How to Bridge the Knowing-Doing Gap

It’s one thing to KNOW something but actually DOING something about what we know….well, that’s often a completely different story!

In fact many of us spend a L-O-N-G time hanging around in the ‘Knowing-Doing Gap’ ….straddling the tension between excitement and fear…. keenly aware of a powerful internal force at the same time as doing absolutely NOTHING to make it a reality! (You too?)

I’ve spent large portions of my life pussy-footing my way around things that I KNEW would be best for my life. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

So….if we KNOW what we should be doing, and want to be doing, why aren’t we DOING it? Well, that’s a very good question.

It’s a challenge!

It sounds simple but totally isn’t! If it was we’d just get on and DO it for heaven’s sake, so there’s something going on that stops us.

It was a challenge I faced when presented with a decision to make the move out the business I ran with my partner. Do I go for my dream of setting up a business of my own or continue faffing around in that ‘Knowing-Doing Gap’ indefinitely?

It wasn’t a simple decision by any means but I knew deep down I was meant to take the leap into a personally meaningful new career. Luckily, my intuition is nothing if not persistent and after regular and frequent nagging I finally woke up to the fact that it was my responsibility to make this happen – or not.

Knowing to doingAligning insight with action

I read somewhere that the gap between knowing and doing is greater than the gap between knowing and not knowing – and I totally concur!

This is certainly reflected in much of the work I do with my clients – it’s not that they don’t KNOW what to do because more often than not they DO know! It’s that they feel like they’re stranded on the side of a big ravine with ‘knowing’ on one side and ‘doing’ on the other.

In ‘the gap’ between the two lies things like fear, procrastination, perfectionism and overwhelm – all of which are completely normal but challenging enough for them to seek support to help them bridge the gap between the two. (Come to think of it, bridging the gap between knowing and doing is a pretty good way to describe coaching!)

So what’s the thing that you KNOW but have yet to actually DO something about?

Is it that you KNOW…

  • you want to turn your idea into a business?
  • you want to start running groups?
  • you want to take your work online?
  • you want to quit the 9 to 5 and make a living on your own terms?
  • it’s time to turn this thing you call a hobby into something bigger?
  • the time has come to shift things up a gear and double the income from your current business this year?

 

Well, whatever it is, the question is:

What are going to DO about it?

Was that a sharp intake of breath I heard at the mention of the ‘D’ word? Well fear not if you’re hesitant because there are things you can do right here, right now to help you make a start:

  • Recognise and acknowledge the ‘something’ that’s calling you

    Let’s face it, it’s pretty impossible to get results when you can’t even admit you want them! Instead of repeatedly turning a deaf ear choose to hear it. Don’t keep shrugging it off when it hits you – notice how it makes you feel. Actually acknowledging what you KNOW can initiate a subtle but very powerful shift.

  • Voice it

    Keeping your dreams unexpressed only leads to doubts, resentment and frustration and you begin to loose trust with your self. Voicing your intentions and articulating your ideas is a great way to validate them and start making them real.

  • Take the first step first

    You don’t need to see a clear path to the end to start – you just need to start! I’ve seen it time and time again how the decision to START becomes the catalyst for action, creating possibilities that had zero percent chance of happening before. It immediately shifts your focus from staring at the impossible path in front of you to starting the journey.

  • First, identify your whys

    There’s an essential emotional connection with what you’re trying to achieve, to do with your purpose, your mission and your vision. Getting in touch with the underlying meaning of your work means your motivation comes from a much deeper place. When you know your whys, the hows can’t get in your way.

  • Swap fear for feedback

    Fear is procrastination’s best friend and together they do a pretty effective job of keeping us stuck in the Knowing-Doing Gap! The phrase ‘there is no failure, only feedback’ is one of those gems worth remembering because it means exactly that – every time you make a new mistake you learn what you need to do to move closer to where you want to be. Great things can take a while to get right but if you give up because you’re scared to try, you’ve failed by default.

  • Less waiting, more action!

    ‘Waiting’ isn’t going to make it happen! The ONLY way to get where you want be is by taking action – but you already knew this I’m sure!  Motivation, along with inspiration, possibilities and opportunities only come through taking action – however imperfect the actions may be. Start where you are and do what you can with what you have NOW.

I’ve learned that if something IS calling you, it’s calling you for a reason. It WANTS you to hear because it believes you deserve to have this and that it is totally possible for you to find a way to make it happen.

I won’t pretend it’s easy, because it isn’t. Responding to something deep down in your heart of all places is a scary thing! But I know that living with the consequences of NOT doing anything about what you know is harder.

MUCH harder.

Bridging the gap

Ignoring what you KNOW you need to be doing is actually much more difficult. Because it doesn’t go away, it’s always ‘there’ in the back of your mind, eating away at you, keeping you unfulfilled and frustrated – and of course, making success impossible.

So, will you make the commitment to bridge the gap, to start shaping your professional and personal future in the way you want? Or will you wait and watch another year pass by, stuck in the Knowing-Doing Gap?

Please DON’T do that!

Instead, let’s just talk it through and find a way for you to start moving toward your dream.

Let me leave you with a question….

If I were to ask you to acknowledge and verbalise ONE thing you absolutely KNOW…. ONE thing you’ve been pussy-footing around…. ONE thing you KNOW would be best for you and your business – what would it be?

How about being brave and letting us know in the comments below? Leaving a comment certainly counts as taking action!

Beware of the blueprintIt’s completely natural for us to be inspired by someone who’s achieved the level of success we aspire to. If THEY can do it, we reason, surely WE can too – especially if we have insider access to the secrets of their success.

And everywhere you look these days, it seems someone’s offering to share their ‘secrets’ in the form of a success blueprint. You know the type of thing:

“Follow my proven 7-Step Blueprint and you too can build a 6 figure business like me!”

Now, if you think you detect a hint of cynicism creeping in here – you’d be right! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being in business for myself for a decade and more, it’s that there is NO magic formula…. NO one-size-fits-all approach…. and NO proven blueprint.

But back in the day, when I was looking around for guidance at the very start of my business journey, I was seduced into buying one such ‘proven’ blueprint. I naively thought that I all I had to do was follow the blueprint, duplicate exactly what the blueprint owner did and success would surely be mine, all mine……right?

Well, let’s just say the story didn’t end well, so if you like a happy ending turn away now! Because along the way, I discovered something which made my failure inevitable…… and you don’t need to be a genius to guess what it was:

I WASN’T HER!

Even though I tried hard to ‘adopt’ her strategies (after all, this was a proven blueprint!) it soon became obvious that there was a fundamental element missing – me!

I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but if I had thought it through properly at the start I would have realised that the blueprint owner and I were worlds apart in SO many ways and it became increasingly apparent that….

  • I didn’t even want a business like hers
  • I didn’t want to work the unsustainable number of hours she was working to achieve success
  • Her strategies simply weren’t congruent with who I was or how I wanted do business
  • Replicating her blueprint meant having to turn myself into something I’m not

 

So, you get the picture.

Replicating another person's blueprint The thing was, as much as I admired this woman, we were very different people with different values, style, personality, resources and expertise.

I felt like I was walking in someone else’s shoes and before I’d gone very far, the pinch-points began to blister and hurt and I had no option but to reluctantly limp away.

So it’ll probably come as no surprise when I tell you that it was certainly NOT an experience I wanted to repeat!

Don’t get me wrong, I still continue to regularly invest in both my personal and professional development but I consciously choose to work only with those who support me in growing my business MY way and NOT those who are only interested in offering me THEIR success blueprint.

You’re a unique individual not a clone!

So has this resonated with you? Maybe you’ve also tried someone else’s strategies only to be left wondering why you can’t make them work?

If blueprints aren’t the answer – what is?

Having some sort of a structure or framework to guide you through the maze of opportunities that exist for you and your business can make SUCH a difference and working with mentors and coaches can be HUGELY beneficial… you simply need to choose carefully!

Find a good fit

I know how important it is to be a good match for my clients in my own business. I know I’m a very good coach, but I am not the best business coach for everyone. I wouldn’t expect anyone to commit to us working together without having had a conversation first so that TOGETHER we can decide if my programme would be the best support for you.

And in case you’re wondering, I HAVE turned down potential clients who were looking for something outside the scope of what I do well. We can only become an effective collaboration IF we are a good fit – like any relationship, there has to be chemistry.

It’s YOUR business, not theirs

Look for someone who can guide you rather than tell you exactly what to do. Someone who can lead you through the maze of opportunities and help you find the right path to take you where YOU want to be. Someone who will encourage you to embrace your uniqueness, NOT a watered-down version of who THEY are.

So if nothing else, my ‘blueprint experience’ taught me a valuable lesson I’ve never forgotten and one that I’ve integrated into absolutely everything I do in my business today:

Don’t try to be something you’re not and instead, embrace your true authenticity.

The more I reflect upon it, the more I’ve come to realise that EVERY business benefits from being an authentic expression of the person who creates it. Get this right and things will flow and feel effortless. AND, not only is it easier, it’s also HUGELY more rewarding and enjoyable!

Now, over to you…

Do you have a ‘Blueprint’ experience to share? Maybe it worked well for you – in which case why do you think that was? What do you look for in a mentor or coach? What makes someone a ‘good fit’ for you?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below – I look forward to reading them!

P.S…..

If you have dreams and ideas you want to bring out into the world but are frustrated and overwhelmed because you’re just not sure what you need to DO in order to make those dreams a reality, I’d love to help. I offer FOUR complimentary Clarity Calls each month which are totally without obligation for those of you who are ready to focus on growing your precious business YOUR way!  Request a complimentary session with me here

Money Matters

Money MattersEven though one of THE most rewarding aspects of running our own business is being able to make a living doing what we love, ‘money’- the stuff which enables us to turn our passion into profits – is very often the bit which intimidates us the most!

There are very few people I know who are truly comfortable thinking about money, never mind talking about it! It’s certainly a recurring issue for many of my clients – but it’s important that we get comfortable with money because there’s no getting away from the fact that generating an income and being paid for what we do, is what takes our activity into the realm of truly being a business.

It’s only money

It ‘should’ be simple, right?  Because all we’re talking about is a financial exchange between you and those who want your service or product and yet many of us feel awkward about charging our true worth and would feel much better if clients just handed us what we’re due without money being discussed at all!

Alas, things are rarely simple where money is concerned because in reality it’s so much MORE than a financial transaction. The whole ‘money thing’ is steeped in emotion and tied up with things such as validation, self-worth, value, recognition, approval – and THAT’S why we tend to get heated up about it!

The thing is, when you love what you do so much, the need to make money can easily take a back seat. Maybe you say things along the lines of, ‘oh I’m not motivated by money’ and yet, deep down inside you’re aware of using this as a shield to protect you against something you find uncomfortable or difficult – or both!

So, I think it’s fair to say that many of us have quite a complex attitude to money and all the stuff that goes on in our HEADS can be a huge psychological barrier to overcome. So it’s always worth looking first at the emotional baggage we carry around with us.

Try this quick exercise…

Look at these statements and simply notice your instinctive gut response to each of them.

  • Making a difference is incompatible with financial success.
  • Money is not a motivator for me.
  • The last thing I want to be is a sales person.
  • I don’t have enough money to start/build my business.
  • Making money is hard.
  • Money is complicated.
  • I’m not good with numbers.
  • Successful, prosperous people are different to me.

 

When it comes to money, we all have baggage

Now, can you see from this short exercise, how some of your instinctive responses were positive and empowering while others were negative, fearful or resentful? Well, that’s the ‘baggage’ I was talking about!

The reality is we ALL have baggage when it comes to money but recognising our personal shortcomings and biases around money is the first step to ‘unpacking’ that baggage!

I’m not suggesting this is something you can do instantly because much of the baggage may well have been with you since childhood but being aware of your own ‘money vibration’ is a great place to start. From there you can then explore your beliefs and decide whether you want to hold to them or whether new beliefs about money would serve you better.

Knowing your numbers

As a small-business owner, you wear a lot of different ‘hats’ and your days are filled with a variety of different tasks. But one critical activity often ends up pushed onto the back burner. And what is that critical activity? Getting to grips with the financial fundamentals – the key numbers which will enable you to take your passion and turn it into a profitable business.

  • Do you know precisely how much money you want to earn in a year?
  • How much is ‘enough’?
  • Do you know how many of each of your services/products you need to sell per month to give you the income you want?
  • Do you know how much to charge your clients for the service you provide, in order to make a profit?
  • How many clients do you need per month willing to pay you what you are worth? (Come to that, do you know what you’re worth?)
  • Do you know what your costs and expenses are?
  • After all your costs and expenses, is there at least enough left over to pay you a salary?

 

Now, I know these are ‘financial fundamentals’ but the truth is, you don’t need an in-depth understanding of accounting to know which numbers are critical to the health of your business and as such, deserve your full attention.

If you’re someone who’s a bit intimidated by the financial side of running a business, it could well be that just asking yourself these questions made you squirm. You are certainly NOT alone – many of us feel uncomfortable and experience massive resistance when it comes to tackling these financial fundamentals but spending some time getting to grips with them will free you from their tyranny. It means you can measure your progress, make informed decisions, tell if you’re on track and, importantly, adjust your plans as needed if you’re not.

Money IS undoubtedly an important part of creating a sustainable business. It’s certainly NOT all about the money – autonomy, fulfilment, passion and purpose are likely to be much stronger motivators – but neither are they mutually exclusive and if nothing else, it’s important to make sure you get paid for what you love to do so that you can can continue to do what you love to do!

Over to you!

We all have blocks and beliefs about money – how have these played out in your business? How would you describe your relationship with money?  Is money a difficult subject for you in your business?

I’d love to hear from you so please post your thoughts and comments below….