At last week’s Tuesday’s Together meeting, I mentioned that ever since I started my business, my website had gotten very little attention and I didn’t have a mailing list set up for my own clients. That month’s expert speaker said, “I get it, the cobbler has no shoes and all that.” She then went on to say that her own business website had been considered a “known issue” in her company for years, despite the business being successful and thriving.
I’m not a person who believes you have to get every duck into a neat row before you can launch your service or products. In fact, I think that your best ideas won’t and actually can’t come until you’ve started the process, worked with a couple customers, and started to see what isn’t working and could be better. I like to keep my business fairly nimble so that I can pivot easily, change things up, offer new packages and work with new businesses. For example, I’ve run my business successfully for two years and I have yet to print business cards. (Which is a good thing, because I didn’t know what exactly to call what I was doing until about 30 seconds ago.)
That said, I also have no interest in being a shoeless cobbler. I want to help myself and my own business grow and thrive just as much as I help my clients grow theirs. That’s part of what my new “think bigger time” is for: putting the systems in place that will support me moving forward, and dreaming big dreams about what things might look like 5 years down the line. And this goes for every type of business: so often, we aren’t offering to ourselves what we offer to others.
Even though I’m proud that my business has been sustainable without all the trappings of Business Legitimacy (barf), I also think it’s important to recognize the moment where you do have new shoes to fill – pun most definitely intended. There comes a time when you need to step up to a new level and decide that the way things were will no longer be the way things are. Even if they’re “working”! Even if they’re “fine”! If parts of your business feel clunky and tedious and unsustainable, they probably are. And by deciding to improve them, you become more confident in what you’re offering.
It’s important to remember that you don’t fix things just so that other people will think you’re a professional at what you do, but so that you will start to see yourself that way. When you turn pro, at first just through your actions and decisions, your confidence in yourself follows suit.
I’m working on making myself shoes, slowly but surely. What are your shoes to make? What part of your offering are you not giving to yourself?