I invest a lot in training and one of the things that is a big red flag to me is when someone promotes a technique or idea as the single right way to do something. I love systems, blueprints, processes, etc. but the beauty in most of these is that there is choice. There is leeway for an individual business owner to pick something that is right for his or her business. Of course, there are situation when there is only one right way – for example, you should always have permission before adding someone to your email newsletter. This is both the law and a good business practice.
What I think can be harmful is when someone promotes something as a single right way for all businesses. It’s usually part of a sales offer and there’s usually something you “have to” doing or your business is doomed. When someone who has never met you or examined your business tells you that they have something new that you have to add to your business and that there is only one right way to do it, take an extra look at what they are saying and make sure it really is a good fit for you.
One of my favorite ways to avoid doing this to my clients is to explain why I make the suggestions I do. By giving the other person an understanding of why I suggest what I do, I give them the ability to assess my choice and make sure that my reasoning is sound for them and their business. I also believe this is a high level of service – to not just tell someone what to do but to educate them so they can move on to the next level of learning.
Another reason to provide background and context to what I suggest is that the other person can assess whether the new information is a fit for them in various personal ways. Is it a good fit for your personality? Is it a good fit for your lifestyle goals? Is it a good fit for your business goals?
So how can you assess whether something promoted as a single right way is a good idea for you? First look for the person’s reasons for suggesting what they do. If they have good reasons they usually won’t mind telling you what they are. Beware of someone who gets upset or vague when asked why they think what they do. Second, trust yourself and your knowledge of your business. If someone says you have to be doing something you hate doing, it may not be a good fit for you. There’s lots of right ways to build and promote a business and you probably can avoid a lot of things you don’t like if you have the right plan.
How do you assess whether someone’s “one size fits all” solution is for you? Tell me in the comments.