Why did you start your business? Was it because you wanted more freedom, the lure (at least in theory) of lining your pockets rather than someone else’s or was it something entirely different? But however much you love your business initially, when the going gets tough, it can be difficult to recall that “why”. So, how can you reignite the spark you felt and learn to love your business again?
Who do you listen to?
The trouble is that, thanks to the internet, we have access to so much information and a multitude of “experts” telling us what success looks like and what we need to do to achieve it. How many hours we need to work, the level of dedication we need and convincing us that we should function in uber-productivity mode, 24/7.
Now, whilst it’s great to have expert advice on tap, the issues come when you get sucked into believing all the hype and start creating a business which is not aligned with how you want to work and how you want to show up in the world. The adrenalin rush and heady moments of a business startup soon subside when you realise that no one can be brilliant every minute of the day.
Whilst we all have specialisms and expertise, there’s an awful lot of mundane activity that accompanies doing what you love. There are technical difficulties – computers that stop working, printers that have one job and fail to do that, difficult and challenging customers, and suppliers…the list goes on until you can wonder why you didn’t stay in the relative security and comfort of employment.
If this resonates with you, then don’t despair! The good news (if you can call it that) is that most business owners will go through feelings of disenchantment at some stage of their business journey. If you would like to rekindle the flames of passion and fall in love with your business again, then read on.
To Learn to Love Your Business You Need to Go Back to Basics.
To do this, we need to focus on some key questions:
What are your strengths? What are the areas in which you excel? In answering this question, try and think broadly and include everything, big or small. Consider those areas upon which you are complimented most often. What would friends identify as your “Top 3” strengths? What do others ask for your help with? You may also want to consider what were your favourite subjects at school and, additionally, what strengths you have learned to hide and what challenges you have overcome?
What do you enjoy doing? What are the tasks that really fire you up and where you can easily devote time? Conversely, this exercise will also help you identify the areas in which you spend time and which you don’t enjoy. These tasks invariably still need doing, so why not outsource them? If tasks don’t need your individual attention or expertise, then consider delegating to someone else within your business, or hire a Virtual Assistant.
Where do you get your energy? Some energy is sure to come from the areas of your business activity that you enjoy; the dopamine hit of doing what you love and feeling that you are making a difference to your customer’s life. But what other areas of your life provide your energy source? Is it your family? Your friends – that support bubble of cheerleaders who spur you on. Is it activity you do in your leisure time? Perhaps getting outdoors at the end of the day is your thing and helps you to put the day’s happenings into perspective?
The answer to these questions should align with your values – those core standards that you hold as non-negotiable. It is these values which are individual to you and which underpin both your actions and you as an individual. These values are key to your authenticity and, when we live an authentic life and one where our values, skills and strengths align, then we hit business nirvana! If you take time to revisit the basics, then you might just rediscover why you love your business.
If you’re feeling a bit, “I’m a businessperson, get me out of hereeee”, then take a look at your processes. Whilst you may have always done something in a particular way, it doesn’t necessarily follow that there isn’t a quicker, more efficient way of achieving the same. Take an objective look at your systems – how you manage employees, producing products or services and the overall running of your business and see where the blockages are. Discovering new and improved processes can bring a whole new sense of achievement, free up time and improve your bank balance, too!
Take Time to Plan.
It’s imperative that you have time to work ‘on’ your business as well as ‘in’ it. Being busy and having a metaphorical “full order book” is great, but what happens when those orders are supplied? Where are your next orders coming from?
In my experience of owning multiple companies, I’ve learned that if I want to work on my business, then I need to treat that time as if it were a client. In other words, to block out time daily or weekly where I won’t be disturbed and where I know that my focus is on my business. As such, I currently block out one day of my week, when I will schedule my social media, create my blog content (this blog was created in one such session!) and any other business development tasks.
Regardless of the size of your business, you need to have clarity on where you are going (your goals), what you want to achieve (objectives) and the markers along the way that will sign post that you are heading in the right direction. You should also schedule a meeting with yourself every week to check that you are on track and everything is in alignment.
Spend time with other business owners.
Find some new networking opportunities. Now, I truly believe that, when it comes to networking, you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your Prince/ss. There is a huge variety of groups, filled with different types of people, so consider which suits you best.
Consistency is key with any networking, so ensure you attend as many of the group’s meetings for six months before you decide if it is right for you. If not, then move on.
But, when you find a group of inspiring, motivated individuals, then the effect on your energy is amazing! Their enthusiasm can be infectious and a great reminder of why you love your business. Not only that, but you’ll also develop a support network of other business owners who will probably know exactly what you’re going through in any business struggle.
Create a ‘Win Tin’.
When I started my first business at the ripe old age of 23, I had a tin on my desk. Now, this tin was filled with scraps of paper. Nothing fancy there. Except, these scraps were small reminders of all my ‘wins’; of every time something had gone well, every time someone had told me I had done a good job, in fact, every business win I had.
Periodically, especially when I was having a tough time, I would open the tin and read a few to remind myself of the positive aspects of running a business. These days, the tin has disappeared, but I still keep a spreadsheet on my computer of great testimonials, reviews, comments, events, and the like.
This not only bolsters me on the days when nothing seems to go right, but it also serves as a great aide-memoire when I’m nominated or entering awards. I’ve got a ready resource of all my wins right there, ready to dazzle!
If you’re currently not feeling the business love, then don’t despair. The reality and challenges of everyday business life can cause you to question whether you love your business, but rest assured, those feelings of lack don’t need to be terminal. With a little effort and a trip back to basics you can reignite the spark and love your business once more.
If you would like support in running your business, then why not invest in a business coach? With 25 years of owning and managing a variety of businesses, I can provide the practical tools as well as the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual support you need to grow your business and achieve success. Book a call with me here