There’s an ‘ugly frog’ in the room

Having a brainstorming meeting with my good friend Michelle Dalley (www.creatingmedia.co.uk), she asked me what my ‘ugly frog’ was? I had never before heard this expression and Michelle explained that in business everyone has their own ugly frog, something that sits in the corner of the room that you don’t want to face or deal with. For many, its paperwork, you know you have to do it but you will do anything you can to avoid facing it.

Mine is without doubt making sales calls, I love meeting people face to face and am happy to do this all day long but I will do everything possible to avoid making a cold call.

So how do we embrace this and turn our ugly frog into a handsome prince?

Recognising what it is that you regularly try to avoid is the first step, be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and identify what holds you back within your business. Then decide how limiting your ugly frog is, is it affecting how you run your business? If so, can you face it head on and teach yourself to love the job you avoid? Or is it something you know you will never get your head around? If so, outsource! So many small business owners avoid outsourcing to save costs, but if they calculated how much of their own time they wasted on trying to do something that an expert could get done in a fraction of the time, then the cost is negligible.

Making friends with your ugly frog will, without doubt, help you move your business forward. During my time in accountancy, I saw a few good businesses fail because they were run by someone who was an expert in sales and yet a dreadful manager. They could sell and bring new business in all day long, but were incapable of looking after the job once it was brought in. These businesses could have been salvaged and indeed been profitable if the owners had acknowledged their ugly frog and either brought in help to deal with it, or if they could have made themselves tackle it.

So do you have to kiss your frog for it to become a prince? I know that my strengths for securing new business lies in face to face meetings so I have consciously sought out marketing strategies that allow me to meet potential new clients in this way. Networking is a great way for me to do this. However, there are still occasions where I need to make a cold call, for example if a contact has passed me a referral, at times like these I decide to face my fear head on, pick up the phone and make that call. The best thing for me about looking my ugly frog in the eye is that the more I do it, the less ugly it becomes. I doubt I will ever love making cold calls, but it certainly doesn’t limit my business and it is certainly not something that I put off for weeks anymore.

So search out your frog ….. make friends with it ….. maybe even turn it into a handsome prince (or princess)!

Written by Lianne Dupre

Lianne Dupre

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