The Secret To Taking The Next Step In Your Business

by Cathy on April 13, 2013

The Secret to Taking the Next Step In Your BusinessI have a lot of sayings that I use about building a business when I coach my clients and teach my classes but one of my most utilized sayings and concepts is–
Start where you are and do what you can with what you have.

In my opinion, this is one of the sanest and most dependable pieces of advice I give out.

It’s kind of my credo.

If you’re feeling bad about where you are in your business or you feel like you have to apologize for what your website looks like or not having a beautiful shiny freebie, or only having 34 likes on your business page then you are not in acceptance about where you are in your business.

If you constantly have the nagging feeling that you should be further along than you are, then it will be difficult to do what you can with what you have because you’re not really on your own team.

Everyone and I mean everyone I come into contact with thinks they should be further along than they are.
This is part of the “not enough” syndrome.

And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have aspirations for your business but having goals and aspirations are a very different energy than being frustrated because you’re not where you think you should be in your business.

As my teacher Mark Silver likes to say–
“You can’t move from where you’re not.”

You can’t move forward in your business until you come into acceptance with where you are right now.

Acceptance is not resignation–nor is it giving up.
It’s allowing what is to exist without judgment.
It’s being OK with where you are right now.

Acceptance is the exhale.

If you refuse to inhabit it the place you are in right now either by constantly focusing on what’s missing or feeling bad about what you have you not only undermine your business but you are not exuding anything that makes people want to work with you.

I’d be more apt to work with someone with no website who is grounded in who they are and what they’re trying to do in the world than I would with someone who is freaked out because they don’t have a newsletter or a website that really reflects their business.

The Point of Power Is In The Present Moment

I have a client who is just starting her business. Her website is not up yet, all she has are business cards. I’ve been encouraging her to go to networking events but she hasn’t been doing it. I finally asked her what the problem was. She said she’s waiting until her website is up.

In my non-directive round about way I told her that under no circumstances should she wait for anything to get out there and meet people and promote her business. Especially in person. Your website is there to speak for you in your absence but when you’re standing in front of someone at a networking event your website is irrelevant because you can talk to them directly. You can make a connection, you can start a relationship. If you follow up and keep in touch, you can nurture that connection without a website.

I told her about the time two summers ago when I was attending my first big networking event. I realized I was just about out of business cards.

So what did I do?

I had card stock laying around so I wrote out my business cards. The idea that I would not attend the event never crossed my mind.

I wasn’t going to let what I didn’t have stop me from what I might get from going to the event.

And I proudly handed out those cards as if the choice were deliberate

I wrote the tagline–Business coaching for people who love what they do but hate marketing on the cards since I couldn’t draw my logo.

And you know what?

Everyone who took my card said something nice about that line.
So I added it to my business cards when I got new ones printed and it’s still there to this day.

Building a business can feel like climbing Mount Everest. There is always more to do and another level to ascend. That never goes away.

You have created things in your business already whatever they are and you deserve to feel good about them.

Yes, you might want them to be better but that will come eventually.

Everyone’s business is a work in progress.

Don’t wait to exhale.

If you have a story about taking imperfect action or doing what you could with what you had, please share it below.

All comments will be held with love and care.


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  • Lable

    This is so incisive – and so true, Cathy. For me, I’ve often found that the lesson is that my map needs some introspection. The feeling that my business has not progressed “enough” tells me that I am letting others define where I should be. It makes me ask myself whether I’m also letting others define where I should be going to. Perhaps this spot is only “not enough” in relation to where I’ve allowed myself to believe I “should” be going. Maybe this “wrong” spot is perfect for where it is I truly want to go. This realization hit me the hardest when after decades of nothing but “success”, I lost a job for the very first time. I felt like such a failure – so much so that I actually apologized to my wife for failing us. Her response was, “Thank god this happened.” She could see what I could not – that I was very successfully traveling the wrong road for me. The “failure” of losing the job was the exact inflection point I needed to find a career that truly made me feel happy and fulfilled.

  • I love the way you put that–“my map needs some introspection.” I find that it’s a delicate balance between serving your audience and following your heart. The space between those two is where my work is with my clients.

  • Holly

    I just googled, “I can’t take the next step forward in my business, why” and got this page. And it’s like it was written specifically for me. I’m trying to start a photography business … I’ve built most of my site, I have business cards and gorgeous big postcards but I’m frozen at the marketing stage. Literally frozen … I can’t move forward at all. I need to figure out what it is that I’m afraid of … probably not being able to deliver what I’m selling. I’ll reread this article and I thank you so much for the info …

  • Hi Holly,
    Well it’s nice to know that the search engines are picking up my posts! But I’m even happier that you landed here and this resonated for you. I find that most people who are afraid to put themselves out there are either dealing with a fear of being seen/criticized or like you mentioned, afraid they can’t deliver on what they’re selling which just comes down to not believing in yourself and your talent. There’s also a third thing–sometimes people just genuinely don’t know what steps to take to market themselves. And that’s just a matter of hiring a coach or taking a program. I hope this helps and I hope you start putting your work out into the world!!!

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