Roadblocks – A Nuisance or a Blessing?

roadblockOk, so you stop doing something – you get stuck and can’t move forward. It could go on for just a day or it could go on for months – you keep forgetting to do this task, you try and then get distracted, it just keeps getting put off and put off. What is going on here – you are a professional – you are an expert in your field so why have you got stuck with this task? Well, there could be more to it. There’s something on your mind about this task , its affecting you and until you’ve worked through the issue in your mind , it will stay unresolved.

As a business professional, marketing a business , the best possible professionalism is important to build credibility with the business. Here’s Harry – and he got stumped on a task. Harry is a service professional in the electrical industry and is doing his own marketing to build his business. One activity he developed was to do an audit on his clients needs. Perfect, his clients can find out how they can improve their election usage and reduce costs. Now, with this audit, Harry started to offer to do this audit for free. Seemed a good way to get clients interested – it was a free offering to help prospective clients get interested – a no barrier to entry into his sales cycle. So Harry would go along, hold the 2 hour discussion with his prospective client and then go away and prepare a report. The whole process took about 3 hours and really used Harry’s expertise. The clients got a really useful document – if they took the advice from Harry – it would reduce the cost of the clients electricity bills significantly.

Now, Harry came up to a road block. He just couldn’t get the most recent audit done. He kept putting it off and putting off preparing the report. He had good things to suggest – there was plenty to explain and the client was doing some things beautifully and did need to address areas. So it was a successful audit but the report Harry couldn’t do – he kept putting it off. What was going on?

This problem was on Harry’s mind. He couldn’t get himself motivated to do the report. He had lots of good things to report on and had great advice. What was going on? It was taking a long time to complete.

Harry suddenly realised after going over and over this – putting it off and getting distracted – he realised that it was because he had to do the report for free. All his experience, the details he had spent years on learning – he was just giving to the prospective client without any idea if it would help him get more work with the client or not. Harry hadn’t been valuing his own time and experience. If Harry didn’t value his own time and experience – would the client and would the client even read through the details report?

So what Harry decided to do is to have an introductory discussion with the client to see if an audit could help them – this discussion, a sales conversation, would be free and was easy. If the answer was that the audit would help the client – then Harry set a charge for the audit and gave value to his time. The positive thing is if the audit cost the client – then the client will give more value to the report as well – as they have committed some expenditure to the report.

So, sometimes Roadblocks are a indication of something deeper within us. They are a reflection that we need to step back, have a look at the situation and rethink what is going on. Once, the understanding of the situation is clear and a sort of “Bolt of Lightening” happens and you get some insight into what is going on – you can change the behaviour and finally move forward. Working for yourself is quite a journey and it is a journey where we get to know ourselves – it is just as much a learning process about ourselves as well as the business skills we may need to learn as well.

So Roadblocks – A Nuisance or a blessing? Probably , at the end of the day, they are a Blessing but gee they are a Nuisance until we experience the “Bolt of Lightening”!!

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