"Just the facts Ma'am"
Anyone who has watched an older crime movie recalls the line the investigator or police officer blurts out in their efficient no nonsense manner to the overly emotional victim of crime - "Just the facts ma'am".
Don't feelings matter? The answer is yes - and of course no. Especially when it comes to business.
We all need the feelings of hope, optimism, and excitement to push us forward to achieve great things. But feelings can also interfere with our ability to succeed.
Let me explain some things to make it easier to understand.
How we feel about anything in the world - ourselves, the weather, our chances of success, a particular client - or anything else for that matter - is unique to us and us alone.
How we feel about anything is also influenced by past experiences of ourselves , our families and our culture. Years of experiences support how we feel about things.
Feelings however, are not facts. We may feel badly or overly optimistic by a financial statement - but that has no effect on the facts. An accountant can look at a spreadsheet and give us a full report of where the business stands - and although we may feel like we are failing (or succeeding) the colour of the ink at the end of the day gives us an accurate picture.
This can cause difficulties for many business people. Many rely on their creativity (highly attached to emotion) and their gut feelings to build their businesses. And sometimes they are right. ANd many business owners remain in the 'feelings' about their business not recognizing that feelings are not truth - just something we feel.
I fell prey to this way of thinking - and it almost killed my business at one point. I felt sure I should do something a certain way and insisted for a long time it should be done that way - despite feedback or facts. We have all heard the Albert Einstein quote* on the definition of insanity. (see below)
Finally one day I woke up and realized how I felt was not reflective of what was really going on. I decided then and there - I needed to step away from the business ad take a good look at it from the outside. It was NOT working.
Regardless of how optimistic I (or anyone else) was about what was going on - the fact was things were not working well. And if I wanted something to change - I was going to have to change how I did things. (not rocket science, is it folks?)
I hired a coach and a consultant and immediately began looking at the facts and using proven strategies to change the outcome. It reminded me of E+R=0. (Event + Response = Outcome)
When an event happens, eg one fails to make money, and the response is do nothing - or keep doing things the same way, then the outcome is to continue to lose money.
My business outcome was tied directly to me and my response to an event.
How anyone feels about their business can be useful. It can fire us and fuel us to get what needs to get done, accomplished. Emotion can be a wonderful thing.
I recently saw a woman who had sold her home, farm and all she owned to sink 1 million dollars into a business that sold $150,000 in ten years. Regardless of how she felt the business should be doing or would do - the fact was - it had failed. She was so hopeful for it to turn around - she was now seeking investors! The fact was - she needed to walk away - and in fact should have sought advice nine years previous.
We as women we are already good at emotion. We have to practice a little logic - and that is where a good coach or consultant can help us. Business strategies require "just the facts, ma'am".
*"The definition of insanity is to keep doing things the same way - expecting a different outcome" Albert Einstein. Are you practicing insanity? What needs to change to increase the likelihood of success or profit for your business?
Remember, "just the facts, Ma'am".