Keep on keeping on…

05/03/12

Diane Hall

Looking through a glass ball

The theme of this article is ‘falling in love with your business’. For some, perhaps more seasoned, business owners it may be hard at the moment to feel the same passion for your products or service as you did when you first started out.


It’s been a tough twelve months, without a shadow of a doubt. Your heart may not flutter when you think yet of another difficult day in your business, but we’re sure it will still have some positives. And what’s the alternative at the moment anyway? People are losing their jobs left, right and centre…if you feel like jacking it all in to get a ‘real’ job, consider if there are actually any ‘real’ jobs out there to go to.


The strides being taken to get the country back to business will pay off at some point. The vaccination programme is still being rolled out and meeting targets set, and once a certain proportion of the population has had their jabs, businesses should be able to open back up—abiding to social distancing restrictions if necessary.


Think how far you’ve come, not just to still be hanging on in 2021, but in general. Think about all you’ve learned from being in business and the positives you can enjoy from working for yourself.

If you need a reminder of these, read on.


Greater flexibility

Want an afternoon off for a family matter? You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission, you just need to slot it in your diary. Fancy knocking off an hour early? Though you will undoubtedly have to pick up the time further on in the week, you can’t be threatened with the sack if you decide you’ve had enough for the day. Your time is yours.


And ignore the naysayers who say it’s more difficult to claim your time when you have a handful of demanding clients as opposed to one boss; being the owner of the business, you can choose who to work with. If a client doesn’t respect your time or your boundaries, guess what? You don’t have to work with them.


The variety

It’s rare that someone who owns a business quits because they’re perpetually bored. That’s more likely to happen when working for an employer than for yourself. The variety of clients, occasional diversifying or the creating of new products, the people you meet and the connections you make, the places you may get to visit—these are the things that make entrepreneurial life interesting.


Going to the same office, with the same colleagues, doing the same work, day in, day out…that’s the stuff that can wear you down over time. Being in business usually means no two days are the same. You never know what may come in. You never know how much you could earn. It’s all a mystery…an exciting mystery.


You get to be much more creative when working for yourself, as you don’t have a line manager, a head of department, a CEO or a board of trustees that you need to run everything past—because you’re all of those things in one.


Pride

We’ve no doubt many people feel a sense of pride about their work when employed; however, we would suggest that this feeling is even stronger when you run your own business. It’s not just your product/service you should feel proud about, but how you manage to get it in front of your customers’ noses, how you create and sustain the customer journey, how you create growth in your business—there is so much to be proud about.


You can’t always shut the door on your business like you can on a job, as you may need to use some of your downtime to network, innovate, strategise and promote yourself; because your business demands a greater commitment, you should rightly feel proud that you have the staying power, energy and effort to drive it forward.


Simply put, you help people directly when running your own business, as opposed to simply helping your employer’s bank account grow larger when in a job.


Your personal growth

With so much stimulation, new skills to learn, and because the buck stops with you, it’s fair to say that being a business owner doesn’t come without its challenges. However, once these challenges are met, you’ll probably find you’ve grown a little as a person. And, let’s face it, who wants to play it safe in life?


The financials

Many business owners will have been adversely affected financially by the pandemic, and we don’t want to minimise this. On the flipside, however, we also know some entrepreneurs who claimed 2020 was their best year yet. If you’re struggling, it may seem enticing to give it all up for a regular wage. It’s understandable if you do choose this path, as there’s nothing more important than feeding your family and keeping a roof over your heads; however, before you make this decision, ensure that you’ve tried every avenue for financial support in your business first, and also consider whether you could work part-time whilst still pulling the strings of your business until the time comes when you can fully return.


When there’s not a pandemic on, and you enjoy a good run in your business, the financial rewards easily outstrip the average wage.


The conclusion…

It’s tough out there for many entrepreneurs, and it’s easy to become disillusioned about being your own boss when it is so difficult. However, as a business owner, you’ll have experienced peaks and troughs before…think of this as just another (very deep) trough.


Remember: there are opportunities in every crisis. Maybe your fiercest rival jacks everything in/goes under (not that we’d wish this on anyone). Maybe your product/service will be in much greater need when everything goes back to normal. Maybe your business could diversify into something more befitting to the world, post-pandemic.


The peak for some businesses may turn out to be just as enormous as the dip they’re in now. As they say, you have to be in it to win it. If you were to wind your business up now, how will you ever know?

Remember the good that balances or outweighs the bad, when it comes to running your business. Remember why you started your company in the first place.


Keep on keeping on.

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