Several years ago, it was trending in the marketing community that “busy” wasn’t a good brand. Entrepreneurs were being chastised for leading conversations and showcasing in their branding about the hectic pace of their lives and businesses. They were told over and over that “busy” isn’t an attractive brand.
And it isn’t. But if we are telling businesspeople and entrepreneurs to brand “authentically”, what does that mean for the pace and momentum that people now live their lives? I have recently struggled with this in my own growing business and firm. I have struggled to help my clients, both coaching and marketing, to define themselves as something other than “busy.” It must be true. It must be real. It should also showcase the realities of the pace of choosing to grow a business.
The In-Demand Brand is Born
The reality for successful businesspeople and entrepreneurs is that their time is in-demand. Whether it is projects, meetings, client work or professional development, they are always in forward motion. Most have struggled with the idea that “if I can just get _____ done” or “next month, things will settle down”.
However, there reaches a point as an entrepreneur or successful businessperson that you don’t really want things to settle down. You want things to continue to grow which will require you to be active and engaged. Even the idea of “if I can just get _____ done” will lead to another step or project that needs to be completed in order for the next level of growth or development to occur.
This is very similar to the process of painting walls in your home only to determine that the baseboards and doorframes also need to be repainted. That leads to switch plates and outlet covers. Then you find yourself updating closet or light fixtures. The process of “if I can just get _____ done” is never quite finished.
So, how do we cope? What mindset needs to happen in order for momentum to happen with a feeling of peace in the process? I have found that one simple phrase changed the dynamic. I am in-demand. I am not busy. I am not overwhelmed. I am not swamped. I am in-demand.
What does “busy” really say?
I remember hearing the phrase “busy isn’t a good brand.” Truth. Here is where the idea of busy takes us and the questions that will arise. What are you busy doing? Not all things are worth doing. You can be busy organizing the supply closet in the office. While it is satisfying and can help you control office supply costs, it isn’t actually productive in terms of moving your business forward. If you are needing to add $10,000 a month in new business and you just spent ½ a day cleaning up paperclips, then that “busy” wasn’t the right busy.
People in our business networks, potential prospects and current clients hear the word “busy” and they might feel it is a cover-up to what is really not productive work. “Busy” can mean that you aren’t good at prioritizing. It can mean that you avoid the more difficult and critical work. It can mean that you aren’t organized. It can mean that you are just making an excuse. Busy really isn’t a good brand.
What does “overwhelmed” say about you?
Let’s be blunt. Who wants to hire “overwhelmed?” Do you want to trust your marketing work to “overwhelmed”? Do you want to have an “overwhelmed” lawyer represent you? Do you want to engage an “overwhelmed” accountant to review your financials and prepare your taxes? That was a resounding NO. Telling people that you are overwhelmed do not inspire confidence.
However, I have heard many CPAs during tax season talk about “overwhelmed.” I have heard Business Owners talk about being overwhelmed in their business. I have heard real estate agents refuse to show houses in hot markets because the competition is “overwhelming.” No, what you are doing is killing you business with that word.
Is your business “swampy”?
Most people are trying to avoid the proverbial “marshes and quicksand” in the business and lives. When they hear things like “I am swamped.” They hear the undertones of “I don’t want or need your business” or even “my business is such a mess; you probably should run the other way!” Here is what I hear as a business consultant when I hear that someone is swamped in their business, I am hearing that don’t have good systems or foundations to operate within. You are in constant reaction mode and that mode doesn’t allow for forward thought, planning or quality long range planning.
If you are struggling to run your business and service your clients, then you have some work to do on the basic operations of your business. It could also mean that you are burning out your staff, team and yourself by not hiring the people you need to do the job.
Considering a new dynamic
It was a random moment. I overheard someone make the comment to someone else. “It looks like you are really in-demand these days!” From that moment, in-demand become the mindset that pivoted my outlook on my workload and my verbalization to others. I was in-demand. This is how I describe it to myself and my clients:
** I am working with my ideal clients. They are coming from referrals and marketing efforts. They are excited to work with me. I have a waiting list and pipeline of others making the decision to work with me.
** I am building systems and tools in my business to handle the increasing pace and volume of business. There will be some growing pains. However, those growing pains are positives; not negatives.
** I am considered an expert in my field or industry. People are seeking out my time. I must management that well. There will be things to delegate. There will be things to eliminate. However, I have worked hard for this moment. I should enjoy it too.
In-demand is a word that conveys growth, impact and influence as well as expertise. It doesn’t convey sloppy business practices, mis-managed time or a lack of business skills. What would happen if you shifted into in-demand mode?