your values, it’s learning, and growing.
So how does one market without losing integrity? I’m glad you asked.
Here are some things I’ve found successful in my business, as have many of the clients I’ve coached:
- Know who your ideal client is. Trust me, not everyone will be your cup of tea, and that’s okay; you’re not likely everyone’s either.
- Figure out where your ideal client spends time and show up there. For example, if you’re selling shoes, you wouldn’t try to sell them at your friend’s Italian restaurant.
- Be your authentic self.
- Love upon the clients you work with now and ask them for referrals. Too often, people get busy looking for more business; they overlook opportunities right there in front of them to create raving fans who will share your business with others.
- Make connections with people who could be referral sources for you and to whom you could refer business. Nurture those relationships, and they will blossom.
- Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up – let those you’d like to work with know you care about them and their business. Not by messaging them constantly to ask them to buy, but by sharing something you thought was helpful based on what you know about them.
I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, but when I do, @MoonPie always makes me smile.
This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See – by Seth Godin.
A humanitarian business set up to help the women of Central America to lift themselves out of poverty while working from home. – One Common Thread
Overcome burnout and find inspiration – an article worth reading again and again.
What if working less helped you be more productive – This article makes a case for it
Do this instead of running – A simple workout I stumbled across on Instagram that can be done without leaving your office.
This one hit a nerve. Shame is NOT accountability! Many… – Michelle Spalding | Facebook
Are you feeling stuck? Need some support in your business and in crafting it to allow you to live the life you desire? I have a few coaching openings this spring. Let’s talk if you’d like to learn more about working with me.
I’m also offering mini-coaching packages from a single session to a group of three. These are the perfect seeds to plant in spring. More information on my website.
Need a speaker for your event, workshop or podcast, check out my speaker page to view topics for your audience.
Thanks for spending another month with me digitally here. I’ll leave you with my new favorite quote:
“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” — Luther Burbank
Business Alchemist | Mentor | Author