Imagine this: You are at a restaurant ordering breakfast with your family.
You want an omelet.
The server asks you what kind? spinach and feta, ham and cheese, bacon, bacon with cheddar, vegetable, plain, cheese, western?
Then she asks, do you want toast with that?
You say yes.
Then she asks you, what type? Sour dough, White, wheat, rye, multi-grain?
You think you are done deciding then she asks untoasted, lightly toasted, toasted or dark toast?
Then she asks, do you want butter or jam?
After 2 minutes of back and forth making decisions, you feel a little annoyed. For some people this process can take a long time as they slowly consider each option or ask more questions.
While for others they know exactly what they want and it takes no time at all.
Running an online business can be like this.
The difference is that with an online business, you may or may not be prompted by a waitress who knows what goes into the meal you are ordering.
Instead, you are being influenced by sales messages from well meaning people who are selling you the next best thing.
And the trouble with that is that they don’t know what you already have ordered. And quite frankly, if you don’t know a lot about business, you don’t know what elements you even need. Which may mean you end up with 3 types of omelets and no toast and you weren’t intentionally trying to cut out carbs.
There is power in understanding how something works as a whole and then being intentional about what you choose.
So, what does all of this have to do with art?
In 2020, I took 9 months to focus on healing.
During that time, I taught myself art and did a lot of art therapy exercises.
I noticed that if I had nothing on the paper, sometimes it was more difficult to create.
My mind would fixate on choosing and think it was making progress towards creating.
I would ponder, do I want to do watercolor or charcoal?
Is this going to be more of a realism piece or abstract?
Yet, when I would be constrained to one medium, a few colors, or a type of art, I would just create.
In online business, we are bombarded with options.
It can be deceiving when we are presented with all the options that we are making progress.
We are not.
We are simply taking the time to decide.
What I have found over and over again with my clients is that when they learn what the core components are - like in the analogy above with breakfast that would be the omelet, carb and the condiment. They can choose intentionally what they put into each category.
When you understand how something works you pick knowing how each component will affect the others instead of using outside influences.
This completely eliminates shiny object syndrome because you get clear on what you want, what components need to be fulfilled, and you pick from the choices within that category freeing you up from trying to make decisions and instead getting to focus on serving the people you were here to help.
Now, let’s talk about constraint for a minute.
Once you have chosen what you want from each category, as entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to stick with this because well… IDEAS.
But think of it as if you were an artist and you were in the middle of creating a beautiful piece using acrylic paint. You have already painted most of the paper in acrylic. This type of paint is not one that you can just throw water color on top of because it won’t stick. Instead, you will need to constrain yourself to acrylic just for this piece. Sure, you can turn the page when you are done and start fresh with watercolor. But for this one, you are constrained to acrylic. What beauty can you create with acrylic?
In an online business, we see people at this juncture. They have acrylic paint all over the paper and they decide they want to use watercolor. For the purpose of this metaphor, that could mean they have a sort of working social media platform, maybe it’s Facebook. They see that someone is teaching about how the best strategy right now is Instagram and that they will make so much more money with it. And then they start trying to juggle the two. The trouble is that they didn't get the first one to work well for them and close clients consistently. This creates two problems.
Because they never really acquired the skill of creating clients weekly on social media they still don’t have that skill when they move over to the new platform.
And the second is now they are doubling the amount of work they need to put into marketing without having the skill often leading to burnout.
And that leads me to the final lesson about how learning art taught me to grow my business more intentionally.
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can have is your skill. Your skill comes from repetition and practice.
No tool, platform, team member, or other external force can replace having certain core skills.
One time, I was following a woman who did these gorgeous portraits (head drawings) of people that looked so realistic and she did them in pen. She shared what type of pen she used and I went out to buy it. When I got the pen I was so excited. My portrait never came out like hers because I didn’t have the skill she had. She had poured 10 years into drawing portraits. A few weeks later she created a video of her drawing a portrait with a bic (ordinary pen probably in your drawer right now). This experience taught me that the most important thing to focus on is skill mastery.
In an online business there are some key skills to develop which we work with our clients on:
You can delegate these skills but ultimately you must master them and know them well enough to actually run your business. There is no magical tool or magical person that will fix everything if they take over these skills in your business.
And taking the approach of “just delegating” will only rob the entrepreneur from acquiring the skill themselves.
Yes, building skills can take time. But with practice and repetition, you can improve. Which means you hold the power in your hands to create unlimited business growth.
Ready to scale up your business? Download the impact formula framework and learn what the core ingredients are to a successful thriving business so that you can design a business that gives you freedom: https://www.impactdrivenentrepreneur.com/scale-up-strategy
And no matter where you are watching this, from remember that:
You are capable.
You are strong.
You are here to make a difference.
Go on your way today to do that <3
Lots of love,