Being the Owner of a small business is challenging. A lack of time, inconsistent cash flow, facing overwhelm and anxiety based on increasing levels of uncertainty, feeling you have to do everything yourself if it’s to be done right, feeling isolated from the team and burdened with “I’m the owner so I should know everything”. Dealing with all of this can be a lonely and challenging place…. the weight of expectation weighs heavily on your shoulders.
I’ve been there and it’s definitely a challenging and potentially lonely space. Yet it’s also a hotbed of opportunity. Don’t see it just yet… stick with me. Over the past 6 months, I’ve spent a lot of time speaking and Coaching a number of small businesses who were experiencing the above challenges. Their struggles were real and it was causing them plenty of overwhelm. I asked them to undertake the exercise below, which generally is included in a 2Hr Workshop we run. It was an awesome starting point to see where work was needed and the opportunities to change both a mindset of who they needed to BE, what they needed to DO so they could HAVE the results they wanted.
Exercise: Take 10 mins to ask yourself the following questions and answer with complete honesty. There are no right or wrong answers, it’s your journey and it’s your business so you’ll know whether you are being completely honest. Most of the recent conversations I’ve been having with Small business owners have uncovered an uncomfortable level of assumption and lack of clarity with these:
- What business am I building and why does it actually matter to me?
What is my ultimate end game and am I currently building your business so this can happen…. or am I purely focussed on cash flow?
- If I was to buy your business tomorrow, would I need to work in the business or could the business sustain a market rate Manager to run it for me?
- Are all in the business aware, aligned and working towards the Vision of the business?
As a result, where do you sit with your clarity and direction? Are you able to answer these questions with any degree of “yes I am” and “yes I’m on track”. If you are, that’s awesome and would love to hear how you’ve done this…. we could all learn and benefit from your insights.
If not, then I believe there is some work to do. To achieve Clarity & Direction we focus on the little steps we can take towards achieving our biggest goals. To start the ball rolling, get clear on the following:
- Purpose – why do I care about this business I am creating / building and does that feed my personal values and purpose?
- Ultimate End Game – Am I building a business I can sell without me or focussing purely on cash flow? If not, what changes do I need to make?
- Team – Are the people in my business aware of where we are going and is it aligned with their vision & values?
Take these little activities on as a project and please share with those who may also need an honest assessment of where they are currently.
ABOUT PAUL FARMER
Paul Farmer is the Founder of Mentoris Group, a business focused on helping owners and business leaders get clarity and take ownership of their direction. After 20 years being part of the Corporate Strategy fabric in Australia and the UK, and embracing a significant fear of uncertainty, Paul left a high-profile role to become a Mentor, directing those in similar situations towards creating change and seeing what’s possible. A think outside the box CPA who sits on two Charity Boards, brings to the table the ability to challenge your status quo and embrace the “What could go right” mentality.