Today I caught my 7 year old wandering through the house with a pair of scissors. I don’t normally let my 7 year old’s wander around with sharp scissors so I asked her what she was doing. She told me that she was looking for her swimming suit – the one with the floating devices built into it – so she could cut out the floating devices as they were completely pointless now that she knew how to swim and they just made her swimsuit very uncomfortable!
Yeah! Welcome to my other life as a mom of 7 kids ages 7-16!
I asked her who gave her permission to cut the swimsuits up and she told me that she did not need permission since it was her swimsuit. Logical.
Reminds me of when I found out she had cut her hair to get the gum out of her hair. The gum she is not allowed to chew by the way. Yeah, so I guess she did not need permission for that either!
Before you go on thinking how horrible of a mother I am with my 7 year old, that apparently has an addiction to cutting things up – I confiscated the scissors and told her to go find something else to do.
What struck me though about this small interaction with her – I mean the whole conversation took about 3 minutes if that – was her absolute confidence that she could see a problem – come up with a solution – and then implement that solution – without asking for permission from anyone.
Not too long ago, my 16 year old got interested in graphic design. Honestly this was a moment I had long been waiting for – I have never wanted to push my kids into learning a specific marketable skill – I just teach them that they should never work for anyone else and need to have a marketable skill so they can pay their own way through college… Since I won’t be paying it for them! But I digress.
He decided he wanted to learn graphic design and started to actually create some really amazing graphics. As a mom I loved watching his face light up as he told me about all the things he was learning. This graphic below was one of his first designs.
My husband is a missionary pastor here in Puebla, Mexico where we live and have our church. Even though we are in Mexico, our goal is to always do things first class (as much as possible). One of the big gaps in our church for the last few years, is that we have not been able to find anyone to make graphics for the announcements. We have a big screen t.v. that hangs on the wall above the platform area where we show the lyrics during the worship service. One thing I have been waiting on for years is for someone to make graphics about the upcoming events so that the graphics can serve as a visual reminder of what is being said.
My son saw this problem and had come up with a solution – he started to make some graphics for this purpose.
When he showed them to me – I was thrilled to say the least!
Then he said to me that he was hoping that they could get used in church – if he could get permission.
“Permission? From who?” I asked. “Who do you need permission from?”
He thought about it and inferred from the look on my face – that he did not need permission.
Graphics we now have! (As Yoda would say!)
A few years ago, during a conversation with my own mentor, I mentioned a long-term goal I had for my consulting business. At that point, I had 20 or 30 busy clients with smaller projects and felt almost overwhelmed as a result. I wanted to scale back the number of clients I had to five or so per month, and provide each client with a tremendously valuable and focused service.
Instead of giving me a reassuring pat on the back, my mentor asked me why I’d placed that objective on the long-term goal list instead of the short-term goal list.
Why didn’t I reorganize my business that very month? Why not tomorrow?
Initially, the thought of such a sharp change in direction set me on edge: I worried about losing all my clients, about putting food on the table and about paying my staff. What if everything went wrong? In the end, however, I decided to trust my mentor, and within 36 hours I was on the phone with my clients.
I let them know that we had a new business model and going forward we would only be accepting 5 clients at that there was a new minimum monthly requirement.
Then I did what my mentor told me to do. I shut my mouth. After I gave the offer I stopped talking. There is a rule in sales – after an offer is given – the first person to talk – loses. My mentor told me that I needed to stop talking or I would soon be talking them out of doing business with me!
Within 24 hours I had a completely new business. I had 5 clients come in under the new pricing model and then as a bonus – I had a prospect in my funnel that I happened to talk to that same day – and he came in with a contract for $60K.
In literally just 6 phone calls my entire business changed. My LIFE changed.
I began thinking, WHY had I not done this sooner?! Why did I let myself be stuck for SO long undercharging for my services? What was I waiting for?
Then it hit me. I was waiting for permission.
But you know what… your clients are never going to call you up on the phone and tell you, “Hey Nicole… you are seriously undercharging for your services. This month instead of charging us x dollars, charge us this new amount.”
I am so grateful for the mentor that challenged me on my thinking and helped me take that one step that has literally changed the trajectory of my life.
I wonder how many of you are waiting for permission to do the right thing in your business or personal lives? Are you waiting for approval before reshuffling your own company or before reorganizing your department? Are you waiting for clients to come to you and offer you ten times more than you currently charge them—because things don’t generally work that way! You have to take the bull by the horns if you want people to recognize your worth.
Here are my challenges to you:
- Think about the aspects of your business or personal life that you’ve been waiting for someone to give you permission to take action on.
- Give yourself permission to take action on those things. Make those changes. Announce your worth to the world.
When you’re done, tell me all about it. Send me an email or post on my Facebook page, because I’d love to know how you feel, having freed yourself from the need to ask permission to do the right thing.
Now, go out and shine!