Unlocking Blocks

Every business, money making venture and project has blocks, silently thwarting your efforts to achieve goals and be successful.

It’s as if the Block has a life and purpose of its own.

Block World creates obstacles and delivers unforeseen problems making progress as difficult as possible for you.  Block’s purpose is to tire you and when you feel exhausted Block knows you’ll retire to the comfort of business as usual.  Why?  Because Block is good friends of Brain and Brain’s job is to keep you safe which it thinks is exactly where you are!

An oversimplified perspective, but blocks do keep you stuck where you are and your brain has an innate job of keeping you safe.

However, if, deep in the recesses of your being, you really want to help more people with your services, then help yourself to my perspective and my experience on dismantling blocks.

How do you really get rid of blocks?

The easiest way to having a smooth path to achieving your goals is to minimise blocks in the first place.  When I know the decision to succeed has been taken, focusing on these 3 words sets the scene - Clarity, Planning, Execution.

The 3 words are really 3 phases that knock blocks away before they’ve got a foothold.

Phase 1 - get clear

Phase 2 - make a plan

Phase 3 - execute

If the everyday doing in your business isn’t delivering results and problems and obstacles are in your way it’s because something’s gone wrong in the planning stage or there is a lack of clarity.

And, 9 times out of 10 the problems lie at the beginning of the process with a lack of clarity.

How clear does clarity have to be?

People often think they are clear.  They are not.

The key word is “think”.  Thinking “clarity” creates resistance.

You can probably think of a time when you’ve given someone instructions and you’ve asked whether they are clear and they’ve said “I think so”.  Later you find when they’ve tried to follow your instructions they get it wrong demonstrating they weren’t clear at all, leaving you chuntering that you’ll have to do the job yourself!

I learned my lessons on clarity and what it really is during the planning phase of my epic solo round Britain motorcycle ride.

There was a contrast between two aspects of my planning.

My sponsorship was erratic and problematic and my branding went round in circles.  Yet, by contrast my national press coverage was smooth and my route was turn by turn perfect.  What was the difference?

The difference was not in what I was thinking, but in how I felt.

My internal feelings barometer was set differently for sponsorship and branding compared to the settings for press coverage and route planning.   My purpose aligned with communicating to as many people as possible why it was necessary for the money to be raised for lung cancer research and successfully circumnavigating mainland Britain on a motorcycle was my goal and way of drawing attention to the need for funds and research.

I learned many life and business lessons from my epic ride and wrote about the 22 of them.  Lesson number 3 was this:

Clarity is an emotional experience

In the lesson I explained that clarity is an experience that occurs before the event happens.  Clarity is created at a visceral level with feelings.

My feelings about sponsorship and branding were completely different to press coverage and planning.  In fact, I didn’t feel at all, I only thought!  Thinking was exactly what Block wanted and time and time again stopped me in my tracks.  The final hurdle was when, 2 weeks before I set off, my original sponsor pulled out leaving me with no motorbike.

Being motorbike’less was the start of my lesson on blocks and what clarity is really about.  After making a decision, getting absolutely clear and changing how I felt, as well as putting a rapid plan in place I got a new main sponsor and set off on time.

What’s a motorcycle got to do with growing a business?

Every goal or business is only successful when the traits of being human are deployed.

Since completing the circumnavigation and over the last 24 years I’ve researched and worked with clarity and goals and feelings and how they relate to business. And having worked with thousands of business people I know blocks in business growth relate as much to a misalignment of feelings and thoughts as they do to a poor process.

The symptoms seen in a business may be lack of clients, low profits, stressed staff and burned out business owners, however the carefully placed sticky plaster solution is merely masking the symptom patching it up for now, only to find another symptom pops up somewhere else ready to demand time, attention and money.

Businesses grow when the art of business growth is mastered and especially when the business owner or leader becomes aware of the price to be paid for a not feeling clear.

Feelings are part of business…

Historically feelings have been separated from business.  I’m pleased to see that feelings are being spoken about a lot more now.  However positive change and business growth happens when feelings of the desired outcome are felt.  Talking about feelings we don’t want doesn’t generate feelings we do want.

When the feelings of the outcome you do want are of the same intensity as getting up early in the morning when you’re going holiday or taking part in your favourite hobby or sport, that’s when the blocks disappear and growth seems to “just happen”.

Planning is essential…

There isn’t one single thing or activity that will grow your business.  Taking random actions without a plan and without alignment is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube for the first time.  So many different facets need to be perfectly aligned to propel you forward towards your goal and success.

Instead of randomly changing direction or succumbing to the latest shiny object or latest marketing platform, turn to the fundamentals of growing a business by being human.  It’s natural, it’s powerful and it works.

Knowing is fundamental

When a client asks me to help grow their business, I know exactly where to start looking for the real opportunities for growth by first asking these two questions:

Q1  What are you trying to achieve?

Q2  What is currently stopping you?

From there, the path to success is revealed and the business grows.