STOP. Evaluate And Listen, To Your Gut Instinct

Ok, so I don’t know about you guys but wow, I am finding the speed of the social and tech space to be moving at a phenomenal speed right now.

Every. single. day, we are seeing new updates to social media platforms and apps. We are inundated with new apps, new tech, new ways to ‘do social’, new ways to communicate and grow relationships. The digital space seems to be moving quicker and quicker and quite frankly, it is becoming increasingly difficult to try to adapt and implement new methods and ideas without compromising quality in one area or another.

I have sat in six client strategy meetings in the last five working days and five of those had a common theme. Quite simply put, ‘overwhelm’. It seems to be a common topic and concern right now for businesses who are looking to innovate, stay current, be relevant, aware of the market and the most common phrase used ‘ahead of the game’ in the space in which we all operate (I mean, what does ahead of the game even mean? You must understand what meaning that has for you, first and foremost.)

Let me tell you this. Technology will not stop. Updates and developments to platforms and apps will not stop. It will only get quicker and quicker offering us more and more options and opportunities to connect and communicate in ways that we are not even aware of right now.

I believe that as business owners, we should absolutely be innovating and utilising new methods of social communication and technology growth and innovation to grow and create better experiences for the people we work with and the clients we serve. However, this comes with an element of risk.

If You Chase Two Rabbits

I am sure you have heard many times, the overused and cliche phrase ‘If you chase two rabbits, both will escape’. Perhaps a little oversimplified phrase to state a point, however its fundamental concept can be applied here. By focusing on too many things, we potentially miss out on all opportunities. Yes, we live in a world where we must multitask, that is common practice. It is necessary to be able to perform, develop and grow in a world where every business, every business owner, every person is vying for attention in the digital space, but I think it is important right now to take a rain check, a sanity check, a reality check, whatever you would like to call it, to bring this back to fundamental and basic business values. You cannot master everything, not alone. You cannot collaborate and master everything together, because technology, digital and social is moving so quickly that even if we did become ‘masters’ (to use the term loosely) it would soon become irrelevant as technology and social continues to take us on an exciting and transformative journey and is moving at a much quicker speed than we are able to manage whilst balancing all the other components that we balance as business owners.

My advice to my clients has been this, we should be looking at ways to innovate, disrupt and create more meaningful relationships and experiences. The blessing of the developments in the digital space is that they are there to help assist us in serving our clients and in helping our clients to serve their clients. But, overwhelm is a word, it only becomes something real and physical when we allow it to be. Rather than trying to keep up with or our peers or the business who is offering the same service as us and promoting it in a different way, we should be thinking about purpose, not popularity or trying to keep up appearances by half heartedly jumping into everything that is available to us.

Forget Comparison, Return To Your Roots

Comparison can be destructive and I am seeing more and more a common theme amongst the people I am speaking with, with a very common thread of conversation: ‘If I don’t do this like so and so, then I’m not doing it well enough’ or, ‘I don’t care enough if I’m not doing this like this person’ … and so on and so forth. Whilst digital, technology and social development is advancing us in so many incredible ways, it is also destroying the basic fundamentals that seem to be being forgotten. Please, if you take any one learning from this blog post, take this ‘STOP, evaluate and listen…to your gut instinct’ …. you know you, your business and the value and the relationships you have with your clients and your peers better than anyone else.

Think about why you started doing what you love. Think close to home. Think about your existing clients and the relationships you have with them and then think about how you can make these relationships better and more valuable to them. That’s the place to start. Go and visit them, have actual conversations not digital conversations, ask how you can help them and serve them better. Ask them how they like and prefer to communicate with you. Understand how their clients like to communicate with them. All too often, we can get caught up in the latest craze or platform or tech development whilst forgetting the very basic things that existed long before all of these developments came and transformed and continue to transform our worlds. Your business existed before and it will continue to exist if you value what lies at the heart of it, your customers, your passion, your purpose and how you create experiences, quality experiences and value and better what already exists.

Don’t Allow Overwhelm To Become Physical

I am not for one minute suggesting that you ignore the transformation that is happening and will continue to happen. I guess I am saying don’t allow overwhelm to become physical, because when it becomes physical, it will compromise the quality of what you do and how well you do it. Prioritise for you and your clients, not because of what works for everyone else. Set time aside to understand new developments and if they are relevant, helpful and will help the experience you share with your clients and if they will help you to communicate in a way that is comfortable and not add pressure and overwhelm, then jump in and get involved. Enjoy the process of social and technology, but balance it with the core underlying values and heart of your passion.

By trying to be a ‘jack of all trades’ you can be pretty sure you will be a ‘master of none’ … and while we are not all trying to be ‘masters’ (can we ever be?), we are trying to navigate this crazy, exciting, transforming world of social, digital and tech, without compromising quality and losing what brought us to where we are in the first place, a passion and purpose for what we love to do to help others.

You Are Not Alone

If you are feeling overwhelmed right now, you are not alone. Like many others, you just need to take a step back, evaluate what works for you and listen to your gut instinct. When it come to your business, you know it best. Your gut instinct is a great place to start, because it is more than likely trying to tell you what you already know!

This post was first published on Medium

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