Are You Being Proactive or Reactive?

Be proactive. Be, be proactive. Okay, I know you probably can’t tell but no, I was not a cheerleader. First of all, thank you so much for joining me for this episode. Today we are talking about are you being proactive, or reactive? This topic I feel like needs to be discussed. Because it’s so easy to find yourself in your business just reacting to things. I think a lot of times when you start out, you have this big plan of all these things you want to do. And then once you’re in the heap of it, it’s like, “Oh, crap, okay, what now? What’s happening? What do I do okay, this this opportunity came up, oh, this situation came up.” So you’re kind of just always like, “Okay, let me let me handle what’s happening,” instead of saying, “Okay, what do I want to happen next?”

I want to talk about a little bit about the differences and what these two things could look like. So just that you can kind of get the idea and can really examine yourself. So let’s start with proactive.

Proactive is when you’re doing things to make certain things happen. You’re answering questions before they’re asked, you’re solving problems for they arise. You’re making calls, you’re launching your programs or your services. You’re reaching out to potential partners. You’re doing the work before the work is required of you. Another example of this for someone who has a business and it may just be them right now setting up SOPs (standard operating procedures) inside their  business when it’s just them because they know, one day they’re going to need to have those in order to bring on team members. Versus the opposite, which is reactive, which is you’re like, “Oh my god, I need some help,” you bring someone on and then you realize, you don’t have any systems set up in place. Even though you have habits and rituals about the way that you do things, you don’t have those written down or organized or recorded in a way that you can pass on to someone else. So you’re reacting to this new situation of having someone on team and you’re trying to create all that then, instead of doing it proactively to where as you’re setting it up for yourself, and you’re seeing what works, recording that and having it in place so that you can pass it along or share it eventually.

It’s really important that you are comfortable and good at doing both of these things. being reactive is not a bad thing, but it can’t be your only means of operating your business. You have to be reactive. When a client has an emergency you have to be reactive. When you just wrote eight launch emails and the computer crashes, you have to be reactive. When life comes up, when there’s a family emergency, you have to move things around. It’s important to be able to be reactive, and to adjust to situations and to be able to think on your feet. But it’s also really important that you make time where you can be proactive when it comes to your business and really your life. It’s important to think about what you want and how you’re going to get there. It’s important to think about what you don’t want and how you’re going to avoid it.

Being proactive may also kind of look like having strategy meetings with yourself or with your team and saying, “Okay, what is our what is our goal for the next 90 days? What’s our goal for the next six months? What are we going to do to get there? How are we going to set this up? Oh, I really I heard that this person is looking for a client. I know that I have a friend who knows them, or they’re looking for whatever service you provide.”

Oh, I have a friend who knows them. Let me reach out and see if they would be willing to give me a warm introduction,” versus, “Oh, my friend knows I do that maybe they’ll they’ll bring up my name.” No, that’s not proactive. Again, because there’s two sides to everything, I’ll say I’m a big fan of referrals. A large percent of my client book is from referrals. And the reason I was able to leave my nine to five. But you can’t rely on those by themselves. You have to be able to go out there and show that you’re good, you’re willing to fight and that you’re hungry for the things that you want in your life and in your business. And by taking these little steps, yeah, you may need some help along the way, yeah, the plan may change but it’s really, really important to be able to say, “Hey, what am I doing and why am I doing it? And what am I trying to get out of it? What is the endgame here?” It doesn’t have to be the end game forever. It can just literally be the end game for the next 90 days, or even the next month or the week. What is it that you want to accomplish when you go to bed Sunday night and say,”This week was a great week. I got X, Y and Z done, which was what I had intended to do On Monday, I got that taken care of.”

It’s just really important to find the balance of being able to deal with situations as they arise. But then also set yourself up for success and protect yourself from potential failures or lessons learned. What I mean by that is, when you think proactively, it’s not just about planning, how to make good things happen, it’s how to avoid things that may not be so good or may not feel so good. For example, if you’re working with a client, and this is something that comes up a lot, as a project manager, the client will want to do something and it’s my job to break down the steps to that and decide what tasks needs to be done and a timeline for it. But sometimes the client may not put something into place or they may have not thought about a certain thing and say, “Hey, well what about this or I think this is a good idea, or I know that you want to send out voicemails to people. But you don’t currently have a platform that for that I did some research here, three different options. Here’s the price points…”  You’re being proactive so that it’s not at the last minute, you’re having to do research for something that the client didn’t realize that they were going to need. And you don’t want to go completely overboard with doing things that may be helpful. But you do want to provide that service that’s above and beyond and also kind of save yourself in the long run. It’s way more convenient to spend, you know, 20 minutes doing research on something that you know will probably come up then having to rush and get it done five minutes before.

I really wanted to make the solo episodes a lot shorter so you could just digest them I wanted to ask serious questions and just give you some food for thought. So I really want you to stop and think about look at your look at your calendar this week.

This is the assignment for the week, look at your calendar and see if it has proactive items in it? Or is it kind of open because you know that you’ll be reacting to…. “this client wants to hop on a call, oh, this client wants me to write this content, oh, this will happen, this will happen.” But what is it that you can do? So you can set yourself up? Some examples of that maybe if you’re a copywriter, what do you typically write for a client each week? Can you maybe start an outline, draft up some ideas? Do do some research ahead of time? Is there anything that you can do before you’re having to be reactive to them sending you information at the last minute? If you’re a virtual assistant, could you possibly be integrating tasks or setting things up before your client actually asked you, because you know that this is a routine thing? Or could you do some research that will make your job easier or make things easier for your client? So just think of different ways that you can be proactive in your business? Is it creating your SOPs? Are you a team of one and you feel like you’re growing and you know that it’s time to bring someone on or that it will be soon? Can you maybe start recording your task and how you do things and how you’d like things done in your business? So just stop and ask yourself, are you being proactive or are you just being reactive, and finding ways that you can be proactive this week? Part two of the assignment: Check in with yourself, ask like,look at the last time that you had to be reactive to something if you are a proactive person, and how you responded to that. It was there a way that you could have responded better? Could you have kept your cool better? Could you have, you know, not let your anxiety overtake you in that reactive situation? Was it a situation where you let it really stress you out that you were being reactive or even upset you or make you angry towards your client? Or you felt like it was a huge deal, and they didn’t think it was that big of a deal? So just ask yourself those questions. Ask yourself how you react to being reactive. Because that can be a huge trigger for a lot of people with anxiety.

I know for me, sometimes when clients come up with things and it’s last minute and I feel rushed, I get irritated, I get stressed out. My hands sweat. I feel this sense of doom. And I mean, that’s a part of anxiety and depression, but be really be aware of like how you respond to those reactive things and how you can set yourself up to be proactive to avoid them, and then also how you cope with them when they do happen. And sometimes what that may look like is setting boundaries around reactive situations with people saying, “Okay, I understand you have an emergency  a lack of preparation on your part doesn’t warrant an emergency on mine.” So, I’m gonna leave you with that today.

Your assignments:

  • Ask yourself how you being proactive in your business this week, what you have planned, what are you doing to set yourself up for success?
  • Ask yourself how you handle yourself and reactive situations and where you can avoid being put in reactive situations.

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