Business Owner or Professional Juggler? Which one are you?
Try asking yourself this - if you are in business, is it time to give yourself a psychological promotion? Not sure?
The word entrepreneur is greatly overused and many business owners, including myself, find this word a little ridiculous and ever so slightly condescending. It seems it is almost interpreted that an entrepreneur is someone in business who has created their first million in year one and bought the yacht to prove it, or purely someone who has been brave enough to start their own business. In reality it bares no relation to a typical (or even an untypical) business person in the UK today.
Let’s get real!
The ‘job title mentality' of business owners, or at least how they perceive themselves, varies when it comes to naming or voicing their specific area of expertise. Being British, we are generally more comfortable with understating our position or importance in society and we forget or shy away from rewarding ourselves with a job title that aligns perfectly with our achievements, as well as identifying one which gives us a psychological edge in our profession – if we are in business, our profession is a business person, not a plumber, graphic designer, or builder [delete job] – they are the people who work for you. None of us set up a business to just have a job, when we took that unique position of a business owner.
In business, we adopt a whole lot of new skills, and with that we become unique and important members of the community – the employer and professional business person. No longer are we answerable to others, we take on the responsibilities of staff, making profit and, of course, keeping the Chancellor's coffers topped up. We set up our businesses with a vision of what we want it to become, whether that's to put more money in our bank accounts, improve our lifestyles, to have more holidays, or to leave a legacy for our families. The reasons we start businesses vary but we all seek one thing - to be successful in doing so.
As we continue to be successful over the months and years, we become self fulfilling prophecies and start surpassing the statistics we hear regularly, i.e., only 30% of incorporated businesses make it past three years, and so on! If you go beyond 10 years you are incredibly unique.
So, firstly reward yourselves with that enviable title of a Successful Business Person or Successful Company Director, and secondly think about the reasons why you are where you are today. Why did you start a business? Are you on track to achieve the goals and the vision you set for yourself and the business? If you have lost sight of this, it’s time to…
Be proud, go forward with renewed vigour and have a plan!
Your plan stage 1: A psychological barrier to success is not recognising what you have become and still seeing yourself as that graphic designer or plumber. Remove this barrier to your success immediately, it is very unlikely you will achieve your end goal if you don’t.
So now your specialist subject is being a business person, what are the goals for such an individual? Well, they haven’t changed at all. You still want the success, the early retirement or the better holidays, but now mentally you are prepared for achieving those end goals, or that all important exit strategy.
Recognising the stages of business success
Of course there are many stages within the business process from start-up to successful exit, but it is important to look beyond and define that exit strategy. This could involve a sale of the business or an introduction of a management team to run the business with little or no involvement from yourself. You may want to continue as the business owner or majority share holder, but essentially you have reached the ultimate goal of why most of us go into business in the first place. Freedom to explore your next venture. It’s what makes us all tick!
You are free to explore a new business direction, expand or diversify your operation, and free to think about YOUR future and how you want to develop your skill as a Success Business Owner and become better than you already are.
Psychology – adopting a change within yourself
Psychological barriers are common-place within business, and overcoming them normally requires a mentor who has gone through those psychological changes, achieved that exit strategy, and is now exploring life beyond that first, second or third business success. Serial successful business owners are rare but sit down with one and the insight you can gain is invaluable.
Hanging onto shirt tails
One of the common statements I make when coaching a business owner is not to be afraid or feel ashamed to reveal your strengths and weakness. Business is a constant learning curve and being able to identify areas of improvement within yourself, and your business, is the start to creating that positive change and to providing the building blocks for your future career as a Successful Business Person.
Every successful professional across sport, commerce and academia can ally some of their success with the help of a mentor or coach, and the opportunity to reach and maintain peak performance is exactly why business coaches exist.