Have you ever heard the story about the shoemaker’s kids that have holes in their shoes? More than once, I’ve poked fun at my carpenter husband who is out building homes for other people and has no time to fix small things at our own house. Sure, if the roof had a hole, he’d call in a crew and have a new roof up in a heartbeat, but when the cabinet door hinge is broken or a piece of molding comes loose or something, it stays that way until it becomes a bigger problem, or until I fix it first. (There’s a reason he hides the power tools from me!) I call him the shoemaker, because if he made shoes for other people, surely we’d have none.
Unfortunately, that’s the case in many businesses. We’re so busy doing things for our clients that we don’t take care of our own businesses. This was painfully obvious to me this morning, as I was looking at a client’s LinkedIn page. I took a look at mine, and while it does the trick, it pales in comparison to someone who doesn’t update profile pages for a living. I’ve fallen into the same trap with Facebook and Twitter. I’m rocking clients’ pages, but posting on my own infrequently, and I know better.
Thankfully, I have great references and lots of referrals, so it doesn’t affect business too much, but a client who hasn’t heard of me is going to look at the current state of my social media pages and think I have no idea what I’m doing! I’m sure that some – if not most – of you are the same way. If you’re a VA, how do your social media pages look? If you’re a business coach, does your business reflect what you’re teaching others? Are you a shoemaker too?
I think there’s a tendency for us to think that the task is so easy it’s trivial, so we’ll get to it “later”. Only later rarely comes. We get busy with our clients and our families and life in general, and before you know it, a year has come and gone and you still haven’t taken care of that pesky profile edit or that webinar you were meaning to do to bring in more clients. We need to prioritize our own businesses – essentially, we need to be our own clients. No one knows our value better than we do, and if we have shoes with holes in them, it’s going to be harder to convince someone that they want us fixing theirs!
So, in line with setting goals for the New Year, I’m going to prioritize being my own client, because I need to make sure that I’m consistently working on my own business, even when I’m busy working on everyone else’s. And that may mean that I have to hire some help so that I have time for it all, but at least my shoes will be in good shape!
How about you? Are you a shoemaker?