I have been a part owner of MBC for more than 15 years and one thing I have learned is that business is personal. For you, the business owner, from the first time your business idea entered your head, you have been on a crusade. You are on a mission to create something unique, to champion an offering that reflects you and your values, and that makes it personal.
Obviously, you want to grow your business into a successful enterprise, to nurture it like you would a child, and watch with pride as it moves through the different business stages. As the business grows and matures you get excited and wins along the way mean a lot to you. Conversely when it is not going so well, it hurts. Lack of cash flow, customer complaints, not meeting expectations – these are all issues that you carry on your shoulders as if they were just your own. Because to you, they are.
These worries and stresses are natural for any business owner and are something of which you should be aware. To help with this, it is important to surround yourself with a supportive and collaborative network, and to ask for help when you need it. Just as you would refer to friends and family when raising a child, you should utilise the business network around you to learn from the experience of others.
For every business owner, regardless of whether you operate a café or are Richard Branson, you have invested your heart and soul into your business and you care about what happens with it. Your business is a living, breathing extension of yourself.
In my coaching sessions with clients, I talk a lot about knowing your WHY, your PURPOSE which is essentially why you do what you do. Every business owner, in fact every individual, needs clarity around their WHY as it underpins every decision they make. Your WHY is built on your core beliefs and values, and is the foundation of why you started your business. When you consider this, you can easily see the link between you as a person and your business.
Once you can identify your WHY, you can return to it throughout the life of your business and you will have a greater chance of sustainable success. Your emotional state will be constantly tested, and your nerves will more than likely be frayed, yet you will find yourself driven beyond your own personal limitations as your business develops and constantly reinvents itself.
I believe that, in most instances, the growth of a business comes from its scalability. This includes developing systems and processes, mentoring staff (to leverage the owner’s skills), and utilizing the 80/20 rule. My personal experience has taught me that sometimes the business owner can become a limitation to the growth capacity of the business, simply because they are wearing too many hats. As an owner and leader, I have learnt the importance of delegation in order to free me up to focus on higher-value activities and use my time more productively.
A huge part of being able to expand your business is knowing how to let go. This can be extremely difficult, given the strong link between business and your personal values, but it’s imperative that you, as the business owner, are not responsible for holding the business back.
Business will always be personal, and knowing when to let go is one of its greatest challenges.
MBC Group Services provide a number of business coaching and mentoring services. We are here to share and support your business journey, from the bottom to the top. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.