When you have a business – any kind of business – there are two ways to grow:
- You can tinker away and make changes to accommodate growth in little bits as you go along
- You can shut the whole thing down and start over
Most people do the first. It’s easier to pick away at what you have and make little tweaks and improvements here and there, fixing up your business as you go along. You add a new service. You fiddle with your prices. You change a few lines of your web copy. You tinker with your sidebar a bit.
You pick at your band-aid. And everyone knows that only stretches out the pain until you finally manage to pull it off.
The problem is that picking at a band-aid is easier than grabbing the edge and ripping it off your tender skin. That hurts. There’s gonna be a yelp, no matter what. And most people don’t like to submit themselves to a scary, sudden spike of pain, even if they know they’ll be sighing in relief a few seconds later.
Yeah, we like to draw the pain out. It still hurts to pick away at a band-aid, but the pain is much more manageable and at a level we can tolerate easily. We can deal with it. You could even say some are suckers for pain – drawing out that self-punishment and ooohing and ahhing and twisting on chairs gets attention, especially if you have an audience watching.
Another reason most people don’t rip off band-aids in one fell swoop is because they’re scared. Scared it’ll hurt more than they thought. Scared they shouldn’t take off the band-aid yet – what if the wound isn’t healed? Maybe they should just leave it… And they’re even scared taking the band-aid off makes things worse. Better to stay with that band-aid until it falls off on its own.
The same thing happens in business. We don’t make big moves because we’re afraid of what’ll happen if we do. That we weren’t ready. That maybe we can’t handle the next level. That ripping off that band-aid was a mistake. That maybe it won’t work and we’ll need to go back to what we were.
Kind of stupid.
Your business wants to get better, and fear holds you back.
Know what else holds you back? That band-aid. It keeps you where you don’t want to be anymore. You’re busy and distracted fixing and patching and tinkering and always working on your damned business, when you could be working on great projects at higher-levels of income and bringing on new clients and better opportunities.
When you pick at your business band-aid, it takes you longer – much longer – to get where you want to be. And it’s more painful, in the long term. More stressful. Less solid. More uncertain. Less secure. Pick, pick, pick, pick, pick…
It’s also stupidly distracting. Here you are, wishing you could just get out there and do all those awesome things you want to do, but you’re stuck trying to pick away at this band-aid.
Rip it off.
Want to see a good example of someone who has done just that? Head over to Ittybiz.com, where Naomi Dunford grabbed her business band-aid and hauled it off. She’s selling every product she has and closing shop. Taking them off the market. For good.
Why? Because she’s sick of picking at the band-aid. It’s holding her back. The small products that don’t earn much are keeping her where she doesn’t want to be. She’s stuck at a small biz level and can’t move up. She can’t do big, awesome things with her business because everything’s holding her back.
And she needs to fix it. Work on it. Reinvent everything.
So she took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the edge and ripped.
Sure, it hurt. Sure, she’ll going to worry whether she’s done the right thing (even though she knows damned well she has). Sure, she’s scared about the future (even though she shouldn’t be). And sure, she’ll have a lot of work on her plate as she reinvents Ittybiz to be the amazing business it’s going to be.
But she did it. She didn’t talk about it for ages and she didn’t twist herself in knots wondering if she should. She thought, she decided, and she did it.
I admire her for that. Naomi consciously took the business decision to stop picking, get rid of the band-aid, stop her world for a while and buckle down to bring on Act II. She’s pushing the pause button so she can reach the next level of her business dreams. Not by picking away at them a little bit every day. That’ll take forever.
No one has forever.
So if there’s somewhere you’d like to be with your business, quit picking at the band-aid. Take a few days off and think about what you’d like to do with your business and where you want to be. Plan. Prepare. Decide on your products, your services, your target market, your web image, and your goals.
Then just do it. Stop your world. Rip the band-aid off and put your business on hold for a week, a month, or maybe even two months. Do all the work you have to do to heal up what’s broken, fix what needs fixing and get your whole business set and ready for the next level.
It’ll hurt, yes. But when you make this decision, you’re making the decision to help your business heal and be even better than it was. You’re saying yes to giving yourself all the time, focus, energy and space you need to fix it all up and bring your business to where you want to be.
And then you’ll be all set to step out and re-launch… band-aid free.