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  • Annette Densham

The Business Lies You Tell Yourself: It Is Stopping Your Growth




The first few years in my business, I told some real porkies to myself. It stopped my business growing. Until I woke up to myself.


Growing a business means you have to face some cold hard truths … especially about yourself. After five years in business, I can look back and see the little white lies I told myself about why my business wasn’t growing and why the mistakes made were not my fault. How times have changed.


I love it when people tell me how honest they are. That they never tell lies. I am calling BS on that one.


We ALL tell lies. They may not be big fat ones but every time someone asks you how you are and you answer ‘fine’ and you really are not … that is a lie. When you tell someone, it was great to see them and it really was not … that is lie. It is not an earth shattering, ground breaking one … but I want to make a point. We all lie.


And the biggest lies we tell are to ourselves.


Especially when it comes to our health and our businesses. I know, because for the first few years in my business, I told some real porkies to myself. It stopped my business growing. Until I woke up to myself.


I am not a health expert so I am not going to touch on that one (I’m too busy believing my own fibs about my health to worry about others). I do know a bit about business having been in business for five years for myself.


I am also a journalist; one of my super skills is observation. After running workshops and talking to 100s of people at networking events, I have heard (and told some myself) amazing furphies about why people are not acting in their businesses.


Top three lies


1. I am just making sure my website (content, brochure, business card) is perfect

Ah … I hate to tell you but there is no such thing as perfect. You are just procrastinating and avoiding acting. This all boils down to fear – of success, of criticism and of being noticed. I did this for ages. People would ask ‘when will you site be up?” “Soon,” I’d say. “Just do some last-minute tweaks.” It got to the point where I started to believe my own lie.


One of the smartest men in the world, Stephen Hawking, says “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn't exist... Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.” How did I expect to be perfect? I bit the bullet and pressed go.


If you keep putting off things to wait until they are perfect, it will never happen. How are people going to know about you and your awesome business if you are trying for perfection? Do it. And then fix any boos boos as you go (most people will not notice anyway).


2. I can’t afford to invest or spend money on marketing or getting help in my business

I made this mistake for sooooooo long until I bit the bullet and hired the most amazing PR manager Becca McGregor. Granted I took a cut on the bottom line for a few months, but her skills and expertise helped free me up to spend more time marketing the business. This means we can service more clients, which means a higher turnover for my business.

I have heard many small business people say they cannot afford to spend money on marketing. Really? This comes from a place of scarcity, not from a place of abundance. When you change your thinking about the benefits of investing in marketing or getting help, your business takes on a whole new life.


It is scary seeing that money go to a PR person or marketing person or tool to make life easier for you. The trade-off is more time to work on what you are really good at. I like to think it as an investment in business growth.


3. I’m not good at sales, marketing or finding stories in my business

Yes. I. Am. So. Are. You.


When I said this, I was telling myself fibs so I did not have to step outside my cushy little comfort zone. That place that is warm and dry, where there are no new scary skills to learn. But this comfort zone was not good for business growth. I realised I was not in the business of selling products or services. I am in the business of marketing. That is my primary role.


A lady whose family who owns a sheep farm told me they are not in the business of growing sheep but growing grass. This stumped me for a little while until I got it. Do you get it?


I sell and tell every day. When I’m convincing my children to eat their breakfast. When I’m talking to prospective client about the services I offer. When I’m making a new friend. When I’m sharing something that has happened to me throughout the day. I tell stories when I’m telling a someone about the problems I solve for my clients.


Selling is really about building relationships with people so they know, like and trust you. If you are genuine, treat people with respect and are honest, you should not have any problems closing a sale.


When it comes to telling stories, Seth Godin says “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”


Stop!!!! I stopped lying to myself.


So should you.


Fess up to the things that are holding you back. It is liberating to own your flaws because it frees you up to take responsibility. When you take responsibility, you can make changes, because you face the truth. Go on. I dare you.

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