Succeeding in business requires a clear vision and a broad understanding of your market. Navigating the daily waters requires a high level of attention to the details.
Clarity on your values and passions was the focus of Part 1 of this series. Once you are clear in your mind about your values and passions, and what you want to experience in life, it’s time to move more clearly to make them happen. Strive to align your personal values with your organization and with what you do in your daily life and in your business.
However, before we go any further there is one all-important question to ask yourself: WHY are you in business? The answer must be compelling enough to get you out of bed on a cold wintry morning when you know the day will be filled with difficult discussions and decisions. It must give you enough incentive to put your lifestyle and livelihood on the line each and every day because you believe your efforts will improve both.
Your core reason for being in business is very personal and unique. For example, one woman told me that one Christmas she was so broke that she couldn’t afford even the simplest Christmas gifts for her children when they longed for the latest electronic toys. She vowed then and there that she would never be in that financial position again. So dig deep and identify your Why.
Once you know your Why, move on to define your goals. These shape your thoughts at each decision point. Become laser-like in defining your path by asking yourself, “Will this bring me closer to my goal, or further from it?”
Look at your company vision and your company mission statement. Do these reflect who you are and what you value? If they don’t, it’s time to revisit and redefine them. And once updated, make sure everyone in your company, all your suppliers, and all your customers understand what they are.
After all, isn’t that the whole purpose of being in business? Ideally, when everyone knows what you are trying to do, what you offer, you want that they will say, “Yeah – I want more of that!” Or else say, “You know, I’m not really interested in that, but I know somebody who is.”
So let’s get back to your vision and mission statement. Do they reflect who you are and what you value? Take everything that you believe in and get really clear – “What do you want to experience as a result of being in this business?”
Is your business set up to support you in having these experiences? Will you experience what you value and are passionate about?
In looking at your business, identify everything you love doing in it. Do absolutely everything that you love, and if you can, delegate the rest. Delegating as much as you can will free you to do what you love and those things that you are great at doing.
I want to say something here about small business owners. We often feel we can’t afford or we can’t trust other people to handle certain parts of the business. We are asking our customers to trust that we know what we’re doing, and to give us their time, and possibly their money, to do what we do best. Why shouldn’t we turn around and do that for other people who also are doing what THEY do best? So if you’re not good at accounting, find an accountant or a bookkeeper who is, and come to some kind of agreement. This simple step will take such a load off your shoulders, and in the process you will be supporting someone else in shining in their business, while you can go out there and shine in what you are meant to do.
So take responsibility for your business. You decide what will be and how it will be. You decide who will be involved and who will not. You decide where you will take your company, and where you will not. You decide if and when things will happen.
You are in control.
There is a caveat, though. Strive to create harmony and balance in your life overall. Strain in any part of your life will affect all other parts.
Look at your time and energy. Be realistic. How much time and energy do you have? Look at your energy – How old are you? Be realistic about what you can do comfortably, without jeopardizing your health. In business, you want to be able to do the marathon, while knowing that periodically you have to do the sprints.
I talk to a lot of people between 45 and 55 – we all want to do as much as we did when we were 25. But that was a long time ago. Let’s face that we can’t accomplish as much as we were able to back then. Let’s just be realistic about what we can do now and then do it.
Knowing what we are capable of simply helps us make different decisions. Making the right decision based in being realistic about what you are capable of accomplishing will allow you actually to accomplish more.
Also look at your Time availability. Are you in a relationship? Do you have a family? Do you have community obligations or spiritual community obligations? Be aware of what’s important to you, because as a business owner you may be tempted to give these things up. Instead, Choose to have in your life those things that are important. Make sure you allot the time to do whatever is important to you.
That’s the most important thing to do. Just decide. Decide what else will get your time.
So take responsibility for your business by knowing what you value, deciding on what you want to experience, and making decisions that support you in reaching those experiences. Finally, remember that You Are in Control.
Next Post: “How to Have a Thriving Business in Any Economy – Part 3: More about Goals
REMINDER: 6-Class series coming in December:
“How to Have a Thriving Business in 2012: Prime the Engine for your Business and Get Your Message Out to the World (How to Market Your Business in 2012)” For more info go to: http://www.thrivingbusiness2012.eventbrite.com