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The Surprising Secret About Growth and Change

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Innovation and change drive business growth, but there’s one piece about growth and change that business owners and entrepreneurs often overlook. It’s not the most fun or glamorous piece, but if you recognize and accept it, the payoff is huge. This is particularly crucial for self-employed business owners when there’s little to no separation between yourself and your business. When your level of success equates to how much you have personally developed. I call it Growth Jet Lag, and when you know how to navigate it, you set yourself up for lasting success.

The essential nature of change

The past several months have been a master class in change and adaptability. For some, myself included, it’s been a time of gaining incredible clarity. This sharpened understanding and focus necessarily brings about change. Positive change, but change nonetheless. 

For others, it’s been about pivoting or evolving. Maybe you made changes to how you work or the services you provide. Maybe you had to reinvent yourself or find your way back to solid ground financially. While these changes may have been born out of necessity, they are still a positive step forward. 

It stands to reason that if you’re doing what needs to be done, it will pay off in the end. But have you noticed there seems to be a gap between the doing and the payoff? 

You may be more confident than ever that you’re on the right track, yet you’re left waiting for the results. You’re waiting for people to notice the changes you’ve made. You’re waiting for the work to pour in. You’re waiting, and it’s frustrating, because you’ve done the hard work of gaining clarity and making changes. So what gives?

“In life, change is inevitable. In business, change is vital.” – Warren Bennis

The waiting game

I’ve seen many entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners during this time of unexpected change define their clear brand message. Others have crystalized what’s most marketable about their business and created a clear path forward. Many business owners have made necessary changes in their businesses and their branding to stay relevant in order to move forward. Even during these challenging times. 

And then they wait. They wait for more clients to show up. They wait for the world to notice. They wait for all the changes they made to make a difference. They wait because of a very real phenomenon called Growth Jet Lag. Without knowing what Growth Jet Lag is and what’s going on, too many people will get discouraged by the delayed results. And the last thing I want is for anyone to give up after working so hard to make positive changes. 

Factoring growth jet lag into change

Growth Jet Lag is what happens between you making changes in your life and business and people actually noticing them. For some period of time after you’ve evolved, rebranded, or made changes, it will seem like no one is noticing. In reality, they just haven’t caught up yet. 

You can sort of look at it as an algorithm. A universal algorithm that scans the entire world. How many times would it have to pass or scan before it picked up every little change? 

When I started my podcast several years ago, someone gave me the wise advice to always release episodes on a consistent basis. Same day and same time every week. Sticking with a consistent day and time of week makes it easier for the iTunes algorithm to pick up the new episodes.

The same is true here. For some unknown time after you’ve made changes or gained clarity, you need to just keep going. Consistently. Keep going until there are enough passes of the algorithm if you will, for it to be noticed. Factoring Growth Jet Lag into the changes you make in business and in life will motivate you to hang in until the results kick in.

Accepting change takes time

There are lots of examples from personal life that mirror the business reality of it. Think about when someone breaks trust with you. They can make the changes in themselves to regain your trust. They can vow to never break your trust again. But it’s still going to take some time and consistent behavior before you really accept it and rebuild trust. It’s not like someone can just proclaim, “Ok, I’ve changed!” and everyone around them is going to believe it.

I remember when I was divorcing many years ago, getting great advice from a therapist about telling our three kids. She said, “Now remember, you and your wife have known this was coming for a long time. You’ve been far more aware of the problems. To your kids, they are just finding out. Give them time to catch up.” Such valuable advice. 

“Change is the heartbeat of growth.” – Scottie Somers

Giving your clients a chance to catch up

Your prospective clients need that same grace. The same opportunity to catch up. When you make business changes, gain clarity, or pivot, it’s going to take time for the world around you to catch up. How much time will they need? There’s no magic number, but in my experience it often ends up being 3-6 months. Again, there’s no definite amount of time here. Just based on years of coaching small business owners. My hope is that by knowing this and expecting this to be the case, you’ll have the patience to persevere. 

I know it can seem like a lifetime when you’re so excited about moving forward. You’ve done the right things. You’ve made the right changes. You’ve gained clarity about the work you want to do and who you want to serve. 

That’s awesome, and it’s the most important work you can do. Now you just have to wait a bit and maybe a bit longer for people to catch up. All that remains is to be consistent and keep going.

Don’t give up on the business you love if the changes you’ve made aren’t being noticed yet. Wait for the world to catch up instead. You’ll be glad you did. 

Small business consultant, and speaker, Jeffrey Shaw is the author of LINGO: Discover Your Ideal Customer’s Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible and The Self-Employed Life: Business and Personal Development Strategies That Create Sustainable Success. Jeffrey's TEDxLincoln Square talk is featured on TED.com and he's the host of the top-rated podcast, The Self-Employed Life. Please connect with Jeffrey at www.jeffreyshaw.com or Instagram.

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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