It's extremely important to measure progress in your small business. There are so many ways…
Find the Fun in the Frame: It’s All About Perspective
I have three young kids and all three are allergic to hard work. Getting them to clean their room takes about a dozen attempts through the cries of “it’s not fair” and “it’s not even my stuff” screaming louder than a jet engine. They can be playing outside for hours but when it’s time to pack up their tennis racquets and bikes, suddenly they’re too exhausted. Imagine my surprise when their grandmother asked them over to mulch her gardens, and they said yes!
They didn’t just say yes, they got excited! They couldn’t wait to grab a shovel and move 4 cubic meters of mulch around the yard. Hang on, they couldn’t even help me move a bag of mulch to the backyard last weekend, what’s the difference? The kids were looking at the same task but were seeing two completely different pictures?
You see it wasn’t the task they were focused on. The frame they were looking through was different. One frame was a chore they were being made to do by their annoying dad. The other frame was a task that they were invited to do where they would get to hang out with their Grandma and cousins. The task became irrelevant. The task became fun.
The fun is in the frame.
In business there’s always mulching to do. There’s always tasks we’d rather not do and they’re different for everyone. For some it’s administration, for others it’s networking or lead generation. For me, it’s public speaking. Whatever it is for you, find a way to frame it in a way that completely changes how you look at it. Ask a few questions:
1. What needs to be re-framed?
Write down all the things you need to do in your business that you avoid at every chance. It doesn’t matter how big or small these tasks are, the important thing it that you clearly identify them. What frustrates you, what makes you agitated. Now look at those things and write down why you do them. The meaning may not be obvious at first.
Tasks don’t have inherent meaning; you assign them meaning.
I dread them at first but I take public speaking opportunities because it allows me to talk about what I love and creates exposure to people I wouldn’t have had exposure to before. Ultimately it results in new customers and more of the work I love to do. My frame becomes the creation of new exciting customer work and the task becomes all about how to engage them from the stage instead of how I feel doing it.
2. What’s my frame made of?
Make the frame out of something solid. If you don’t trust your frame or it’s flimsy at best, it won’t last too long and you’ll go back to agitation and frustration in no time.
“My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which have never happened” – Mark Twain
Our minds are full of negative thoughts about what might happen and this so often becomes our frame. Get a dose of reality and build the frame out of what you know and can see. Have I prepared what I’m going to say? Do I know what I’m talking about? Have I got my slide show checked and tested? If I have prepared well, then I will speak well –that’s my solid frame.
3. Does it look better in someone else’s frame?
Sometimes there are tasks that are just never going to be fun for us. It’s not our skill set, we’re not very efficient at them or we just don’t understand them well enough. Even if we believe these tasks are important to achieve our goals, no amount of re-framing seems to help. So why are YOU doing them? Find someone who does find them fun. It may be hard to believe but I know people that find bookkeeping fun, find cold-calling fun. Content editing, graphic design, blog posting, computing…. literally anything you can think of. Someone finds that task you hate; fun. Put the picture in someone else’s frame and you’ll solve your problem and theirs.
If you learn to re-frame effectively, I guarantee you’ll be surprised how much fun you discover in places you never imagined.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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