Business Lessons from a Broken Wrist
How would your business change or need to be adjusted if you had an injury or life-altering incident?
I recently broke my wrist. Although my situation was temporary I still had to make significant adjustments to my mindset, daily routines, and overall body and business care.
Here’s how it unfolded.
JUST STOP DOING THAT!
The ‘how it happened story’ is not very exciting. I was distracted walking in my yard and took a tumble on the lawn. Lying there looking at my wrist, I knew immediately that we were going to emergency.
The next day, because of the pain, discomfort, and mobility limitations, I had to literally stop doing a lot of things, not just slow down. For example, I couldn’t hook up my cats to let them outside (they are on a harness and leash), I couldn’t do anything in the kitchen (thank goodness for my kitchen-savvy and amazing cook husband), and I couldn’t drive. For almost 2 months!
I had to dig into my mindset to accept the fact that my life had just changed. I was forced to adapt to my new situation. The hardest thing for me to do was slow right down with everything. The best part was that I knew it was temporary. And, when I heard of other people’s stories, I also knew that it could have been way worse. I was truly thankful for a straight-up broken wrist with a plaster cast, and an ever-present positive attitude.
Do you crumble or flip out when something goes wrong in your business?
I’d suggest that after the initial swearing deluge that comes out of your mouth, that you tap into your positive and logical mindset and truly evaluate what happened. What do you have to do to make amends, or move forward onto something new?
Because I am a sole proprietor, I do it all. I was fortunate that I was still able to do my client work, but also made plans in case I needed to outsource the work to another professional.
Anything that knocks you off your game can provide a valuable lesson.
Here are some examples to consider. How would you deal with them?
1. A high-paying client cancels a contract
If you lost the client, consider why that happened. Even if you had no control, based on your knowledge or intuition, tweak or change what you have to, and then make some sales calls and create an opportunity to get another big client.
2. An important project gets eliminated
When a project gets derailed, consider how you can use components of the project to try something new, maybe on a smaller scale to start and then ramp it up, or create something radically different.
3. Your computer crashes and you can’t recover important files
When your tech fails on you, take a deep breath (after the swearing), and methodically put your pieces back together with the opportunity to build new or improved creations, plus your processes and efficiencies. It’s like starting fresh and clean.
These are only some ideas. You know yourself and your business best.
With my wrist, I had to literally stop doing some things for a while, not just because it hurt, but I could likely have caused more damage.
What in your business should you stop doing?
- Are you hurting your business by using certain messages?
- Is your level of customer service weak or obsolete?
- Do you need to consider outsourcing certain tasks or operations to keep growing?
During my recovery, I have pondered and planned on how to best manage my business should another life interruption happen so that it doesn’t inhibit my business performance.
What do you need to plan for?
CAN YOU CUT MY MEAT, PLEASE?
During my first week with the cast, I had a speaking engagement in another city that I could not afford to miss. My friend was able to drive me, haul all my stuff in and out of the car and venue, and sit beside me and cut my meat at lunch. What a pal!
Working through daily tasks gave me the opportunity to reflect on what my day to day was like. I had to change the way I did things because I was mostly doing things with one arm, including typing with one finger on my left hand (I’m right handed).
I was amazed to discover the things I take for granted in my daily life.
- Do you know how many things have screw caps that I couldn’t open?
- I discovered that it was much more efficient to eat with a spoon and a bowl, rather than pushing food (unsuccessfully) around my plate with a fork.
- And, I am fortunate that I work at home, so I could wear the same clothes every day, all baggy, stretchy, no buttons or zippers.
There are so many ‘routine’ things we do in our business. What can you look at to challenge yourself and try something new or different? Is there something you know could be better, but you have hesitated for whatever reason?
Because typing with one finger was going to slow me down, I looked into voice-to-text apps and services. I didn’t get very far, though, as my microphone didn’t work with some and the others were high-ticket paid items.
Instead, I created a great workaround for a couple of routine tasks.
1. When I interviewed clients on the phone to get material for things I was writing for them, I put them on speaker phone and recorded the conversation on my iPad. I later transcribed it one finger at a time. But the best part was that the conversation took less time because I was not laboriously taking hand-written notes (which at this point resembled 1st grade printing). The calls were more in depth because I was able to really focus on the conversation and dig deeper into the client’s story.
2. I already use Evernote as a productivity tool to save things and make lists, etc. By using the microphone feature on my phone I was able to dictate blog posts, web pages, email, etc., into the app. From the desktop version, I could then copy and paste them from Evernote into my relevant computer programs.
Even now, I continue to use both tactics because they allow me to be more efficient.
Make the decision to do something new, or repair or improve something you’ve been putting off. Take baby steps, have patience, and celebrate the result!
WHAT ELSE IS STRAINED?
Hauling around a cast that felt like it weighed 20 pounds took a toll on the rest of my body. My right arm supported the wrist and cast with extra strain. One muscle doing all the work impacted the next muscle, and the next muscle, until I was almost seized up in my biceps, shoulders, and neck.
With my ‘good’ left arm, it was now doing all the work, and all those over-used muscles built up tension and range of motion issues.
All that body stress told me I had to slow down further. I had to take a couple of steps back in order to calm everything down. With the help of various health practitioners, they were able to put my body into balance again. That allowed me to slowly and methodically get through the rest of my healing time.
Is your business strained because you are doing too much and not getting anything done? Are you missing milestones and goals, or are you suffering from pains that just keep compounding?
For example, I know marketing can be overwhelming. If you are trying to do it all, and be in all places, and trying to appeal to everybody, STOP! You can’t be strong and effective if you overextend yourself. You can’t be good at everything, and there are only 24 hours in a day, which I’m sure you don’t want to fill with work tasks.
What can you look at supporting in your marketing strategies so you can get better results?
SUPPORT FOR YOU
If you are not sure what your most effective marketing strategies are, or how you can best support them without burning out, let’s hop on the phone.
I am opening up my calendar for FREE Marketing Assessments over the next few weeks. These 30-minute one-on-one phone consultations can gear you up so you have a clear direction of how you can start 2018. I only have a limited number of spaces, so click this link and choose a time. If you’ve had one in the past year, please leave these times for someone else. ;)
To be the most effective and successful, you need a positive mindset, the willingness to try new things, and the understanding that you need to support your business in many ways in order to grow.
If you’ve ever had a life interruption, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Tell us how you adjusted your business.
PS – Here is what Sheila had to say about her Marketing Assessment:
I attained a lot of clarity during Bonnie’s Marketing Assessment. She affirmed what is working for me now, and identified what I’m missing out on. I came away with four action items that are clear and doable that will help me attract more clients. Bonnie is a wealth of knowledge, is organized, and highly professional. This was a valuable experience!
– Sheila Leclerc, Life Coach, https://coachsheila.ca/