So In Love (With Your Business)
Michael Gerber’s work resonates with me very deeply. Maybe you’ve noticed how deeply embedded the idea of letting your business be an separate entity is in my coaching and my writing. Perhaps you’ve even noticed my emphasis in paying attention to your vision, your real reason for your business, and how you want to enhance your self-knowledge and your management of your thoughts and feelings. The problem with Michael Gerber’s writing is it resonates so much I don’t dare read his latest books lest I be accused of plagiarism.
Which is why I shouldn’t have opened my email from Amazon. There it was, Gerber’s latest book, The Most Successful Small Business in the World, and I took a peek. Sigh…
His opening premise is about love. Yep, love. I didn’t dare read any more. It made perfect sense!
Do you love your small business? This organization that you spend so much money and time on. You lose sleep trying to determine how to nourish and develop it. You think about it all of the time. So many small business leaders have told me how they forget to eat because they got busy. Hmm…sounds like true love!
And it can break your heart. But, back to love…
New love-Some entrepreneurs love the “new love” stage. This is the startup and there are highs and lows as the idea becomes reality. A bit like those first wonderful, delirious days when you have met someone and they seem just perfect. The initial offering, your product or service, is the Answer to everything. There is a thrill to everything. At networking events, you can see the sun-shiny faces of the entrepreneurs in this stage. They smile and tell their story to everyone who will listen. This new relationship gets reinforced by the first customers, the investors who share your desire, and seeing the admiration in others’ eyes when you say, “I work for myself.”
Then comes marriage. This stage is full of adjustments but they are spread out over time. There is still growth, possibilities and a sense of wonder. The business is beautiful and occasionally your breath gets caught in your throat. The biggest shift for the entrepreneur is one of identity. No longer a startup founder but business owner with a stable company. Maybe it’s because there are new hires or a virtual assistant has been added. The business owner may be tapped as an expert and speak to organizations or at conferences. New products or services are being launched in addition to the initial line. There may not be as many “curl your toes” moments in this stage but seeing the revenues grow, profit margins increasing, and hearing how your customers value what you offer keeps the mundane from making your brain go to sleep.
Ah, love…here’s the kicker-no matter what stage your small business is in, you have to feel the passion and belief to continue on. This is true for new love and especially for marriages. When it becomes just a job, it’s time to evaluate the business to see if you still love it enough to have a deep relationship. Your passion and belief fuels your love for what you do and what effect your business has on the world.
Are you in love with your business?
How would you describe the stage it is in right now?
What would deepen your relationship with your small business?