Have you ever been asked, "So, How's Business?"
What do you say?
Do you offer a one-liner response or do you want to ask them to pull up a chair so you can get into it with them?
I've often joked about having a kind of truth Tourette's. This isn't the kind where I can't resist just swearing wildly or saying the first swearword that comes into my head. My truth Tourette's sometimes makes it impossible for me to just throw out mindless comments without thinking them through before answering truthfully.
So for example, when somebody says something as innocent as "how's business?" I could give it the obligatory "not bad" ... But the truth is far more complicated than that. I really do struggle with not boring them senseless with a detailed response.
When I was made redundant from my previous role I spent a good while trying to figure out a new direction.
As a father of two boys, it's important to me to set a good example for them. I want them to know they can do whatever they set their minds to. That as long as they are focused and committed there is nothing that is outside of their reach.
I don't come from an entrepreneurial family or background and that comes with its own set of challenges. I was the 1st to go to university in my family.
My children have so many more opportunities nowadays than I had. They are also in a much better position to take advantage of those opportunities simply by knowing what they are. If they bring me their plans in the future, it would be great to be able to know without any doubt what it will take for them to see those plans through. But they have to be committed and serious.
There are so many things that I know I could do if I push myself harder every day. So many meetings I could take, groups I could join, money I could spend.
If you're a solopreneur or small business you'll know that’s actually one of the difficulties you face. Without a plan, you just don’t have any direction. You'll end up going everywhere and nowhere at the same time. For any business, particularly a start-up business, running out of money is a real problem. It has an impact on everything else you do. That's why generating leads and finding new opportunities is one of your main activities.
During this past year working on my business, I've been able to see things through the eyes of a business owner rather than through the eyes of an employee. I've literally been in the process of rewiring myself. If I had the luxury of another big fat stack of cash (like another year's salary) coming my way I might continue to be introspective. I imagine I might even ascend to the supreme overconfidence that only those who have an employed role are okay with. However, given that I don’t have that stack of cash the hustle is real.
I suspect that for many an entrepreneur or small business owner this is all too familiar. When the money is low and energy is mediocre and the faith is waning but the need is just as great as it's always been it can be tough for an entrepreneur to stay the course.
After all, if this was easy everybody would do it, wouldn't they?
If there’s one thing that all of this has taught me (other than to really take advantage of the situation that you are in especially as an employee – I mean seriously… That shizzle is FREE MONEY) ... it is that There is a massive difference between working in a business and working on a business. #mbssc #strategy Click To Tweet That should never ever be taken for granted.
The other thing that I’ve learnt is that if you are not working on your business you are working on yourself and both are extremely difficult to manage without serious meditation, dedication and effort.
So that should give you some sense of why it’s not an easy thing to answer whenever anybody says – "How’s Business?"
What About You?
As a business owner hopefully your mission is clear to you. No employee is going to work as hard as you on your business or be as committed to your business as you are. That's why it's important to find people who are passionate about what they can deliver and then plug those people into your business to fill all of the gaps that you either don't have the time for or the skill to execute on yourself.
Just as your business is there to solve a problem for your customers, mine is here to solve a problem for you. By acting as a resource for my clients I provide them with the help that they need with their social media strategy and execution. I get to kill two birds with one stone. I get to work on my business whilst I work in yours.
Marcus is a Social Selling Consultant with a mission to help you and your sales force to add value to your business by utilising social media. Contact him by email at Marcus@marcusboswell.com to arrange a free 15 min consultation.
I agree that question does not have an easy answer and I wasn’t prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it. I’ve certainly thought about not staying the course but something inside pushes me to continue striving to make my business a success!
Thanks for your comment Helen. I absolutely think that you should stay the course if you can. It’s definitely one of the toughest things you can do but I have no doubt that it’s also likely to be the most rewarding too. Goodluck with it, and if there is anything that I can do to help you make the necessary impact that you are looking for just give me a holla!