Are You Falling Out of Love with Your Business?
Has your business gotten to be a drag lately? Does it seem like you spend more time doing tedious tasks and less time doing things you love to do—to the point that you sometimes don’t even know what it is that you love to do anymore? Are you finding yourself doubting your business idea or, if you’re already in your own business, sometimes regretting your decision to do so?
I see it all the time. Heck, I’ve lived it. Initially, you throw yourself headlong into to your business like there’s no tomorrow. You take the best courses, read the best books and/or follow the best advice you can find…then you put in tons of hours, at first feeling inspired and driven and even emancipated from the ho-hum life you see so many of your friends and colleagues living. You have the theme song from the old TV sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” playing in your head (or from the movie “Rocky,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Flashdance”…you get my drift).
But days turn into weeks turn into months, and you’re not seeing a return on your investment of time and effort. Oh, you might get some results in dribs and drabs, some slight responsiveness to your marketing efforts. And those dribs and drabs were exciting at first, right? But over time they seem more like some sort of water torture.
Not only that, you’re just plain tired—tired of doing all the giving and getting so little in return. Tired of the long hours, the seemingly endless hurdles and setbacks, the dearth of anything feeling even remotely like fulfillment. Maybe you should just get a job and collect a paycheck like “normal” people.
Sure you can do that. But before you make the decision to throw in the towel on your business, I want to ask you a couple of things to consider:
First, have you ever heard Napolean Hill’s “Three Feet from Gold” story, or Russell Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds” speech? Might you consider the possibility that, as success coach Fabienne Frederickson would say, you’re merely encountering “the big breakdown before the big breakthrough”? Because let me tell you something—I look back at so many of the undertakings I’ve abandoned in the past and clearly see now that if I’d just stuck with one of them just a little longer…Could that possibly be where you are as well?
Second, although a steady paycheck is nice, it’s growth (or even continued existence) lies in the hands of others. Whether you get a one percent increase or an five percent increase or any increase at all is, in many companies, pretty much left to someone else to decide. Is that really what you desire?
Third, and I really, really mean this, I think the world needs more entrepreneurs, not less. Our future survival lies with the pioneers, just as it always has—not with bailed out, top heavy, overly cautious corporations. Creative genius frequently withers on the vine in a stifling corporate environment. Not so among entrepreneurs. If you’re trying to get your own business up, running and thriving, everyone benefits if you succeed. Really.
So how do you rekindle the romance you felt towards your business when you first started out? Here’s what’s working for me:
- Finding and following the successes of others who are doing what I want to do. I find it very inspirational to hear or read about what challenges others in my field have overcome, discoveries they have made, and which of their efforts had the biggest impact on their bottom lines. These people become my mentors, whether they know it or not. I heart them.
- Journaling and/or meditating with the goal of remembering why I wanted to go into business for myself in the first place. There’s nothing quite as invigorating as remembering your own “big why”—the life you wanted to create through your business, the people you hoped to connect with and help, the values you wanted to live by that weren’t valued within the confines of your former day job culture. Reconnecting with this and holding it front and center is bound to provide you with a surge of entrepreneurial energy.
- Having fun with my marketing. I found that when I stopped censoring my voice and my message, and allowed myself to inject more of my personality into both, it was like shrugging off a straightjacket or wiggling free from a cocoon. What actions would make running your business fun again? Start making them a regular part of your business strategy, and watch your enthusiasm soar.
Last but certainly not least, you also should be looking at what aspects of your business you most love to work on, and what tasks should be outsourced or delegated. As small business owners, we sometimes get tangled in our own weeds. No wonder we feel dragged down at times.
Here’s hoping that implementing some or all of the above helps you fall back in love with your business. I’m wishing you every success.