In its simplest form, communication in business is conveying a message through a channel. It can link ideas and things and is a mechanism for connectivity and interaction. Communication can be expressed in words, pictures, gestures, signals, and colors. In its most basic context, there is a sender and a receiver. Every day, small business owners receive messages, decipher the message and decide how to respond or if to respond.
With the day-to-day demands on a small business owner, you get into a routine of responding to the daily priorities. It’s no surprise that in triaging messages, miscommunication or missed communication occurs. You even find yourself hearing a message several times before you even take action. But missed or ignored messages can prevent a small business owner from moving ahead or seeing big profits.
Ask any seasoned business owner about missed opportunities and they will share with you the messages or signs they missed because they weren’t paying attention or were working so fast that they had to hear something multiple times before making the connection.
The next time you find yourself missing opportunities or messages, consider these tips to stay in the moment and hear those messages the first time around:
Take time out for ‘reflection time’ each week. Recently, a client took some reflection time and got clear on her niche. After writing down the titles of her preferred clients, she realized that there were similarities with all of the titles she wrote downlook at these guys. Coincidentally, she had also been receiving a subscription to a magazine she had not subscribed to. She held on to just one issue. That one issue contained an article about that very niche client she identified during her reflection time. A magazine she received months earlier coupled with her reflection time made it all come together months later.
When you take time to reflect, you’ll see those messages coming in your path. If you listen and pay attention, you’ll see that message delivered in different ways.
Pay attention to similar messages. You can get caught up in the day-to-day priorities, but when you hear the same message or when separate individuals are saying similar messages, it’s time to pay attention. You very well may be getting a message you need to hear.
When I was writing my book, Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change, I was asked by three different people in a matter of a few days if I would have a chapter on faith. I listened and today the chapter on Faith is one chapter many people have said helped them in getting through a difficult time.
Establish your Foundation. Many entrepreneurs don’t have a clear idea of what they want from life. This leaves the entrepreneur visionless and confused. Establishing your foundation includes understanding your purpose, having a clear vision, as well as aligning both the vision and purpose with the work you do. I remember how confused I was when I started my own business. It wasn’t until I had developed my Life Vision and really understood my natural gifts and purpose that I became clear in my direction. I used to have to hear the same message three times before I realized that maybe I should pay attention to it. With these foundational tools, it is much easier to spot messages and determine their fit immediately.
Whether you receive messages from the marketplace, other people, or notice coincidental messages coming your way, paying attention to them can pay off in many ways.
Lisa Mininni is best-selling author of Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change and President of Excellerate Associates, home of the Entrepreneurial Edge System(TM). Lisa is a sought-after business coach particularly because of her unique systems approach to building a sustainable business.