In my last four posts we discussed the four areas of strategic planning that I evaluate during a Clone Your Favorite™ Client (CYFC) Assessment: mission, vision, core values, and SMART goals. I’ll be honest, rarely do I find all four of those items present in my target market companies let alone communicated throughout their organizations. But I usually find at least one or two which is enough to help define the company culture (even though you really do need all 4). So when I start the next section of my CYFC assessment (Marketing & Branding), the first thing I evaluate is how well a company’s branding strategy reflects their strategic plan and company culture.
Two months ago I participated in a couple of team building exercises with some close friends at Miraval in Arizona. I’m not a huge fan of heights so naturally one of the exercises involved climbing up a 35 foot pole, crawling on top of the 18″ x 30″ flat platform, standing up without any means of support, waiting for my pal Sara Robins to climb up and join me on the 18″ x 30″ platform, and then jumping off so that my buddies below could catch us using a pulley system connected to our harnesses. As luck would have it, it was an unusually windy day. And of course since I also tend to get a little vertical motion sickness, the second exercise was a 45′ high zip line experience. Did I mention I’m not a fan of heights?
There was a little fear induced paralysis at some point during both exercises, but I got them done and along with the adrenaline rush I experienced that great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that usually comes with facing and overcoming your fears (and not getting sick in the process). Next we all discussed our experiences and observations. Probably my biggest take away was something that my friend Melissa Grobmyer of MKG Art Management, LLC observed after hearing me talk about my paralysis: “You are over-thinking things. You’re too much in your head. Once you make the transition, you are fine.” I am blessed to have some brilliant and insightful friends in my life.
When I came back to Houston I started thinking about other situations where I’ve been a little paralyzed and guess what? Launching this blog was one of them. If you know me or you’ve read the About page for this blog, you know that I’m a sales and marketing consultant or as I like to call myself: a favorite client cloner. A big part of my job in working with clients that are transitioning from small to medium sized companies is to be a change agent i.e. I help clients make changes in their business development processes that accommodate and facilitate their growth. But what often comes with change is fear. Miraval was a great eye opener for me because I’ve often found it challenging to relate to my client employee’s fear of change. After all I love change – I’m a change agent! I want to make their lives better, easier, more prosperous! Well, when it comes to stepping off the platform or moving to a new blog, apparently I too experience transitional fear.
So why is this transition to a new blog necessary? Most of my consulting work used to revolve around systems – Microsoft Outlook often being the center piece and the subject of my first blog Arrow-Tips. But my consulting practice has expanded to encompass a more holistic set of services including target market analysis, customer perception studies, mission/vision/values/goals alignment, etc. Arrow-Tips has developed a great following with several hundred subscribers, great feedback and it’s a familiar and comfortable forum for me. But like my clients, it’s time for me to step outside my comfort zone in order to better meet their needs and add more value. Like the experience I had flying down the zip line or the experiences my clients have had growing more efficiently and with confidence, I’m hoping this blog will reach a bigger audience to help spread that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
So to kick things off, I’d love to hear some of your stories of overcoming fear to transition to a more successful place. And in the meantime, happy hunting!