The chances are, when you first started your business, you were incredibly passionate about it. Everything was new and exciting, and at last you had a way to make your mark on the world! You could do things your own way, set new standards, bring something new to the market, and help more people. In short, you were in love with your business, and the opportunities it offered you.
No doubt that initial passion energised you to put in the long hours and hard work that are needed to get a business off the ground and get it flying. But being in business for a long time can be a hard slog, and you are faced with constant ups and downs. The day to day challenges of looking for new sales opportunities, managing staff, keeping your customers happy, balancing the books, and the 101 other things that business owners have to deal with can grind you down, and sap your enthusiasm.
If the honeymoon period is well and truly over for you and your business, maybe it’s time to fall in love again, and reignite the passion that kept you energised for the first few months or years of your relationship. But how can you do this? Well, I have a simple 5 step process for you:
Recognise what you’ve achieved so far
You had the courage to take a risk and start your own business, or buy a business. Then you worked hard and you’ve built that business up. As part of building the business, you provided jobs for a number of people. You’ve given your customers what they need and want. In short, you’ve created something worthwhile and made a contribution to society. So stand back, take it all in, and be proud of how far you’ve come. Give yourself a pat on the back, or maybe even open a bottle of bubbly! Feeling good about yourself and your achievements will help you to feel good about your business too.
Clarify your vision for the future
Now you know where you are, you can decide where you want to go with the business. Your vision may well have changed since you started out, or perhaps you never really had a clear vision in the first place. So now it’s time to look forward, and decide exactly what your ideal future business looks like. How much is it turning over, how many staff are employed, where are your premises, who are your customers? Once you have the vision, you can make plans and goals to get you there. That will give you the focus and enthusiasm that may currently be lacking. (Your future vision may be to sell your business and retire, and that’s great – but you still need to plan for it!)
Make your team love your business as much as you do
Working with people that don’t share your passion and enthusiasm is not good for your business, or for you. So share your exciting future vision for the business with your team! Get their buy-in, and make them accountable for achieving the goals that are relevant to them. Remember, you can improve people’s skills but not their attitude, and it may be that some of your team don’t want to change. If so, it may be time to let them go, recruit new team members with the right attitude, and make your business a great place to work.
Mix with like-minded people
Being in business can be a very lonely place. Family members may not understand the pressure you’re under and may not appreciate you talking business when you get home. That’s why finding like-minded people to talk to is really important. They can understand the challenges you face and can provide support and advice, to help keep you motivated and enthusiastic. (That’s why we’re here!) The late, great Jim Rohn said: “You are the average of the five people you spend most time with,” so make sure you’re spending your time with great people!
Make your business work for you
We believe that being in business should give you more life, not take it away. Your business should provide for you financially, but should also enable you to be the person you want to be, and do what you want to do. In order to be happy and satisfied with what your business is giving you, you need to ensure that your business goals (that we talked about in step 2) are in alignment with your personal goals. And you’ll need to find time to work ON not IN your business, if you want to build a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you, and lets you have the time and money to enjoy your life. Who wouldn’t love a business that did that for them?