Planning what to wear on stage for speaking doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but it really is. Certain colors make you blend in with the background, other colors make you look washed out in cameras for the screens, and some clothes that normally look fine are see-through in bright lights! It’s always tricky to find something that is safe and works, but that you still feel good in.
Several years ago, I thought I had done that for this particular event when I was speaking at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for a huge Sport Clips conference. I wore black wax jeans with a light teal blouse. (Teal, I know. Shocker!)
But after the conference was over and we got some photos back from the client, my leader Suzanne pulled me into her office to recap the event. She showed me the photos and very diplomatically said, “Let’s talk about what wardrobe options you have for the stage.”
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I looked at the photo and instantly saw what she meant. The jeans were entirely too tight. I was in one of my “fluffy” seasons and my clothes weren’t fitting. Instead of picking a better option, I just tried to squeeze into clothes that were clearly too small. To make matters worse, the bright light reflected off my shiny pants and magnified the issue with fabric creasing and pulling in places that there shouldn’t be creasing and pulling! As soon as I saw the picture, I knew what she was kindly trying to address. I said, “I see. I can do better. I’ll do better next time.”
Seeing myself in a less-than-flattering light—figuratively and literally—wasn’t fun, but I really appreciated my leader bringing my attention to it. If she hadn’t made me aware of something I needed to improve on, then I couldn’t improve! I valued her feedback so much and have since become even more intentional about what I choose to wear on stage in front of thousands of people and bright lights.
As a business owner, getting feedback is essential. You already have the tough job of wearing so many different hats and juggling so many areas of your business. After all, you’re the boss, and you’re also in charge of the marketing department, production, shipping, budgets, scheduling, administration and more! So if sales are down or, just the opposite, you can’t keep up with your customers and are experiencing burnout, you may not know where to even begin to make things better.
That’s why getting honest feedback and gaining awareness are so important. Sometimes we get so deep in the weeds that we can’t see our own weaknesses and trouble spots.
In an article I read from Harvard Business Review, Anthony K. Tjan writes, “ . . . there is one quality that trumps all, evident in virtually every great entrepreneur, manager, and leader. That quality is self-awareness.”
See, if we want to become better entrepreneurs, we need to examine our blind spots and become aware of our weaknesses. Just as I learned something as silly as how to improve my stage wardrobe, we only get better when we’re aware of where we can grow. Yes, taking constructive criticism can feel vulnerable. But it’s also necessary and helpful.
This is why I’ve incorporated the Business Health Check into the Business Boutique Academy. Business Health Check walks you through an assessment of your business, where you’ll respond to statements like, “I see repeat customers coming back to my business,” and, “I worked the number of hours I planned to work this week.”
It’s a valuable, in-depth assessment that will ask you questions and bring things to your attention that you probably haven’t even thought about. Once you’ve finished filling it out, you’ll receive a personalized Business Score in the categories of Marketing and Sales, Time Management, Operations, and Money Management—as well as an Overall score.
But here’s the best part: you’ll also get custom feedback and advice to help you improve your business in areas where you scored the lowest! Y’all, this is a game changer! I’m so excited about this tool and what it can do for your business.
As a member of the Business Boutique Academy, you’ll be able to take the Business Health Check once each month. So after you’ve completed the assessment for May, you’ll want to implement the action steps and advice based on your score. Then, take it again in June to see if you’ve improved and what you can do next to continue growing!
You can join the Academy here!