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Feel like you’re going in circles in your business?

Read this

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Way, way back in 2016 I created a handful of short courses to help business owners write their own website copy.

I even got as far as uploading them to a course platform and created their sales pages.

And then I did some maths and realised that if I was selling courses at £25 each, and currently had an audience of around 100 people, I was going to run into financial problems pretty fast, so I canned the idea and went back to 1-1 copywriting projects.

A couple of years later I started a membership.

And early 2020 I stopped that, and now I make my money by selling courses, and through my One To Another mentorship programme.

In a lot of ways it feels like a big circle.

And that’s not the only time that’s happened to me.

This spinning feeling comes up with decisions and actions big and small, in my business and home life.

And I hear it from other business owners too: ‘It feels like I’ve gone around in a circle’.

But it’s not a circle, it’s a spiral, and here’s why you need to know the difference.

If you tell yourself you’re going around in circles:

  • You will keep second guessing all your decisions because they don’t feel like straight-line progress
  • You will put yourself down for not moving forward in the most efficient way possible - again the whole ‘straight-line progress’ myth.

We’ve all heard the ‘progress isn’t a straight-line’ and the ‘course-correct-theory’ of progress… both of these talk about making small errors and learning from them, and adjusting and eventually getting to where you want to go.

But I could never shake the feeling that I would rather avoid making the little (or sometimes whopping) errors, and just do the straight-line theory.

Right up to the day that I flew over my own house in a 737.

Son#1 and I went on a short break to Nuremberg (it was lovely).

We live on the south east coast of the UK, on the humpy bit that stick out towards Europe.

To get to the airport we drove inland towards London.

And then during our flight we went right over our house. We were too high up to see the house, but we could see the shape of the coastline and the famous Naze tower so we knew where we were.

(I was too in awe to take a photo… and by ‘awe’ I mean ‘concentrating on my breathing so I didn’t totally lose it as I’m not amazing at enclosed spaces’… so I borrowed this one).

67 Old Hall Ln, Walton on the Naze CO14 8LF, UK - panoramio

If you looked at a map of our journey, we had taken around 4 hours to end up right where we started.

But we weren’t where we started, because we were now several thousand feet up in the air, and in a plane. We were equipped with the height and vehicle we needed to safely complete our journey to the place we wanted to go.

Sometimes, when we circle back around, and feel like we are right back where we started, we are actually back there equipped with different skills, resources, knowledge and experience, all tooled up and ready for the journey to the place we want to get to.

They’re not circles, it’s a spiral, safely taking you to where you want to go.

Or, for an alternative comparison… when you want to drive up a mountain, you don’t go in a straight line because that would be too hard, a bit dangerous and pretty sure to fail. You go around it in (almost) circles instead.

Now I’ve written this blog post, the Mountain Circles seems like a much better analogy, but I haven’t driven up any mountains recently, so I only just thought of it.

Anyway, the point of my post:

It’s a spiral, not a circle.

You aren’t going wrong, you are advancing in the way most likely to be successful.

Each time you come back around to your ‘starting point’ you’ve moved a little bit closer to where you want to be, and you are changed in some way (skills, knowledge, experience, resources).

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