14th February marks the day we celebrate our loved ones; treating them to flowers, chocolates, gifts and dinner in a fancy restaurant – all in the name of St. Valentine.
Amid the romance, we’ve taken a look at an owner-manager’s other love – their business. When enthusiasm flags, and at times the love story becomes a dreaded chore, how can you can turn it around and fall in love all over again?
Whether you’ve just started your business, or you think the things are heading for the rocks, read on for our tips on retaining focus…
Falling Out of Love
Any relationship can get a bit stale, even the relationship between an entrepreneur and their business – and falling out of love with your company can happen at any time. Often, as businesses grow, it’s simply because you aren’t doing the aspects of the job that you love anymore. When you have an audience, and people are putting their faith and trust in you, expectations can asphyxiate the excitement you once had.
Have you taken too much work on yourself rather than spreading the load? If you set up a company because you specialise and are passionate about the product or service – yet are spending more time on the accounts and HR – then you are bound to become disinterested in what you are doing; it’s human nature!
Motivation can be easily affected knowing you are missing your targets because you are drawn into day-to-day activities that, as an owner-manager, you probably shouldn’t be involved in. Its here we have to be careful, as getting involved with everything can be severely limiting. Sometimes, you have take a step back from being the hero and let your employees get on with what they are hired to do.
Inevitably, there are some things you will need to get involved in which weren’t planned for. These bumps in the road can derail plans, so it’s important to factor in alternative targets so that you don’t become demotivated – one set of targets should be set to push you, the other set more conservative, covering the ‘what ifs’ in case some things don’t go to plan.
Of course, the business finances are another reason why you may have fallen out of love with your organisation. You started your business because you wanted to be your own boss, but if you are working long hours and not having time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, then it’s only natural to have a lapse in enjoyment for your work.
It is important to remember you aren’t alone, and that the sooner you act – the better! It’s time to get reunited…
Falling Back in Love
1. a strong feeling of affection.
synonyms: deep affection, fondness, attachment, endearment
2. a great interest and pleasure in something.
synonyms: liking, partiality, leaning, inclination, disposition
Having a ‘down moment’ within business is not unheard of, and certainly does not mean your business is doomed! It’s important to identify why you fell in love with your business idea in the first place and to see the business from an outsider’s point of view. We have rounded up our top five tips to help you fall back in love with your business:
1. Ignite the spark by reminding yourself of the original bright idea! Take yourself back to when you kick started your business and ask yourself the following questions in order to get back in touch with what it was you initially loved about the business idea…
- What was my original business idea?
- What excited me about it?
- How did I come up with the original idea?
- What problem(s) was I trying to solve by setting the business up?
- What opportunities was I trying to seize?
- What role did I want to have in the business?
2. Review and reassess your goals and milestones. What did you originally want to achieve from the business, both on a corporate and personal level? Your personal goals can easily be categorised by the 4 C’s: creativity, control, challenge and cash. If you have not reached your goals outlined at the beginning, is it because they were unrealistic? Set out reassessed goals for 1 years time, 3 years time, and so on – which are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Scaled).
3. Take regular breaks away from work. Taking regular breaks and indulging in past time activities make you considerably more productive, insightful and creative! Aim to give yourself at least one ‘real’ day off each week from now on, which should be scheduled into your calendar just like a meeting would be. It is essential to take time out and to enjoy the life your business has created for you. Taking a temporary step back gives you a fresh mindset and could give you the headspace to think of something revolutionary for the business! Additionally, breaks will help you be thankful for what is working in your life and business, rather than fixating on what you don’t have yet.
4. Accepting help is its own kind of strength… Could it be that what you didn’t do was to get expert help for specific roles and tasks within the business? This would free you up to do what you set the business up to do in the first place, cancelling out laborious tasks which don’t interest you. Be patient with yourself and realise the amount of extra work you are doing – you should be prepared to admit that you cannot do it alone and that expert help is often an effective solution.
5. Learn something new! Could it be that you have become so complacent about the nature of your work that you are cannot see how the industry and business world is changing around you? Why not read a book on the area of business, or attend a conference or seminar on an interesting new topic – either specific to your industry or on general business areas. This could help inject fresh, exciting ideas into the business and will certainly help you see the bright side again!