When you look at your monthly, quarterly, and year-to-date earnings, what do you see? What do you notice beyond the numbers and whether they are going up or down?
This stems from both first-hand experience and working with a broad spectrum of clients for as long as I have. I am continuously reminded that you and I can look at something over and over, yet miss some important details.
“Hidden” in your numbers is so much information and insight about the patterns, shifts, and trends that are driving the results of your business. But, far too often, for myself and my clients and colleagues, we discover these patterns, shifts, and trends by accident.
Maybe a question from a client prompts you to search your financial records, and this task uncovers a detail about a referral source you hadn’t noticed before.
Maybe in the process of doing an exercise given to you by your coach, something that you’ve been looking at for months is now glaringly obvious! (This happened to me courtesy of my coach, Charlie Gilkey.)
Interestingly, I find we encounter these “surprises” when our attention has been captured either because things have shifted or stalled. In either scenario, a blindspot is revealed.
The Value of Blindspots
And once a blindspot is revealed, how do you go about turning this newfound awareness about a weakness, limitation, or vulnerability into something advantageous?
Regardless of what you do, how, or for whom, ultimately, your job is as a “problem solver.”
When you ask from a place of curiosity, you:
- are able to better understand more about the blindspot (aka: the problem you can now name), what may have led to it, and what to possibly do next;
- can look at your current situation and your data on hand with a new set of eyes, and/or work to gather additional information related to the problem you’ve identified, along with possible solutions;
- can reassess the assumptions you’ve been making about your business overall, and more specifically about your clients and their needs and desires and how your various offers address them;
- can clarify and perhaps recommit to your goals and objectives – even if a new game-plan is required;
- can reevaluate past choices benchmarked to the results at the moment and use that to create an updated “T-account” of the pros and cons of the new choices you are considering;
- and so much more…
Discovering a blindspot can feel a bit dispiriting, initially. At least this has been my experience, anyway. Because my initial reaction is often, “how the heck did I miss this?!”
But once I get past the shock of remembering I don’t have all the answers (wink, wink), I’m able to put my creative thinking hat on and get to work.
I can take a more dispassionate stance as I look at my numbers.
I can use the numbers I see and ask questions like:
- What’s driving my current results?
- What’s selling well?
- What isn’t selling well?
- What do I need to do differently (especially if it scares me)?
- Who is raising their hand to work with me?
And for each of these questions, I can go a bit further by asking how does this compare with what I expected and/or the historical pattern to which I’ve become accustomed.
This is how I go from seeing to noticing.
Plus, this exercise helps me check myself and the meaning I’ve been assigning to my numbers/results.
Here’s the interesting thing: I am having an incredible year, financially. But it is not playing out – in any way – the way I thought it would. Of course, I am beyond grateful. However, I didn’t initially notice the shift that is happening in terms of what is driving the results of my business.
The Learning is Continuous
I’ve had similar seeing vs. noticing ahas in the past; several times, in fact. Each time, though, it feels like the first time! 🙂
And, each time has led to a major breakthrough and a choice to change how I do something. The last time helped me make a decision to stop offering a particular coaching option, because I discovered I was actually losing money on that offer.
It’s this kind of insight you can get when you invest the time and energy to review your sales data through the lens of not just what is selling or not, but also why?
The “why” can help you identify trends within your business, e.g., demand for your offers or the change in the “seasonality” of your sales. It can also help you identify trends beyond you/your business, e.g., what’s going on more broadly in your industry, and with your clients and perhaps within their industry.
Doing an earnings analysis of your monthly, quarterly, and year-to- date earnings involves much more than just reviewing the numbers and checking boxes.
To unlock the hidden potential of your business, develop the habit of asking, “What am I missing?”
It’s somewhat of a reflexive question when you are navigating a challenging situation. However, you can experience amazing power when you lean into this question even when things are going well, too!
p.s. I’m not convinced the contrast between seeing and noticing can be avoided entirely. But we can benefit from its recognition, if we are open.
ICYMI: This summer I am offering Half-Day VIP Business & Financial Coaching Sessions. Doing an investing analysis (aka: assessing your operations) is part of how we will spend our half-day together. Looking particularly at your offers, strategy, team and technology to ensure they are delivering the attributes your clients & customers value. Click here to book your session.