Despite the news overload, it does not feel like there is much progress in our national affairs. Not sure about you, but I have been finding the whole think a little depressing. When I feel like this, I use a trick I learned in the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor which is a great book about positive psychology. The trick is to take 5 minutes in the evening and write three things which made you happy during that day. There are lots of versions of this, with some people finding it easy to write in the morning, others using it to express gratitude. Whatever works for you; the point is to spend some time on thinking positive thus training your brain to prioritise positive over negative and contributing to your overall happiness.
Here are a few things that made it onto my ‘Happy List’ last week:
- My beautiful Mothers’ Day present from my daughter which included 10 reasons why she loves me with a few lovely surprises beyond ‘because you cook nice food’
- Achieving real clarity on a client’s service proposition which means they are nearly there with going to market
- A great referral from my BNI colleague which is exactly the kind of business I am looking for
- A client wanting us to increase our work for them as they feel they are getting results
I am sure you can see how doing this might help maintaining focus and keeping you going. I must admit that I did choose my ‘best’ ones for the Blog and often I have to think hard and come up with things like, ‘the sun shone’ or ‘dinner was tasty.’ The point is that it does not matter as long as you practice seeing the positive because I really believe that mindset is everything. Here is an example:
Following up from a very busy start to the year, we experienced a quiet March where we got very little enquiries. The move from too busy, to sort of twiddling my thumbs ,was hard and I found myself holding on to a mindset of blaming overall market conditions which was not helpful to say the least. Once I realised this, I decided I had to change my mindset and work out what opportunities I had, despite, and as a result of, the situation. Here is what I did:
- My assumption is that due to uncertain market conditions, companies need to focus on developing new business and growing their pipeline. This provides us with an opportunity to win new work.
- Initially we put a lot of effort into drumming this message to our target markets to develop new business though our efforts were met with little appetite.
- It felt like many companies wanted to see what direction the UK market will take before thinking of new business
- Still, I think that companies need to make a move on their new business sales but rather then hitting our head against a brick wall we chose to get in touch with people who already knew us. This meant contacting all of our ex-clients who we felt might be more open to a conversation at this stage.
- This approach was more effective though we have not stopped our new business development activity which is on-going.
The moral of my story is that even people whose job it is to develop new business can find themselves at a dead end sometimes. The point is to not let it last for long, take stock and try something else. If you need some help evaluating your new business development approach, take our questionnaire here.