The Struggle to Apply Advice A.K.A. Low Anxiety

nicole bowman bowman performance consultingHabits of Low Anxiety/Anxiety Free People—An Example to Put this in Action!! (Part II)

By Nicole Bowman, President, Bowman Performance Consulting

*read Part I

Small business owners are always weighing opportunities with risk, profit margins with reinvestment back into the business, and exploring ways to leverage opportunities, sustain professional relationships, and to strengthen business networks for expanding collaborative partnerships for future initiatives.

The continuous thought and behavior processes of a small business owner got me interested in clicking the link and fully reading a recent Nature’s Sunshine blog (http://blog.naturessunshine.com/) written by a blogger named Dan Bischoff. The article was called, “10 Habits of Anxiety Free People” (http://blog.naturessunshine.com/10-habits-of-anxiety-free-people/). It focuses on ten general suggestions that are good but could be applied to many situations.

Taking from my recent business experience, I thought I would give it a shot and try to address his suggestions with a local application. Hopefully my applied example and business context provided here will give others inspiration to take a few more of the articles you read in 2015 and try to apply them locally. I’m going to try to do this quarterly for 2015 so I am not overwhelming myself or my capacities. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

That being said, I understand and believe that some worry is good and that nobody lives a life totally free of worry and anxiety. As many before me have more eloquently stated that it’s not the challenge, worry, or anxiety itself… but what you do with it. Once a challenge, anxiety, or worry (plural or singular, larger or smaller) plops itself right smack in the middle of your day or life, how will you handle it?

Here’s my real-life situation: I want to build more collaborative client relationships by building key organizational networks and project opportunities vs. simply responding in an individual manner to bidding, networking, or other marketing opportunities.

I recognize that BPC is a very impactful (but small) organization with subject matter expertise in culturally responsive evaluation, education, business, and capacities to work with (or help others work with) Tribal governments, Indigenous communities (rural, urban, or Reservation), and Tribal people/children on nearly any topic.   To leverage BPC’s subject matter expertise for a larger impact I must find medium to large organizations that have:

  1. Larger capacity than BPC does but may have an organizational or market need to address the areas that BPC happens to be a subject matter expert in
  2. Share a common mission/vision components with BPC
  3. Have an organizational culture/philosophy that demonstrates they value small business partnerships
  4. Is a recognized and respected leader in the appropriate field or industry based on past performance.

The tradeoff here is moving to a business philosophy of having fewer, but more meaningful relationships with long-term projects, partners, and clients instead of having many projects with partners and client relationships that end when the funding stream runs out.

This is a hard sell in my mind and emotionally because practically it shouldn’t be as tough to do as it feels, especially when you’re used to having 12-15 clients and are down to 5-7 clients. Most of these are long-term partners with high potential to continue working and collaboratively searching for the next opportunity together. And we all know 5-7 good projects can be much more manageable and profitable than 12-15 projects. Fortunately that has been the case for BPC. But it’s just getting over that number and age old question of “how many projects or clients do you have?” It’s really a mental shift and an emotional shift as you make your way through the natural day-to-day ups and downs of a business.

*Stop by next week for Part III and what BPC is doing to reach our goals.