Change the conversation

Two weeks ago I returned home to find a group discussing whether Woodlands was the house used in Doors Open.  To settle their dispute I introduced myself, confirmed their suspicions to be told “I hope you got a lot of money for it”.  A little stunned I wished them Happy New Year and went inside.

A few days later I got an email asking if Nordic Black was making money.  No “How’s it going? What are you up to?” just a direct line of questioning. I deftly changed the conversation by wishing them a Happy New Year, mentioning my plans for a Style School and made a casual reference to my blog so they could read about my progress.

When my friend’s shop opened a few months ago curious passers by wandered in to tell her she was brave opening a shop in a recession.  Those same people are now her customers, which goes to show you don’t have to be brave to start a business, just hard working and persistent with a plan of action that says “get on with it”.

Never worry what people are saying about you.  Especially if it’s negative, implies you’re crazy or misunderstands your passion in a major, critical way.  Just tell them something positive and watch your business grow.  People often focus on the wrong things and create a negative impression without meaning to. If you don’t like what people are saying about you, change the conversation.  Bad economies bring out the worst in us, so you’ll be doing this a lot.  But focusing on the positive has benefits.

A lovely couple in Casa Morada yesterday came in to create a tombola of things to do. They wanted a container to put ideas in – holiday ideas, stuff to do around the house and challenges they’d set themselves. Each month a family member gets to pick one and action it.  The plan was not to know which idea they’d chosen until the piece of paper was unfolded.

When it comes to running a business taking this approach isn’t half as crazy as it sounds.  Make a list of things to do and pick something each day to do from it.  Long term your strategy should be fixed, but short term flexibility month to month could be what saves you.  Providing you contain fixed costs and every day expenditure there’s little point in worrying too much about future revenues.  If you have a good idea and execute it better than everyone else, customers will come.  Whether you make a success of your business depends on how long you keep existing customers excited about what you’re offering.

I spent most of yesterday worrying about which shots to use to promote my Style School on the website. Then I realised, it really doesn’t matter, just choose something and get on with it.

If something isn’t working change it and try something else.  If that doesn’t work change it again.  Changing course isn’t half as scary as it sounds.  What’s truly petrifying is doing nothing when clearly action is required.