It was an honour to speak at the Gems of Networking event in Central Queensland recently. It was two days jam packed with great networking and discussions covering digital marketing, websites and social media; professional photography and imagery in your business; outsourcing and the world of virtual assistants; and business overwhelm and systemisation (that’s me!).
One of my favourite business topics is reigniting your business passion. I get pretty excited about my business – I’m a bookkeeper, so exciting isn’t probably the word that springs to mind about my profession. I love the feeling of starting with a disorganised puzzle and ending with everything in its place, just where it should be.
The excitement and passion I have for my business is the same feeling many people have when they start out. But for most of us, myself included, the day to day running of the business takes over and overwhelm can set in. Soon enough you discover that your business has become a burden, you’ve forgotten the passion you had when you first started, and some days you wonder why you bother!
Think of your business as a road trip. When you first decide on your itinerary, you’re full of excitement about the journey (passion). Then you set out and realise that things don’t always go to plan. Trying to fit too much in means you miss out on things along the way or are too tired to enjoy the adventure (work/life overwhelm). Then you realise this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip and you want to make the most of it, so you start to relax and enjoy the ride (starting to get some momentum). You take some guided tours and it’s difficult to hand the reins over to your tour guide, but you realise they’re an expert and again, you should sit back and enjoy the ride (loss of control). You meet some friends and decide to travel together, then realise you don’t all have the same vision for your trip (expansion challenges). Eventually you’re on the home stretch and when you make it you enjoy reliving the happy memories of your journey through photos and stories with friends (mature business that can run without so much input from you).
Why did you go into business?
Why did you set off on this adventure to start your own business? To pursue a passion? To be your own boss? To improve your financial prospects? Because it seemed like a good idea at the time?
Spend a little time reminiscing about why you went into business. Here are a few common reasons that set people off on the journey:
- Pursue your passion
- Be your own boss/independence
- Financial ambition
- Frustrated with current situation
- Business inherited from family
- Lack of opportunity with employer
- Work around a lifestyle
- Take control of your future.
Whatever your initial reasons for going in to business, ultimately you must have been passionate enough about something to take the leap. Most people don’t just get out of bed one day and decide to start their own business. It’s your passion that leads you to go out on your own.
If overwhelm has set in, there are ways to re-ignite that passion and take control of the business so it once again serves you, instead of you serving it.
It’s all about refocussing on where you want your business to go, and finding the support you need to get you there. It could also mean finding which parts of the business really don’t light your fire, and asking others to do these for you.
You don’t have to turn the car around and go back to the start. You only need to remember where you wanted to go, and get some really clear maps that will help you get there.
What are you chasing?
You may have gone into business with financial ambitions, and that’s great. But financial wealth is just a path to something else – perhaps prestige within your industry, to be able to afford bigger and better things, or to have flexible working hours. So really, financial ambition isn’t the goal, it’s just a vehicle to get what you really want.
If your focus is on the money and you are only chasing the money, you’ll always be chasing. If you set a financial goal for this week and achieve it, you can surpass it with a higher goal the following week, and the following. What amount is enough? When will you be satisfied?
Consider what your true focus is – prestige, nice things, flexibility? Once you know which focus draws you, how are you going to make it happen?
It’s all about your mindset!
If you focus on your passion, the money will come. If you focus on the money, you’ll always be chasing and never be truly satisfied. It’s often your mindset that determines your success – or failure.
Believe you can succeed, and you will. Believe you will fail, and you will. So focus on your passion, and the reason for going into business in the first place. Then whichever direction your business takes will be a journey worth taking.
Step outside your comfort zone
I know, this is the last thing you want to do! Why would you voluntarily give yourself more pain when you’ve already got enough? You know what? You’ve already taken that first step outside your comfort zone in starting your business! Acknowledge this as a great achievement. Many people dream of starting their own business and never make it a reality – you have, so well done!
Getting out of your comfort zone is a great boost to your self-confidence. When your direction changes, that doesn’t have to be the end of the journey, it’s just a change in course to a new destination. A change is as good as a holiday, as they say, and sometimes it only has to be a small change to re-ignite the passion for your business.
Consider your own business. You could do all the same things you’re currently doing. They’re not too strenuous and are giving you a good result. What if you did things a little differently? What could that do for your business? What could that do for the passion you have for your business?
There are a whole lot of opportunities available in your business that are just waiting to be snapped up. Seize them, and you’ll re-ignite your business with passion that you either didn’t know you had or thought was lost forever, which will continue to drive the momentum of your business journey.
Having the right tools in your tool box
Running your own business can be isolating and limiting, even if you have a team around you. If you’ve only got your own skills, education and experience to go by, how will you know when to think a little differently?
Here are my top three tips to help you get back on track right now:
- Surround yourself with other business people. Many business owners will have the same issues as you, regardless of the industry they’re in. Sometimes it takes a look from a different perspective to see an entirely different picture. Learn from them, and you’ll help each other with your business challenges.
- Find a mentor. A mentor is a great sounding board. They can offer a different perspective and provide practical insights and suggestions to steer your business in the direction you want it to go. We already know business can become overwhelming, so a mentor can help you re-focus and stay motivated in achieving your goals and reaching your destination.
- “Wow … I’m in Business!” is jam packed full of ideas and strategies that you can put in place to overcome overwhelm, and get your business back on track, as well as heaps of downloadable resources that you can implement into your business straight away. You can see more information and purchase your own copy here.
So we know business can be exciting; and we know it can be overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone, you just need to know what tools are going to help you get to where you want to be! Don’t let the length of this journey overwhelm you. Focus on getting to the next stop, then the next, and the next, and you’ll find you are at your destination in no time.