February 10

The Fight To Be Fantastic


keep climbing memeI would like to share, if I may, a small slice of my week so far. I have a feeling it will probably sound somewhat familiar, if not in content, then in context, to most of you.

Monday: Kids Up. General Mayhem. School Run. Mentoring. Workshop. Mentoring. Admin. School Run. Prep for trip to Melbourne in early morning. Homework. Dinner. Bedtime for kids. More prep. Articles to write and review. Prep workshop. Admin. Fall into bed.

Tuesday: Up at 5 for airport. Melbourne. Mentoring. Meeting. Mentoring. Mentoring… Mentoring… say goodnight to my children. Dinner. Editing work. Read emails. Possibly spontaneously combust.

That’s as far as I have managed to get so far, and I can feel the smoke from the possible spontaneous combustion licking around my ankles as I write. Ring any bells? (Apart from the ones for the fire alarm).

Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do; I love my clients, I love writing, I absolutely adore the business I have built with determination, courage, yes, some sacrifice and a hell of a lot of hard work over the past three years. But at times, it is a massive challenge to maintain momentum. Not through a lack of enthusiasm for my vision, but because of outside pressures. They can come from all sides, and in all forms, both personal and professional. The demands of home life. A lack of support networks. Market share and competition. Funding. Staying relevant and real. For those in corporate in particular, inequality in pay and seniority. Simply having enough hours in the day.

It can be extremely tough to keep climbing your own Everest of success when it feels as though your oxygen supply is being cut off at the tank.

So – just how do you keep up the fight to be fantastic?

  • First of all, everyone is on that same mountain. Some may be about to plant the flag and take an Edmund Hillary/Tenzing Norgay photo at the top, but once – they were slogging it out on the North Face.
  • If you feel as though you don’t have people within your industry or sector  who understand you – look outside the square. Cross-pollinate. It may be that what you need are people with common goals and ethics, not necessarily a common work group.
  • If you are constantly looking over your shoulder at what your competitor is doing, chances are your eye is not on your own business. Keep tabs on the neighbours – but keep the focus on your own positioning and branding. It will keep you relevant, authentic, and some of that balloon-popping pressure might just drop away.
  • If you are a small business and funding is a constant battle, invest in talent – by empowering your team. Then look to other complementary businesses and see what skills you can ‘bank’ – they are probably in the same position as you and will welcome the opportunity for a non-monetary transaction.
  • Inequality is not going away – but that fight needs to continue, and it needs to be fought by women and men in senior positions who are able to mentor and sponsor both sexes coming through the ranks. Make it a priority so that their fight to be fantastic isn’t the struggle yours has been.
  • The need for 48 hours in a day? If I knew, I would be lying on a beach somewhere drinking a large glass of something extremely alcoholic, having made millions from my bestselling book ‘How to Have 48 Hours In A Day’. This is a case of just trying to breathe, and realising that some things can simply wait.

Most importantly, don’t forget that above all else, one thing remains true.

You are fantastic, no matter how hard it may seem at times. Why? Because you are climbing that incredible mountain in the first place, when it would be just as easy to stay in the valley and simply admire the view.

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