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Ep. 7 – The PACE Method (TM) to Business Clarity

How to move from confused to clear in your business.

When we are seeking clarity in our business and what we feel called to do, we have this desire to sprint to the finish line and get to the answer fast. 

Hate to break it to you, but that’s now how clarity comes. You will have major breakthroughs and oh wow moments along the journey, which are truly fun and energizing. And fun to share, I might add! The journey of clarity, however, comes through time, effort, thinking, prayer, and seeking wise counsel. 

Instead of sprinting to the finish line in search of an answer, think of this more like a marathon. You set a pace that works for you so that you are on this entrepreneurial journey for the long-haul and not burning yourself out. 

The Selah Entrepreneur Podcast - Episode 7 - The PACE Method to Business Clarity

In your journey to clarity, you need to set your pace (aka run your race) because there is work to do along the way. If you are running too fast, you will simply skim the surface. Skimming makes you miss the questions and the opportunity to dig deep for answers that can change you, your life, and your business. 

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to my “P.A.C.E. Method to Business Clarity.” 

Part of my clarity journey has been to describe my coaching process. It was through working with a coach who focused on helping entrepreneurs develop frameworks I had my clarity breakthrough. Through working with her, I discovered I had the words and the process, but I needed her help to pull it out and help me see it.

The P.A.C.E. Method to Business Clarity 

Is a cycle of 4 steps that we all go through in our businesses. It’s a cycle that can daily, seasonally, and most definitely through seasons of questioning, growth, and moving on to a next step. 

P.A.C.E. stands for each of the 4 steps, which are:

  1. Pause
  2. Assess
  3. Clarify
  4. And Evaluate 

We’ll dive into each in a minute. But, First I want to look at the word PACE itself. 

What is pacing and how does it apply to being an entrepreneur?

Years ago, I came across the concept of pacing when my fibromyalgia pain went from annoying to difficult to concentrate and work. In my search for help and relief, the concept of pacing jumped out at me. 

One of the best descriptions I found for pacing and pain management came from the State of Virginia Mental Health Division. They called it, “Activity Pacing”. I’ll leave a link to this if you would like to read more about it. 

First, there is Activity and Pain Pacing, which is a “vicious cycle of overactivity, pain, and then forced rest”. Their diagram shows: 

Overactivity — > Which Leads to Pain — > Which Forces Us To Stop — > We feel better and then get overactive again, causing another flare-up of pain.

We’ve all done it! After being sick or injured, we felt better, overdo it and take several steps back in our healing journey.

In business, I would call this the Activity/Confusion Cycle. 

Then there is the Activity/Rest: “A paced journey of activity and rest.”

Activity — > Rest — > Activity — > Rest

This way, you are pacing yourself as you heal. While it may feel that you are taking steps backward, in reality, you are building up resilience and energy reserves on your healing journey. You are getting healthier and stronger so that over time you can increase the level of intensity of the activity and need less rest.

This balanced approach to healing and recovery helps you improve both physical and mental health.

In business, I would call this the Activity/Clarity Cycle. 

Here are a few other examples of pacing: 

  • Marathon runners have to know their pace, know when to conserve energy and know when to burn it and put on speed 
  • In NASCAR there is a pace car that comes out on the track when there’s been a wreck or damage to the track. The racers line up behind the pace car until the way is clear again.
  • Losing weight we don’t want to lose weight too fast as it can be unhealthy but too slow and it’s hard to stay motivated. 
  • For many of us with chronic illness, we need to pace ourselves to avoid flare-ups of our symptoms. If we spend our energy instead of conserving it, we have to rest longer in order to refill the energy tank. 

These examples resemble how we often operate in our businesses. 

There are times we can pace ourselves, other times our health issues dictate our pace, and sometimes we need someone to come alongside and remind us to slow down 

Before we move on, let’s take a minute to look at what the words pace or pacing mean: 

  • To go at a speed that doesn’t tire you out.
  • To walk at a steady rate.
  • The Latin word “pace” is a form of the word pax, meaning “peace” or “permission”.

The word “Selah” fits right in!

There are some educated guesses what the word Selah means. The definition I’ve adopted is “to slow down, take note, this is important”. 

Why and how do we lose our pace, energy, and momentum?

I commonly see three reasons we lose our pace, our energy, and our momentum: 

  1. Not running our race and comparing ourselves to other entrepreneurs.  
  2. Not creating a habit of physical and mental rest in our lives and businesses. 
  3. Listening to too many voices and opinions. We get confused, overwhelmed, and wonder why our business is not working. 

We get distracted by all the noise and get pulled into someone else’s pace of business and their capacity to make fast changes 

Sometimes we can keep up, but other times we spend our energy instead of conserving it and we fall “further and further behind” and lose the clarity we had. Now we are back into feeling confused, overwhelmed, and exhausted. And we wonder, “what’s happening?!”.

The Pace Method to Business Clarity from Marta Goertzen

How do you find your business clarity? How do you find your P.A.C.E.?:

The PACE Method(TM) to Business Clarity is a four-step cycle we all go through to move from confused to clear in our businesses

  1. Pause: Pause, slow down, and develop a habit of rest and reflection. You can listen to Episode 3 on why we need to take breaks from our businesses regularly.
  2. Assess: Assess your current business, season, & who you are today. Because who you are today differs from who you were when you started your business. 
  3. Clarify: Clarify your who, what, how, and why & take action on what you know. As we know, clarity comes through action, not just thinking about it.
  4. Evaluate: Evaluate the results of your action & adjust as needed. Take an honest look at the action you took and evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to change. 

You may protest and say, but I’ve heard that “speed of implementation” is important as a business owner. And I agree BUT as a strategic move, not a constant throw of spaghetti at the wall approach. 

There’s nothing wrong with taking well thought out quick action. The problem arises when you are taking fast action just for the sake of speed. You are reacting to your business instead of being a strategic and intentional leader of it. 

Pro Tip: Get clear about your goals for your business so you can quickly spot opportunities and know when to take them.

Taking quick action gives us an adrenaline boost that can be addicting. It becomes a comfortable place to operate from. But it can often leave us feeling out of control and teetering on the edge of chaos. 

Living and running a business on the edge like that extracts a price. That price is often our physical and mental health. You remain stuck in a business that is moving fast, but not going anywhere. 

My challenge for you today:

Take some time and take and reflect on a few of the following questions.

  1. Where do you feel out of control? 
  2. How do you feel physically and mentally in your business?
  3. Are you running on adrenaline or well thought out action? 
  4. Do you have clarity about your business and direction? 
  5. Are you running your business at YOUR P.A.C.E.?

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