While many of us think of our business as our ‘baby’, this can be detrimental to how we make our business work. Being emotional around your business can make it difficult to see where the pitfalls are, or the areas that are not working for you. Having the passion and drive to keep your business going is one thing, but constantly bringing feelings into your business decisions can diminish your business prowess. Being emotional can make it difficult to make the hard decisions when it comes to building on the foundations of your business.
Emotions bring up questions like ‘Why is this not working?’ instead of the more rational ‘How can I make this work?’. The ‘Why?’ is more of an emotional response than the more measured and curious ‘How?’ that can make you see your business issues in a different light. Nobody wants their business to fail, however when things are not working, it can be hard not to bring emotions into it, especially as your business is so connected to your personality and brand.
So how do you take a step back when the emotions start to take over?
1. Look at the cold hard facts – the numbers! When you know the numbers are not adding up, and you are not making enough to break even, or make a profit, you need to go back to basics. How much do you need to make to have a profitable business for this month, then for three months, then for six months. How many clients do you need every month, how many sales calls do you need to make to sell your product? Knowing your numbers takes the emotional pressure off as you can then make a concrete plan on how to make the numbers work for you.
2. Stop trying to be all things to all people: When you are trying to appeal to everyone in business, then you are appealing to the masses. Think about your ideal client, who is the person you would love to work with the most? What are their problems and how can you solve them? When you speak to one person, who are they? What is their life like? How can you help them? Speak to just one person in your business, your ideal client, the person you want to attract to your business, and focus on their needs and the solution to their problems.
3. Plan strategically: When you have your 90 day or 6 month plan in place, then stick to it. Don’t veer off the to look at the ‘shiny objects’ that cause distractions, focus on the plan of action. Planning too far ahead can be unrealistic as business changes and evolves every day - have one long term plan in place (i.e. one year) with 3-4 short term plans to help you achieve that goal. Sticking to the plan will make you less doubtful about your decisions and take the emotion out of the equation.
4. Delegate! Don’t try to be CEO and bottle washer! It’s always best to work to your strengths in your business, stop working at things that take up all your time. Delegate the stuff you’re not good at, otherwise you won’t have the energy for the things you excel at in your business. Don’t do the accounts if you are not good with numbers, stop working on digital marketing if you don’t enjoy it. Find people who are good in these areas, give them an idea of what you need to bring people into your business and get on with the things you enjoy.
5. Remember your Why! Even if the reason you started your business is based on emotion (and for many female entrepreneurs it is!), remembering why you got into business in the first place can help ground you in times of flux and doubt. Remind yourself that you are in business to serve, to help solve problems, and that getting emotional around this will cloud your judgement and make you fall out of love with why you started in business in the first place.
6. Ask for help! When you get overwhelmed and your emotions take over, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out when things are getting too much, it’s better to get someone’s help than have your business fall apart. Identify the areas that you are struggling with and find people who can help you. It might cost a little for their expertise, but make sure that the advice and service they give will help draw people into your business.
7. Cut the dead wood: Sometimes if a system or a person is not working well in your business, it’s time to let go. If it doesn’t make financial sense to keep something (or someone!) part of your business, you need to make the decision to restructure and prune the excess for the sake of the business. Look at where you are spending your money, and see if you are making a profit as a result of having that person/software/product in your business. If not, you know the answer to the problem. Be strategic and focused on the things that matter in your business, this usually equates to the clients and the numbers, not the dead wood!
Being emotional around your business costs energy, energy that is better spent focusing on making your business work for you and your clients. You want your business to be a reflection of who you are, of your brand, of your talents. Getting emotional when things start to go a bit wobbly will not help you stay on track with your business goals. Instead, remember your business is there to serve you and others, to help you create the lifestyle and freedom you want and to help people with solutions to their problems.
If you'd like some help with this area, I offer a 30 minute Breakthrough Strategy call where we look at where you are, where you want to be, and how to get you there in your fledgling business. Contact me in the comments below or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!