Being my own boss means I’m in charge of my own time, and although I get incredibly busy, every Wednesday afternoon is ‘my’ time when I disappear for a couple of hours to do a Patchwork and Quilting Course.
Now, whilst I can put a sewing machine through its paces pretty successfully, Patchwork and Quilting has always eluded me. Last November then, as a slightly impulsive birthday present for myself, I signed up to a year long course to learn how to tackle this.
Every week since January a group of us turn up with a case full of beautiful fabric, our newly acquired cutting board, rotary cutter, sewing machine, and a whole stack of other essential bits and pieces (this is not the cheapest of hobbies by the way, as I’ve discovered!) and Jane, our wonderful teacher, shows us what we’ll be making.
Our “oohs” and “aahs” are quickly followed by “we can’t possibly do that”. Jane hands out our instruction sheets and a stunned silence ensues. We have fabric, we have threads, we have a sewing machine. We have every single bit of precision manufactured equipment to help us cut the fabric into the correct sizes and shapes. And now we have the instructions.
But still, we gaze at it all with a somewhat blank expression on our faces, surprised somewhat that a bunch of intelligent women are reduced to un-confident wrecks who just don’t know where to start.
And so Jane, with her warmth and humour, starts at step 1 and shows us step by step how to choose our fabric (not as easy as you might think), what to cut up and how, how to iron our pieces (again, not as easy as you might think), how to sew our pieces together and how to bring all the elements together to make one beautiful block. Along the way we frequently dissolve into much hilarity and constantly ask her “are you sure?”.
Nevertheless, she puts up with our manic episodes and manages to get us through each step and before long we’re turning out our blocks with ease.
Having shown us a technique once, we can then repeat it as often as we like when we get home. She also shows us the little tricks of the trade, and gives us lots of little tips to make life easier for ourselves.
Over the space of six months so far, we each have a number of unique and very individual blocks, which will ultimately make up a quilt. However, from the same techniques, we can also make cushions, bags, and a whole host of other things.
What we repeatedly say is that if we had just been given the instructions, we would be hopeless at trying to work out what to do. We need the guidance and direction, the expert insight and the helping hand to achieve what we have done thus far.
The same goes in our businesses.
Jane is an expert in patchwork and quilting, but struggles with marketing. And so I have been able to spend a bit of time in the shop with her to show her how to automate her marketing and thus save her both time and money.
Just because you are an expert in your particular field, does not mean you are – or should be – an expert in the other areas of your business. There are plenty of professionals around who will be able to do what it is that they do with the speed and efficiency that you won’t be able to. Not because you’re not brilliant, but because your own skill is in “your” stuff.
Professionals have that knowledge and insight into their specialist area and will be able to bring you expertise and guide you in a way that just reading a set of instructions from a “How To” book won’t bring you. They will often be able to save you money too by knowing the tricks of the trade with their insider knowledge (for instance, I recently reduced a client’s potential advertising bill from over £17,000 to just over £4,000 just from knowing “how” from all my years in the industry).
So, this week, have a look around your business activities. What do you hate doing? What do you struggle with? What aren’t you getting any results from? What don’t you really understand? What isn’t earning you any revenue from you doing it?
What could someone else – ie a professional – do for you quicker, more cost effectively, and with far better results?
What difference would it make to have an expert hold your hand (figuratively speaking!) to guide you through their particular subject area? Think of all the pitfalls you would avoid, the results and success that you would gain, and the money you could save.
Whether it’s HR and Employment issues, Financial Management, Debt Collection, Sales Management or indeed Marketing, do hunt out for a professional to help you.
Your business – and all those affected by it – will thank up for it.
And, obviously, if it IS successful marketing that’s been eluding you, do give me call on 01452 223306. My aim is to increase my clients’ revenue dramatically and reduce unnecessary spend, and over the years I’ve been doing this consistently and very successfully through my coaching programmes. I could do the same for you too!
Dedicated to your success,
See you next week,