Owning a business is something many people dream of. The idea of being totally in control of your own schedule, the type of work you take on, the budget, the future direction and the management can sound completely blissful.
But what about the reality?
Being a business owner certainly can be blissful (at least some of the time!) but a lot of people in our position find the reality very different. If you’re finding that all the joy of being a business owner is being sapped right out of you, it can be tough to find the motivation to develop and grow.
Here’s some good news: it doesn’t have to be this way! Huge numbers of business owners get a great deal of joy from their career choice and there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t be one of them.
Ready to make some changes?
The first step to rediscovering your bliss is to work out exactly what it is that’s sapping your joy. A little bit of detective work is likely to help you find the culprit. Sometimes this is an external factor, sometimes it’s internal and sometimes it’s a mix of the two.
Over the years I’ve helped many business owners get to the root of their business blues. I’ve listed some of the most common factors below.
In some ways, a little bit of stress can be helpful. It’s a great motivator and it can encourage us not to procrastinate, can give us vital adrenalin and can help us get the job done. Unfortunately too much stress can be paralysing! Uncontrolled stress is one of the biggest joy-sappers I come across as a coach. If this is playing a big part in why you’re no longer enjoying being a business owner, it’s time to take action. Mindfulness meditation, talking it out and a new exercise routine can all be beneficial, as can addressing the main source of your stress.
Sometimes the business we set out to run is not the business we end up running. This might be due to circumstances, a few wrong choices or even because of demand. Whatever the reason, if your business isn’t moving forward in a way you really want it to it may be time to pause, take stock and consider re-focusing.
Not Enough Support
It can be really tricky to manage all aspects of your business on your own. No doubt you’re excellent at what you do best, but just because you’re a fantastic baker, brilliant PR manager or terrific tradesperson doesn’t mean you’ll be great at all the other parts of running a business. If you’re struggling with your accounts, marketing your business, managing your website or taking appointments, it might be time to bring in some support. Yes there will be costs involved in this, but the time you free up will give you more space for more customer work… not to mention the benefits of the emotional relief!
Difficult Business Challenges
We’ve all had them. Sometimes external factors can seem like they’re ganging up on your business and can cause all sorts of extra stress and unhappiness. It might be because of a demanding customer, a problem with a supplier or a contentious competitor. Either way, a difficult business challenge can dent your confidence and make you feel miserable. It can be really difficult to deal with issues like these on your own. A trusted advisor could help you look at the problem more impartially.
When people dream of owning their own business, there is one reality they often don’t realise: you’ll probably spend a lot of time on your own! This is definitely true in the early days when you may not have the budget to hire additional people. Some people thrive working independently while others miss the hustle, bustle and chatter of a busier office environment. If you fall into the latter camp, perhaps you could look at creating more business partnerships or moving to a co-working space.
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, don’t panic. These are all common joy-sappers that can make us business owners blue. Happily, most of them are fairly straight-forward to address. In most cases talking to someone can make a big difference. You could consider finding a mentor, partnering up with a fellow business owner or hiring a coach.
Whatever you do, please don’t let factors like these come permanently between you and your business owner joy!