Have You Got a Big “BUT”?

Laurel Tielis

Two weeks into the new year is a great time to get started on making changes. After all, by now you’ve moved on from holiday-mode to really getting down to business.

Having a big BUT though, will get in your way. It’s the kind of thinking that is as unhealthy for your emotional well-being and business success, as obesity is to your physical health. When your mind substitutes BUT for “sure,” or “good idea,” it gets in the way of your going forward. Here’s a simple test to see if you suffer from big BUT syndrome.

Do Any of These Excuses Sound Like You?

  • Social media seems to work for other people BUT….
  • Networking seems like a good idea BUT….
  • I know blogs bring in business BUT….
  • The store down the street wants to cross promote BUT….
  • I’d like to plan an event BUT….

Happily, there are ways to get past that big BUT. To maintain the weight analogy, dieters go wrong when they think in terms of the total amount of weight they need to lose, rather than thinking of losing weight one pound at a time. In the same way, it will be simpler, and you will be more successful, if you think about going forward one step at a time.

Simple Ways to Get Past that Big BUT

If you haven’t yet committed to social media, try choosing one form–maybe Twitter–to get familiar with. The sign up is simple, and you can start by following other people in your industry. Watch them to see what works for you. Then try tweeting those kinds of things yourself.

Networking is a great way to get ahead in business, and an easy trick to being successful at it is counterintuitive. If there’s a networking event that appeals to you, go on your own and get there early. That way, you’re sure to have it pay off.

By being one of the first arrivals, anyone else who’s there early will be eager to talk to you. By the time the mass of people arrive, you’ll be in conversation and comfortable in the crowd. People will come up to you to ask you questions, and guess what? You’ll have the answers.

Blogging is another good way to bring in business, and you don’t have to write lengthy posts to have a successful blog. Just like you curate the items you sell in your store, you can curate articles you’ve read online, write a quick synopis of each, and add the link. By sharing valuable information, you’ve taken a small step and made a big difference in your business. You’ve become an authority and as you know, people want to do business with authorities.

If you’re tempted by the idea of cross promoting, and you’re also interested in planning an event, combine the two for maximum results. Again, take baby steps. Try teaming up on a single, simple event like a coffee hour or a wine and cheese party, to see just how useful it will be to go further. Like the lottery though, you can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket. So go for something with little down side and lots of potential.

This year, everyone’s moving toward green. Give yourself the green light and move forward. Take a risk; get a reward. Here’s to losing your big BUT and increasing your bottom line.

If you want more ideas about bringing in business, I can help. I’ve been a retail reporter at Women’s Wear Daily and Home Furnishings News, a columnist at the Miami Herald and a correspondent at People magazine.

I’ve also handled the marketing and public relations at major corporations and small businesses. Need a speaker or a consultant? Connect with me at LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter @laureltielis.

You can also get in touch at Ask Laurel (one word) at laureltielis.com. For easy and effective ways to bring in more business, read Ka-Ching! How to Ring Up More Sales.

Copyright © 2012 Laurel Tielis

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