"I keep on fallin’ in and out of love with you,
Sometimes I love ya, sometimes u make me blue
Sometimes I feel good, at times I feel used
Lovin you darlin’ makes me so confused
Oh, oh, I never felt this way
How do you give me so much pleasure
And cause me so much pain
Just when I think
I’ve taken more than would a fool
I start fallin’ back in love with you"
Hand on your heart, how many times have you felt this way about not someone special, but about your business? I know I have many times over the years.
Michael E Gerber and the E-Myth
I spent (wasted?) years and years doing what I thought the outside world expected of me, rather than what was right for me and my life at the time. So many business advisors will say something like “If you want to run a proper business, you need to remove yourself from the business. Make the business run without you, etc…” That might work for some, but not necessarily for everyone. Some of my happiest (and very profitable) clients are our tradesmen on the tools who have no desire to employ staff. And mums will also understand how heart breaking it is not seeing their young child enough because of spending too much time in the office.
So don’t be afraid to say no to such advice, and pick the path that works for you. Run your own race. If you want to run a lifestyle business, do it. And do it without feeling unfulfilled, unaccomplished or second rate.
Money and keeping up with the Joneses
The stress of worrying about money can’t be underestimated. There is a distinct difference between not being able to pay the bills and constantly striving for that next level of financial freedom, though. I suspect we all also have a desire to project the image of being a wonderfully successful business person to the outside world.
Over the years I found that the more money I was earning as the business grew, the more my outgoings and commitments grew as well, thus leaving me to feel that I was trapped running around in a hamster wheel having to earn more and more money to keep up with my expenses.
Now, I’m not saying that striving for something more and better is a bad thing. Neither am I saying that I don’t enjoy our lovely holidays, new cars, etc. All I’m saying is just remember to check in with yourself every now and then.
Being a square peg in a round hole
As a small business owner, you will probably end up turning your hands to most things. Over the past 12 years I was a people manager, a sales person, a marketing person, an administrator, not forgetting working on client matters, with the odd toilet cleaning thrown in here and there. And doing some of these roles made me very miserable, whilst some I found very energising.
It was regularly suggested to me that I should just get some training in the areas that I wasn’t handling very well, and all would be well in the world. Finally a business coach colleague of mine told me something and the pieces suddenly clicked. He said: “Just because you are geared as a certain type of person, it doesn’t mean you can’t fulfil other roles. It just means that you will use up much more energy on doing the roles you are not naturally suited to.”
So there was my answer. I could be the most skilled people manager in the world, and it would still make me completely exhausted and unhappy. So my suggestion is not to disregard the good old adage “stick to what you’re good at” – play to your strengths and outsource the roles that are not your forte.
Most important of all, please don’t believe everything you see – everyone else is NOT perfect and has NOT got the perfect business. Trust me, I know. Many of those shining examples of successful business people striding into your next networking meeting have the same issues you, I and Alicia Keys have.