Things Reactive business owners say:
“I have no idea what I want to do.”
“All my clients are crazy and I’m tired all the time.”
“I’m always overwhelmed.”
“_______________ is doing it so much better than me.”
“I don’t know why my thing didn’t sell.”
“Everyone else makes it look so easy. What’s wrong with ME?”
“I can’t___________. That’s just not me.”
“I spend most of my time putting out fires.”
“Business courses are usually worthless.”
“That’s too woowoo/ glossy/ overdone/ slick/ stupid/ emotional/ silly/ crass for me. I’m immune to all that. But nothing ever seems to be working for me.”
“I don’t know what my people want.”
“Guest posting/ pop-ups/ list posts/ more blogging/ fancy business courses/ Twitter/ Insert Other Magic Bullet Here will be THE THING that turns it all around.”
“I followed all the rules. Why is no one buying my thing?
Things Proactive business owners say:
“I’m going to experiment and figure out what to do.”
“How can I help clients feel more at ease in my process?”
“How am I REALLY spending my time, and how can I develop systems that will make my day-to-day easier?”
“_______________ is doing such cool shit. They inspire me to expand my idea of what’s possible.”
“I’m going to do a fuck ton of learning to figure out why my thing didn’t sell. And I’m going to make it better and try again.”
“I have something worthwhile to say. I just need to find the right way to say it to the right people.”
“Business requires constant change. How can I push MY boundaries to pull learning from any and every person I interact with?”
“I use problems as testing grounds for new opportunities to deepen my client’s impression of my competence, and I thank them for the privilege.”
“I have less money right now than I would like, but I have a plan for changing that.”
“If I’m going to invest in a course, I know that I will get out what I put in.”
“The best lessons come when I am the most open to wisdom from unexpected places.”
“I’m going to give my people exactly what they need by showing them real results.”
“There is no magic bullet. And I welcome the challenge of learning new skills while understanding that the learning and experimenting never stops.”
“I’m writing my own rule book.”
Great. But why is this important?
Because it is the ONE AND ONLY THING that separates successful people from unsuccessful ones.
And I’m not talking about the size of their bank accounts. I’m talking about the way that they move in the world.
I have clients who have no money but who feel wildly successful because they measure their success in degrees of forward motion and recognize that owning a business is not a destination.
And I have had clients who come to me with tons of money, but who are stuck in a fear-addled loop of constantly feeling like whatever comes next is either going to make or break them.
Reactionary behaviors are the ones that close doors. They are finite. They are the moments when you find yourself thinking, “Ok, I’ll do X and then move on to Y.”
But Proactive behaviors are open-ended and look more like, “I’m doing X now, I wonder what Z will look like and how X might lead into Y and Z.”
Proactivity is bigger and more expansive than simply planning for the long haul.
It’s not (just) about planning, it’s about accepting that there is no end point. No finite set of skills or steps or learning or growing or exploring. It’s about leaning in to the idea that you are only as successful as you feel, and you are 100% in control of that.
Reactiveness feels like a full stop. There’s nowhere to go when you are simply reacting to your circumstances. You are creating walls around yourself and your business, with just one way in or out. But when you shift into proactivity, every wall includes a window and a door. You have options and a long-range view. And above all, you have choices.
This subtle shift is the difference between freelancers and visionaries.
Bloggers and mavens.
Newbies and entrepreneurs.
Coaches and leaders.
Designers and paradigm-shifters.
So? Reactive vs. Proactive business?