Nicola’s musing, not for the first time, on how important it is to know yourself in business. She reveals some of her less attractive personality quirks and how they manifest in her business life. If you recognise yourself in any of this business behaviour, you might do well to hire a mentor/coach, as talking it through with someone usually helps. A good mentor/coach is not just there for the business strategy / tactics, but to support you work through the emotional side of things too!
Clicks And Leads is a “tongue in cheek” digital marketing Vzine by entrepreneur, author, podcaster, speaker, Nicola Cairncross.
On the blog
- Dancing In The Future
- Social Media Marketing Uncovered
- Living With Uncertainty
- So Where Did The Vzine Go?
- When Everything Goes Wrong
- Business Sucker Punch
- You Bring The Magic
- Own It! 212 | How to Hire a Coach
- Questions Make You Think Differently
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Okay, well welcome to the V-Zine this week. There’s been a big change in my business. A very, very trusty V.A., Sara, has gone off to do her own thing, and passes new, etc. And, I’ve been training and inducting a new V.A., who comes from the Philippines. I did look at people around Europe, but the standout application hands down on the covering letter was this lady Margelle, so she’s on for a month’s trial, and fingers crossed that’ll go okay.
The whole changeover thing was quite an emotional experience for me, and it made me think a lot about my various personality quirks, and how my feelings are affected by business things, and how that then, in turn, affects my business performance. The middle section this week is all about that, and I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you recognise perhaps some traits in yourself that I could help you get over if I was your coach and mentor perhaps. I hope you enjoy that section. Let me know, as always, I welcome your comments underneath where you’re seeing this video.
Good morning, it’s Nicola here, and I’m embarking on a set of videos this week that are revealing all the dark, dirty secrets of my personality. Now, I’m going to reveal something about myself.
I am a co-dependent personality type. Lots of reason for this. Didn’t have a very great childhood. Mom was a bit mad, disappearing parent, but I think I managed to get on quite well regardless, and I think that I know enough about myself to be able to overcome my shortcomings in business.
One of the first things that occurred to me when I was thinking about this whole personality type and how it affects you in business and me being a bit co-dependent is that I tend to pay myself last. I tend to put myself at the back of the queue for paying myself a salary for my business. I’ll pay everybody first, including all my suppliers, and I will very rarely try and negotiate instalments and things like that. If things come along that knock my financial boat off its moorings.
What I’ve started to do recently, is to go along with the precepts put forward in a book called Profit First by Michael Mich… I can never say his name, Michalowicz. An absolutely brilliant book. It’s all about what is the point of being in business if you’re not taking a profit out of the business.
Because, if you don’t pay yourself first, then you’re the most important person in the business. You’re the one that has to get up every morning. You’re the one that has to make things happen, and if you’re not getting paid a decent living wage from your business, then what is the point? You have to ask yourself.
So there it is, that’s the first thing. Pay yourself first, pay yourself well, and don’t let yourself be at the back of the queue to get paid from your business.
Now, another thing I tend to do as a co-dependent personality type is to put everybody else’s feelings first, to take responsibility for the feelings and the happiness of the people in my business. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve hesitated to hire people.
It’s one of the reasons why I prefer to work with freelancers rather than actually taking people onto my team. It’s because I just take too much responsibility for how they feel. Which means that, if I assign someone a job that I wouldn’t want to do myself, and to be honest, I have done every job in my business myself, I don’t delegate well. I hesitate to ask people to take on a job that I wouldn’t want to do, because perhaps it’s a little bit repetitive, or it’s a job that I’m not good at.
I sort of, as a narcissistic personality type coming through there, is I assume everybody’s going to feel just like me. You’ve got to realise that everybody’s different. There are people that enjoy doing things where they have to tick things off a list. They do tasks, and they tick them off, and they get a lot of enjoyment out of that. I have to realise that I am not my team member in the same way that I’m not my client.
Be aware of how you react to people around you. Is it stopping you from hiring? Is it stopping you from firing? And you are not responsibility for your team members’ happiness.
One of the things I’ve had to learn over the years is how to tone down the emotion I bring to the business. I’m a very emotional person. I try not to be. I try and be as business like as possible. In fact, I have been accused of going the other way. You know, being too cold and business like, but that’s because I’m trying to keep the emotions under wraps.
I regularly have to go back and look at my e-mails and strip out all the emotional stuff in it. Especially when I feel attacked. That’s the thing. When someone tells me I haven’t done a good job and I feel it’s unfair, I get very defensive, and I get very emotional, so I have to go and remove those parts of the e-mail and leave it down to the cold, hard facts. I also can’t stand wrangling. I can’t stand wrangling by e-mail. You know when you’re going the nitty-gritty, and the wrinklies of a cat’s bum on an e-mail, and who did what and then she said that. I can’t be doing with all that. I have to be quite careful to not go the other way as well and just throw out the baby with the bath water, because I’ve had enough on the discussion front.
If you find that you’re doing that too, then it’s worth finding someone to talk to. This is where a mentor can be really, really handy, because your mentor can point out the other side of the argument. They can play devil’s advocate in any discussion, and they can tell you when you’re being overly emotional and not business like. So do find someone you trust to fill that role.
The other thing is I’ve got abandonment issues, ’cause my mum and dad just disappeared for two years when I was young. Basically, I’m always aware of feeling like I’m about to be abandoned, so when people do things like resign, I feel abandoned. I can’t help myself, it’s a childhood thing, but being aware of it helps me to deal with it. It makes me aware that I’m not actually reacting to how that person is behaving by resigning. I’m reacting to something, a childhood wound they call it. I don’t like the word myself, but yes. It helps if you’re self aware about all the way that you can react to other people when they’re just getting on with their lives and doing the things that they need to do, indeed, to be happy themselves.
The other thing I have to watch out for is a creeping sense of victim mentality. I remember the exact moment when I was 37 years old that I realised that all my life, I’d been using victim mentality to excuse myself from doing the things I needed to do to make me more successful, and indeed happier. I tried to put a lid on it then, but after 37 years, it was a bit of an ingrained habit. I really have to guard against it now.
A good example of how it plays out is when, for example, Facebook algorithm closed one of my ad accounts, and I was really, really feeling the victim mentality then, because I’d spent the last four years learning how to do Facebook ads really well and abiding by their terms and conditions, so I definitely felt victimised on that point, but eventually I realised it wasn’t personal, it was just the algorithm, and I just carried on and found a work around. How does having a victim mentality hold you back in life?
And of course, with all these multiple personality disorders that I’ve confessed to this week, one of the biggest traps I have to stop myself falling into is the control freak trap. And I suspect there’s a lot of people out there that can identify with that. It goes along with the perfectionist trap. I don’t have the perfectionist trap, ’cause I’m a bish bosh bash, get it up there and see if it works kind of merchant.
But the control freak trap I do have to really work on, because over the years I’ve learned to trust myself, but I don’t really trust anybody else to do as good a job as me. So that makes it really difficult when you’re hiring team members or indeed freelancers. But what I’ve found to my absolute delight and pleasure is that most of them are much better than I would ever be at doing the jobs I’m hiring them for.
So do feel free to try people out and surprise yourself. They might be better than you. That’d be cool, wouldn’t it?
So what’s on the blog and the podcast this week?
In looking through my blog, I can see all sorts of things going on there, some of which I’m sure are not supposed to be. This is obviously a week where some duplications happened. There is a podcast episode called Pro-Blogging that you might be interested in, and that’s out on NicolaCairncross.com/Blog, along with moving from a set of videos about social media marketing and why you need to consider it for your business and how to go about it, moving into a set of videos about why having a mentor’s such a good idea. I’ve always had a mentor for the last 23 years. I’ve paid right from day one to have a coach and a mentor myself. Sometimes two at the same time, depending on what I’m trying to achieve.
On the V-Zine last week is V-Zine 85 where I talk about the social media side of things again, and the upcoming V-Zine 86, which may or may not be on the blog by the time you see this, is all about the power of a good question, and how sometimes, someone asking the right question at the right time, can really make a difference to the way you think. In fact, it can change the way you see the world entirely. That’s called a paradigm shift, and I’m always welcoming those, because I always feel that a paradigm shift changes things dramatically and enables you to be more effective.
So I hope you enjoy everything that’s on the blog and the podcast this week, and I’ll see you again next week. Bye.
Creative Direction & Video Editing
[No Copyright Music] Fresh Start – Joakim Karud
[Non-Copyrighted Music] Chill Jazzy Lofi Hip Hop (Royalty Free) Jazz Hop Music
Chill & Relaxing Lo-Fi Hip-Hop Instrumental – Warm Nights // No Copyright Music
Drone footage of The Mani
Drone Footage of Shoreham by Sea
Scott Wright Photography
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