For a while now I've been contemplating the evolution and growth of my business and leadership coaching offerings and recently took a bold step that challenged not only my comfort zone but also the foundation of my business vision. I asked a friend who specialises in strategy and gearing businesses for optimal delivery to facilitate a strategy session for my business. Little did I know that this process would reveal some uncomfortable truths, mirroring the advice I often give my clients – that what got me here won't necessarily get me there (and to be clear, what got me here is doing everything by myself because delegation scares me... sound familiar anyone?).
Comfort zones and career evolution
During my strategy session, the reality surfaced: my vision for the business closely mirrored my current activities. The role I aspired to take was essentially the one I was already delivering on effectively, but it's also the role that is keeping me stuck at a certain level in my business. My vision was to stay in my comfort zone doing what I'm already doing.
It was a wake-up call to self - growth demands stepping out of my comfort zone - something I'm very good at coaching my clients on, but not so good at doing myself. Perhaps that's not quite true. When I was reflecting on the session later that day I realised I need to celebrate the fact that where I thought I wanted to take my business next year, is actually somewhere that I took it this year.
I've been out of my comfort zone this year in many ways and actually taken my business a lot further than I had realised!
I reflected on how I consistently guide my clients to recognise that their past strategies may not ensure future success. Holding onto what's comfortable and known, can hinder the very progress we seek. It necessitates a shift in perspective – from clinging to the safety of being competent in what's familiar, to embracing the uncertainties that accompany change and growth.
Elevating my business (and your career): delegation, scaling, and leadership
As I aspire to take my business to the next level, the uncomfortable truths intensify. Growth demands that I transcend being merely a practitioner in my business to take on leadership and management responsibilities in my business - to start delivering through others. It requires delegation, the possibility of bringing on a partner, definitely bringing in someone to delegate all the "urgent, not important" tasks that don't require my skillset, and investing time and effort into scaling my content by training and empowering others to deliver some of it for me.
If I want my business to grow and sustain the life that I aspire to lead, I have no choice but to transition from working IN my business to working ON my business – a paradigm shift that is both exciting and daunting.
In the realm of career development, the parallel is striking.
Just as I need to manage and lead in my business, professionals need to invest in skills beyond their immediate technical roles. The further you grow in your career the more important it becomes to acquire leadership and management abilities, influence and inspire teams, deliver company objectives through others and oversee the broader aspects of your career value chain.
Success demands evolving beyond the comfort of routine tasks into a realm of strategic thinking, building relationships, remaining relevant to others, positioning your expertise and leading and managing others - impossible to achieve if you are perpetually tapping away at tasks that are in your comfort zone rather than regularly getting out there and actively working on the longer term (and perhaps scarier) aspects of your career.
Fear of being powerful and transformation
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson's quote resonates profoundly for me. Recognising my own potential to make a meaningful impact in my industry is exhilarating yet unnerving. The fear lies in the realisation that sustaining this impact demands a seismic shift in my own mindset. To lead a thriving business, I must shed old habits and adopt new behaviours - including letting go of doing everything and sharing the load with a potential partner and delegating to possible employees.
Similarly, professionals advancing in their careers grapple with the fear of acknowledging their potential. Embracing leadership roles requires shedding the comfortable cocoon of established habits and stepping into the unknown. It's an uncomfortable but necessary transformation – from being an individual contributor to being a leader who influences and inspires (and in the process has the ability to make a much more powerful impact).
Value proposition and relevance
There are so many people these days competing for so few opportunities, that each person needs to stand out from the crowd, and each person needs to add value. But what is value?
As the saying goes "Value is in the eye of the beholder".
In your career, the "beholder" is your future employer, your current employer, the project manager in the next department, your colleagues, a connection on LinkedIn. In essence the beholder is anyone that might ever consider giving you work, working with you, employing you, being an ambassador for your brand.
A business is nothing without customers who want to buy from it. A career is nothing without colleagues and employers that are willing to work with you.
When last did you ask any of your colleagues what is of value to them and what problems they need you to solve so that you remain relevant to them?
Before delving further into my business strategy, I need to ask my clients and potential customers a similar question.
What problems are you experiencing in your career or organisation that are getting in the way of your success?
Which of your goals over the next 1 - 3 years might be hindered if these problems aren't solved?
If you are reading this blog, I would really value you sending me an email answering the above questions!
In navigating the uncomfortable truths of business growth and personal development, the common thread is the necessity for change. What got us to this point may have been effective, but it won't guarantee success in the future. As I embark on transforming my business and myself, the process mirrors the journeys of countless professionals seeking to ascend in their careers.
The uncomfortable truths – stepping out of comfort zones, embracing leadership, acknowledging our power, and staying relevant – are universal. It's a journey of self-discovery, learning, and adapting. While discomfort may be unsettling, it is the catalyst for growth, ensuring that what got us here won't hold us back from where we want to go.
Join me in embracing the discomfort, navigate the truths, and forging ahead into a future of limitless possibilities.
Ready to take your career to the next level?
Work with us to position you as the expert your network needs to know about.
In the process of working with us at Briony Liber Coaching and Consulting, you go through a journey of learning to leverage every aspect of your career value chain from examining the capabilities you need to develop to gracefully transition from where you are now to the natural next position in your career, redefining your internal narrative to ensure that your are response-able rather than unconsciously reactive, to developing yourself as the CEO of your career with a strong personal board of directors that support your every step.
Your next career advancement is waiting for you – let's schedule a discovery session and discuss how we can work with you on optimising your career value chain, positioning your expertise, leveraging your network and fostering your conscious, curious, courageous, compassionate and connected leadership.