Your time, your kindness and your No, is what creates success

a cup of self love

The Three Secrets to Building a Beautiful Business and Life

self esteem and kindness

Have you ever felt overwhelmed, frustrated or stuck in your business? My guess is that most of us have, and, if you haven’t, then you’re either knee-deep in denial or some kind of entrepreneurial unicorn. (If you fit into the latter category, feel free to move smugly on to another blog post… but not before you send me your secrets!)

Learning to say No is the most important skill a business owner must learn
When we first start out on our entrepreneurial journey, we’re told that success is all about the sensible, hardnosed principles and business buzzwords that you’ve likely heard a bazillion times: visioning, leadership, delegation, systems, planning, KPIs, and more. Of course, all of these things are crucially important, but there are three key principles that matter even more.

Three Unrecognised Factors for Success

I believe there are three undervalued and almost unrecognised factors for business success that are far more important than all those clichéd examples put together. These are the secrets to getting unstuck, stepping out of overwhelm and finally building the beautiful business and life that you deserve.

So, what must you learn?

  1. Your time is your business’ most valuable asset.
  2. It’s okay to say “no”, often.
  3. Be kind to yourself.

And that, my friends, is it.

Simple, right? Too simple for some of your sceptical minds, I’m sure. In fact, I can feel the eye rolls and smirks burning through the screen, but don’t write my theory off just yet! Your beautiful business (and life) is on the other side of listening to, and applying, what I’m about to share.

Maximising Time: Your Most Valuable Asset

In my experience, most business owners believe their most valuable asset is their staff, customers, intellectual property, stock, equipment or buildings. All of these things (or people) are incredibly valuable, for sure, but time is the only asset that is truly limited. You can never get more time – no matter how much you try to beg, borrow, hire, buy or steal.

Your time – spent fully focused on the stuff that really matters – is an asset almost as rare as rocking horse droppings.

In order to build a beautiful business and life, you must learn to become greedy with your time. You need to repeatedly check in and ask yourself questions like:

  1. Is this thing the best use of my time right now?
  2. What would happen if I didn’t do this thing?
  3. Is there someone else who could be doing this thing instead of me?
  4. What would happen if I did this thing later?
  5. If I do this thing now, what am I sacrificing?

Trust me: it pays to train yourself to ask these questions, often. Make it a habit. You will always have a “to do” list longer than your arm. You will always have more demands on your time than you can physically fit into a good day’s work. That is, of course, if you aren’t an aforementioned entrepreneurial unicorn (in which case, why are you still reading?!).

In short: learn to do only the stuff that matters most.

Saying “Yes” to Saying No

There is no more important skill for a business owner than knowing how and when to say “no”. Why? For starters, it will help you out immensely with achieving point 1 (maximising your time), but it will also pave the way for making your business stand out from the crowd.

Marketing 101 says that every business needs a unique selling point (USP). That’s why it pays to know your fortes and play to them by turning other opportunities down. After all, “a jack of all trades is the master of none”. Focus on your fortes and you’ll reap the rewards of presenting a highly differentiated brand.

Here’s some homework to get you started. Practice saying “no” in front of the mirror and then make a pact with yourself to say it for real at least once this week – or better yet, today! Remember, it is possible to say “no” respectfully, clearly, calmly and without feeling guilty. This brings me to my next point…

Less Guilt, More Kindness

Do you frequently beat yourself up for procrastinating? Believe you’re inherently disorganised, forgetful and lazy? Think your time management SUCKS? Does a cruel voice in your head frequently tell you that you’re not good enough?

You’re not alone. Absolutely everybody (except psychopaths!) has that critical inner voice. Everyone lets their worries, anxieties and irrational feelings of guilt get the best of them sometimes. However, us business owners are particularly hard on ourselves. In fact, I often jokingly say that small business owners are the most guilt-ridden people on the planet because I hear these kinds of self-deprecating words so often in my coaching practice.

That’s why I saved this particular pearl of wisdom for last, hoping you would remember and digest it well. In my humble opinion, being kind to yourself is not only the most powerful antidote to self-sabotage, but your fastest path back to JOY.

Being kind to yourself is not just the most effective way out of feeling stuck or overwhelmed in your business and your life – it’s the only way.

When we allow negativity and feelings of guilt to take hold, we give ourselves ever bigger burdens to carry. We set the bar impossibly high and then we punish ourselves when we don’t hit the mark. We lead ourselves to the paralysing place of overwhelm with too many tasks to complete in too little time and no plausible end in sight.

An overwhelmed brain is not pretty. It’s extremely inefficient, scientifically proven to underperform at every level and an enormous waste of your incredibly valuable time. And while the devil on your shoulder is, in fact, a protective mechanism designed to keep you safe, that doesn’t mean it ain’t a giant pain in the arse. So, how do we overcome it?

The good news is that you are completely capable of dialling down the negative voice and freeing yourself of imposter syndrome (feeling inadequate despite your success). Our brains are surprisingly malleable, and it IS possible to break the habit of a lifetime. Begin by noticing it and catching yourself in the act. Be inquisitive about where the self-doubt could be coming from. Remain compassionate, judgement-free and patient with your perfectly imperfect self while you reframe those pesky misperceptions and then continue on your merry way feeling 10 stone lighter!

I promise you; this soft, cuddly kindness stuff is the most crucial and hard-hitting work of all. Silencing (or at least muting because it’s a work in progress for all of us, including me!) that inner critic provides the space for creativity to flourish and a new level of clarity and productivity to arise. Plus, as soppy as it sounds, you have every right and reason to give yourself a pat on the pack. You’ve made it this far. You’re alive. You’re learning. You’re growing.

Your Permission Slip

So, here’s your permission slip to stop, give yourself a break and smell the roses. Look at what you’ve already achieved. Tell that little voice in your head to kindly move along because you’ve got this, and you ARE good enough. Now, make a note of my TLDR summary below and then TAKE ACTION on the good stuff today.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or stuck and you want to build a beautiful business and life, you must learn to:

  1. Accept that your time is your business’ most valuable asset – and act accordingly.
  2. Say “no” regularly, calmly, respectfully and clearly.
  3. Be kind to yourself, above all else.

This shit works. I promise you.

Hungry for more hot tips? Subscribe to my emails and get easy-to-digest, one-minute pearls of business wisdom delivered straight to your inbox each week.

More about these topics:

AY: Mental health and wellbeing for small business owners

A healthy small business needs a healthy mind

If you want to build a beautiful business, learn to become kind to yourself.

To build a healthy business you must look after your own health and wellbeing as the business owner first

In 2019, the Federal Department of Jobs and Small Business launched a project to improve the support of small business owners in the areas of mental health and wellbeing.

I was asked to take part in this project in various ways:

  • I attended and spoke at the departments national roadshow Small Business Fairs in Launceston and Hobart
  • I took part in one of 4 workgroups run by the department on improving the support for small business owners in mental health and wellbeing
  • I took part in the creating of 5 videos by the department on mental health and wellbeing in small business.

You can read more about the project on the departments website here

The 5 videos follow below. Besides myself, the other coaches involved in the project were:

The pressure points for mental health and wellbeing for small business owners:
Healthy mind in a helthy small business, personal health and wellbeing for small business owners
Managing stress for small business owners
Stress overwhelm and bad health routines lead to business inefficiency and mental health issues for small business owners
Stress, overwhelm, balance and wellbeing in family business
Roland hanekroot from new perspectives coaching, business and life coach talking about mental health and well being for family business owners
Pearls of wisdom about mental health and wellbeing for small business owners:
roland hanekroot talking about mental health and wellbeing for small business owners

Why I don’t believe in business coaching and why it works

Why coaching works

Why business coaching works captain the in the storm

Don’t talk to me about the storms and the reefs, Coach,  just tell me we’ll be safe

I was working with a business – life coaching client recently, let’s call him Peter. Peter set a big Goal for himself as part of our work together.

Peter’s Goal was so big, in fact, that I was bothered by it. You see, I know from experience, that setting Goals that are too big are likely to have a demotivational effect and worse, can lead to disappointment.

I challenged Peter and asked him if he felt confident the Goal was realistic, and if he felt he could make it happen in the time we had. Peter was adamant. Although he wasn’t sure if he could do it, he wanted to stretch himself and “set it out there”. Peter has done a lot of self-development work and he believes in a version of the “Law of Attraction”, which loosely states that you get what you focus on in life and in business.

Goal blown out of the water

3 Weeks later, Peter rang me unexpectedly. He’d just signed a new contract that meant he’d blown his Goal out of the water two weeks early.

Wonderful news, very exciting and I truly feel Peter deserves every dollar of that success, because he is one of the nicest guys I know.

Peter said: “There you go, I knew it, when you set it out there, the Universe will provide”.

And it’s such a comforting idea, isn’t it? The idea that there is some greater power that’s going to look after you in your time of need. It’s lovely that Peter felt confirmed in his beliefs. It will no doubt help him to remain motivated to move forward in his business and that was his biggest problem prior to coming to see me.

But it confirmed my growing confusions.

I don’t believe

You see, I do not believe in the “Law of Attraction”, or it’s many variants. I don’t even believe in traditional Goal setting anymore. As a matter of fact, there are a whole bunch of foundational principles of my profession of coaching that I have stopped believing in. Consequently, in the past years, I’ve adjusted the way I work with my clients to rely only on well-established scientific principles.

And my clients achieve great things in their businesses and their lives and I am excited and proud of the work I do with them. But the experience with Peter recently makes me wonder if I’m doing the right thing for my clients.

You see, Peter is an old hand at being coached and mentored. I’ve known him for years and we have done a lot of work together. Also, Peter moves in a world where he comes across self-development gurus of many ilks all the time, and he’s convinced by the self-development messages he hears from them. What’s more, Peter and I have become good friends over the years, so he felt comfortable enough with me to push back and set the Goal he wanted to set. It worked out great for him, but not everyone has Peter’s confidence or clarity.

The many contradictions

It’s all very well for me to question myself and my beliefs. I don’t believe anything in life or business is ever black and white, there are no simple rules. Here’s just a few of those contradictions in business:

  • A business must make profit or else it’s a hobby… but… Making profit is not the Purpose of business.
  • A business must have a plan to move forward… but… Planning is guessing
  • Goalsetting is important… but… Goals are not destinations, just directions.
  • Great leaders are fiercely ambitious… but… Not for themselves
  • Systemisation is critical for developing your business… but… I’d hate to live in a world where all restaurants are McDonalds.
  • Knowing how to “close” a sale is a key skill in business… but… The most successful people in business and in life “Give without expectation of return”.
  • Growing your business is fine… but… Don’t focus on growth (focus on delivery instead).
  • Change your business, make it grow, make more money… but… Not unless you yourself change and grow first.

Life is full of contradictions such as those. Sure, it would be easier if it wasn’t and we all like the idea of winning the lottery, but even winning the lottery turns out not to be as great as we thought. (Read about lottery winners and happiness here)

And so I believe questioning myself is healthy, it keeps me sharp and pushing the boundaries. But it’s not necessarily what my clients need from me.

The shortest route

business coaching The experience with Peter has shown me that most clients simply want to get from point A to point B, via the shortest route possible, with as few detours as possible. And they look for someone to help them get there.

Maybe, when they come across me, they hear my questioning, my lack of certainty and start to wonder if getting my help might take them up the scenic route to point B, and so they’ll move on to someone who promises to take them up the freeway instead.

And that’s a shame, because the thing is, I know I transform people’s lives and businesses. I have literally hundreds of past clients who will attest to that fact.

So what I need to do is to communicate that you can trust me to take you on an amazing journey and adventure, and that like the captain of the ship, I know how to handle the storms when they come up. You don’t particularly want me to talk about the reefs we might hit under way, you just want to know we’ll be safe.

And this blog post?… It’s doing exactly the opposite… isn’t it?… Ah well, Peter loves me anyway.

Would you like to download my free 12 Question Cheat-sheet to help you find your next Coach? Click here.

Further reading and research

You may be interested in taking my ”Are you ready for Change” survey. It takes 10 minutes to complete and I promise it will give you plenty of food for thought. I’ve written more about Change (with a capital ”C”) here.

Here is the link to my webpage about all my coaching, mentoring, guidance and training services

There is a lovely guest post from one of my clients, Geoff Anderson from Sonic Sight about his experience with business coaching here

Here is an article I wrote about how to go about finding the right coach for you and here is a link to my webpage about all forms of business support that are available to small business owners.

And here are three articles on how to go about finding the right business coach on Inc.com , on Entrepreneur.com and on Fastcompany.com. All worth a good read if you’re considering the idea of getting a business coach soon.

More about my own coaching background here

 

AYW Business Coach for Studios and Workshops

Studios, Salons and Workshops

Watch this quick video in which I talk about some of the unique challenges that come with building a business that operates like a salon, studio or a workshop… on the face of it very different kind of businesses but there is also a really specific set of common factors.

Over the past 11 years I have worked with many owners of what I’ll refer to here as Studios. Studio business are all about having jobs booked in on a schedule and having to complete the job inside the schedule. In that way a hair or nail salon operates quite similarly to a mechanics workshop. The Studio business model has all kinds of unique challenges.

“Working with Roland has been the most productive time I have ever dedicated to myself and my business.”

(Anna Field, The Paddington Beauty Room)

Does this sound like you?

These are some of the things I often hear owners of Studios, Salons and Workshops say:

  • “As soon as I’ve finished training my staff, and they start to work out well, they leave me again.”
  • “I can never know how busy the day or the week is going to be, rostering my staff is a nightmare.”
  • “I get so many tyre kickers ringing up, they waste so much of my time”
  • “My staff just don’t care the way I do, and my customers know it.”
  • “My staff earn more money than I do.”

  • “I do everything I can to look after my staff but they walk all over me.”
  • “To be profitable we have to focus on ‘upselling’ our clients, but we just don’t seem to be very good at it.”
  • “I keep my fingers crossed every day that we don’t get too many cancellations or that we’ll have enough walk-ins.”
  • “I spend a fortune advertising the studio in the local rags, but I’m not sure it actually pays off.”
  • “I have to be on the Studio floor all day to make sure things don’t fall apart, so I can only work “on” the business at night.”
  • “I focus a lot on safety in the Studio, but I live in fear of being audited by Workcover one day.”

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

Running a Studio type of business can be incredibly stressful and it can feel like all you can do is react to what happens rather than pro-actively build your business. Finding and keeping the right staff is often one of the greatest challenges, industry wages are generally relatively low and hence the staff are often highly itinerant. Marketing on a tight budget and time management are also often particular challenges because of the many distractions the day brings.

“Great results require great effort and great guidance, Roland is such a guide”

(Sebastiaan de Jonge, KwikKopy Auburn)

What you can expect:

How I’ll help you build a business that stands the test of time:

  • Finding absolute clarity about the Purpose of your business and developing a comprehensive but practical business plan and marketing plan from that foundation. Know where you’re going and how you’re getting there.
  • Improving the look and feel of your business; Clients feel comfortable and trust your business is going to give them what they need.
  • Developing HR thinking and systems that make the process of hiring, engaging and keeping great staff easier. Build a great engaged team of people.
  • Implementing better bookkeeping and workshop management systems, so you know where you make money and where you lose money. Your fingers on the pulse of all the key indicators of the health of your business.
  • Strengthening sales skills throughout the business; Sales conversion rates double and triple.
  • Improving health and safety discipline and management in a practical way. Less accidents, lower premiums, less sick days.
Five Steps to Discovery

If you recognise some of those statements above and you’d like to explore how I can help you overcome some of those everyday struggles, click here to book in a free Discovery Coaching Session now as part of my Five Steps to Discovery Process, designed to help you discover and build your own Beautiful Business and Life.

More reading, books, surveys, webinars

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

AY YOU, The Small Business Owner

Who are you?

How will you know if you and I are the right fit to build your unique Beautiful Business and Life together?

Good question, Glad you asked

Watch this quick video in which I explain a bit more about the kind of people who enjoy working with me and who get most benefit from from engaging me.

There are many common challenges all of us business owners face from time when developing our small businesses. You can read about some of those common challenges below and you can read and watch a series of real life stories from my clients in their own words here. But there are also many issues I see, that are unique to specific industries and professions. If you are in one of the industries or professions below, you might like to read more about the things that bedevil you in your business on a daily basis.

“Having a coach like Roland who actually cares about you and your business is a great experience. I am well on my way to building a Beautiful Business and Life!”

(Brad Chapman BIC Construction)

Besides the specific industry groups below I also specialise in Husband and Wife operated businesses. Family business such as those can be enormously rewarding in many ways but they present their own set of special challenges. Read about when couples become business partners here and take the “Beyoncé and Jay-Z Family Business Survey” on the same page.

Skip ahead to the special industry pages:

Does this look like you?

overwhelm and stress in business Nearly all of my clients have the following things in common:

  • You started the business, because you are great at what you do… You decided some time ago that you are simply too good at your trade, profession or skill to spend the rest of your life doing it for someone else.
  • You’ve been going for a little while, probably 2 years or more.
  • You’ve developed the business to somewhere between 2 to 20 employees.
  • You are passionate about your business and you are proud of what you’ve achieved so far.

“Roland helped me manage my business so that it flows and I’m no longer a slave to it.”

(Geoff Anderson, Sonic Sight)

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

And do you recognise this picture?

confused stressed overwhelmed lost And most of my clients would recognise much of this picture:

  • Business growth and development has slowed down or stopped altogether, and that frustrates you.
  • You have started to feel that running your business is a lot like playing a game of “Whack the Mole” you never what is going to come up next and where, and you simply don’t get around to the stuff you know you should focus on.
  • You feel overwhelmed a lot because there are simply too many business development priorities screaming for you attention every day (Marketing, Staff, Planning, Systems, Finances, KPIs, Leadership, Innovation, etc) and you don’t have the time, you don’t know where to focus next and you don’t feel all that confident in those business development areas anyway.
  • You seem to spend more time managing crises and extinguishing brush fires than anything else in your business.
  • You’re the first one in the door in the morning, the last one out the door at night and you have to catch up on emails and admin after you’ve put the kids to bed.
  • Business just isn’t as much fun as it used to be.

Five Steps to Discovery

If you recognise some of those statements above and you’d like to explore how I can help you overcome some of those everyday struggles, click here to book in a free Discovery Coaching Session now as part of my Five Steps to Discovery Process, designed to help you discover and build your own Beautiful Business and Life.

More reading, books, surveys, webinars

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

AR Why New Perspectives: My Beliefs, Aims and Principles

Why New Perspectives?

Why Business / Life Coaching?

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

My Beliefs:

  • I believe most small business owners operate in a state of Overwhelm.
  • I believe each small business is as unique as its owner and hence building your own beautiful business is a process of unique discovery.
  • I believe that profit can not be the ultimate Purpose of business.
  • I believe business is the vehicle with which to create a beautiful life and hence the vehicle must be in a good state, and well maintained. It needs fuel (profit is the fuel of the business vehicle) and the driver (the business owner) must learn how to drive the vehicle well.
  • I believe that the opposite of Scarcity is not Abundance, but rather “Enough”.

Why does New Perspectives Coaching exist?

To help small business owners Feel Great about Themselves and about their Business.

How do I do that?

Through a mixture of Coaching, Counselling, Mentoring, Guidance, Advice, Support and Accountability

What do I offer?

Aims of The New Perspectives Fun in Business Intensive™

  • To help people Discover their own Beautiful Business and Life and then to help them Build it
  • To support Small Business Owners to have Fun in Business
  • To put small business owners back in control of their life and their business
  • To be a vehicle for change, challenge, excitement, growth and learning.

The New Perspectives Business / Life Coaching” Tagline:

Would you like to discover your own Beautiful Business and Life?

The “Core” or “Guiding Principles” of New Perspectives Business Coaching

  • I act in accordance with the International Coach Federation code of Ethics..
  • I have “Unconditional Positive Regard” for my clients.
  • I have a “Solutions Focus”.
  • Find the smallest difference that makes a difference
  • Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
  • My structures are based on delivering common projects.
  • I keep things as simple as possible, and no simpler.
  • I pursue all opportunities with passion and enthusiasm or not at all.
  • My time, knowledge, experience and energy are valuable and I charge for them appropriately.

Further reading about business life coaching and finding the right support for you

Click here to download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach or mentor for you.

ARR About Roland Hanekroot, Small Business-Life Coach

Roland Hanekroot, Business-Life

Coach for small business owners

What’s possible for your own unique

Beautiful Business and Life?

Download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach for you and your business.

Pleased to meet you, I am Roland Hanekroot, the owner and founder of  New Perspectives Business Coaching. I am a Business – Life Coach, Mentor and Guide. I am also the author of “The Ten Truths Trilogy, Business books for people who don’t read business books (but should)”. You can download the books for free from my general download page here

This is how I help my clients:

I help people discover what their own unique Beautiful Business and Life could really look like and then I help them build it.

Are you at all curious about what’s possible for your business and your life, and how I might help you build it? If you are, I suggest you have a look at some of the links below.

Would you like to know more?

My background in business and life

Finding the right support for your business

I have come to Business and Life Coaching from a small to medium business background. I have some 20 years experience as the founder and CEO of two successful businesses in the building and construction industry. I was originally trained as a Journalist in Holland and worked for a national daily newspaper in Amsterdam.

I came to Australia in 1984 and started a carpentry business and later two different building companies. I have also worked and lived in Greece, the Caribbean, England, and Italy. At different times I have worked as an IT and network administrator, a taxi driver and charter boat captain.

Download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach for you and your business.

After selling my building company in Sydney in 2004, I founded New Perspectives on my background and experience in small business together with study and training in business management, coaching, mentoring, counselling, as well as my varied life experience. 

  • I am a certified RCC level 3 Coach with Results Coaching Systems and have carried out extensive further advanced coach training with Results and other organisations, in the areas of executive, business and team coaching and specialised coaching tools and models.
  • I am trained and certified in NLP, Neuro Semantics, Crisis counselling, as well as Solution Focused Brief Coaching.
  • I hold a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment (TAA)
  • I am a certified Small Business Counsellor (APEC).

The result of all of the above is that I have developed my own unique approach to business support and guidance, and that since 2004 I have helped close to two hundred business owners discover what their own unique Beautiful Business and Life could look like and I’ve helped them build it.

How about the best of three worlds?

I have combined my background and training as a small business owner and manager with my training and experience in coaching, training and related disciplines. In other words, I wear three hats, which means I am able to offer my clients the best of three worlds; Business Coaching, Life Coaching and Small Business Mentoring. The outcome of the adventures my clients and I go on is nearly always life changing, as you can read from my many testimonials here.

Year-round I live and work in three places in the world: The inner city of Sydney in NSW Australia, Launceston in Tasmania Australia and The Hague in Holland. Because I work mostly via Skype and other video link systems, my clients come from all over the world.

Download my Free Guide to finding the perfect coach for you and your business.