Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Business is great fun and I love my work and enjoy being a coach today as much as when I started 16 years ago. This enjoyment has not been dampened by the 300,000+ miles I’ve driven in that time, or the constant need to attend to accounts, find new clients and keep investing in my skills with training courses.
It’s all part of the busy and rewarding life of running my own business. And it takes committment and heart to succeed.
I’m often asked by people what it takes to keep going, on the basis that they are interested in starting their own business and are after insights to help them on their way. In response I share this story with them…
Many years ago I was approached by three young men who said that, instead of completing their university course via industrial placements, they had decided to set up a consultancy business and earn their credits that way. They were full of enthusiasm, convinced they’d found a smart way to complete their course. I listened patiently to them and then asked:
‘Have you spoken to your wives about this?’
Silence. Their faces fell and at least one went a bit pale. I continued…
‘You can set up in business, if you like, but it takes time to be successful and may cost you half a marriage.’
At this they all went pale.
‘Half a marriage’ was my way of making it clear that starting up would have an impact on their families and require support from them. After a brief silence they all agreed that starting up was a bad idea and they’d be better off taking the placements on offer.
I like this story because it highlights that we all need ‘business mojo’ to be successful. The drive to have difficult conversations with loved ones, the determination to follow our ambition and a large degree of grit to keep going in the face of setbacks.
These gentlemen hadn’t thought about the reality of going into business and had simply been enjoying a pleasant day dream, until I poked them with my reasonable question.
Drive, determination, grit …they are all part of our ability to keep going and if we lose our mojo then we might lose our business.
To prevent this we can do three things…
1. Take holidays. Even a weekend off can help to recharge our batteries and we all need a break sometimes to recoup lost energy.
2. Get a coach. I have regular supervision on my work and get a real boost from having someone on my team whom I can share ideas with, get feedback from and celebrate success with. Top sports people have coaches, they know they need support and business folk are just the same.
3. Get help. Having an assistant, or a book-keeper, or a part time colleague will bring energy into our business. The cost of this can be offset by the opportunities this can create for us. A second pair of hands can free us up to do more of what we love. In doing so we access positive energy for ourselves, instead of grumbling that we have to sit in our office plodding wearily through accounts work.
Business mojo requires us to be thoughtful and to care for ourselves, or we run the risk of burn out.
We are all important and can all take positive steps to ensure our mojo is healthy and strong. Or we might find ourselves in a pickle, with no-one able to save us.
This week, take a moment to think about how strong your mojo is and what you can do to take care of yourself too.
Next week: Saying Yes!
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