My Small Business is Killing Me!

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I speak with a lot of small business owners, and although they don’t all come out and ask me the above question, most hint at it. After years of sacrifice and hard work, they can see no clear light at the end of the tunnel. In many cases they are reliving Groundhog Day-esque examples of the repetitious cycle of routine business work. They’re suffering from the “I have to get up and do it all again” syndrome. They have long lost the excitement and passion associated with the concept of starting a company. Another day seems more like a prison sentence than an opportunity. I call this feeling sleepwalking.

We are all guilty of some form of sleepwalking in our lives. Just go in your car and take a trip. If you are like me, most of what you see and experience while driving will be forgotten. The day-to-day becomes familiar, and we cruise through each week, absorbed by the urgent and too tired to be open to change. Sleepwalking and complacency walk hand in hand, leading us down a dangerous path. Your business is killing you, because there is no end, no goal and no exciting completion to all your hard work. And, that is just not a fun place to be.

It doesn’t have to be that way! Our business is a place designed by our imagination that has the potential to give us everything we need and want. I know that sounds like bull, but stay with me. You made a conscious decision to go into business, didn’t you? You could make a conscious decision to walk into a wall, but that would hurt, right? My point is that your decision was made because you wanted pleasure not pain. So, why are we so willing to accept pain as a result in our business?

The remedy lies in re-engaging with your vision. Go back to the beginning by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What will my business look like when it’s done?
  2. What do I love about my company?
  3. What do I hate about my company?
  4. What do I have to add to my company?
  5. What do we offer that has little real value to our clients?
  6. How do I want to interact with my creation time-wise?
  7. What would more balance between work and life look like?

Sleepwalking is dangerous. For your sake and for the welfare of the entire company, wake up! Everyone wants to feel the owner has a vision, is excited and committed to the future. It’s hard to convey that passion if your sleepwalking through each day.

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