Kim sits in her office day dreaming about owning her own business. What would it be like to have time freedom and creative license to build a business the right way? She likes her job, but has just become a little routine. And of course, how “they” run things doesn’t always make sense.
Josh already made the leap – leaving his job and running his own thing. When I meet with him he is always complaining about his business. He says the people who work for him are a pain. His clients are not fair and have unreasonable expectations. He is always so busy but doesn’t have enough business.
Another business owner I know feels like the economy is crushing his business.
I have a friend who owns a business that wears her out. She started her own business and then gave up, choosing to work for someone else. In the last few years, she went back on her own but nothing changed. She is overworked, can’t hire good people, and is trading time for money.
I think about a large majority of small business owners and wonder, where is the love?
Where is the God-calling, passion, and purpose?
We somehow go from people like Kim – who feel that owning your own business is the American Dream – to waking up one day in what some would call a nightmare.
The most frustrating part of it all is that these once hopeful entrepreneurs have become victims in their own business. I hate that; it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s our business.
First of all, we created it. If it isn’t the American Dream, it’s probably our own fault.
It isn’t the economy, our employees, or our customers. If we created it, we can re-create it. You can.
Step Back and Re-imagine
So, let’s do that now.
We don’t want to start with all of the problems we have in our business. That is depressing and overwhelming. Let’s do this the fun way.
Get a cup of coffee, find a quiet spot, and think through these questions:
- If your business was everything you would want it to be, what would it look like? Maybe not the absolute end product, but in 5 years if it was optimal.
- If you could describe your absolute perfect dream team, what would that look like? Who do you want to work along-side everyday?
- When you were sitting in your day job, dreaming about one day owning your own business, what did you imagine the culture of your business being like? Was it efficient and professional? Friendly and family-oriented? Passionate and purposeful?
- Who is your favorite client/customer? What if all of your clients were like your favorite one? Describe them in detail.
- How did you think people would hear about you? Would it be word of mouth? Are you a closet marketer and always imagined a fleet of trucks with your logos all aligned? Or maybe you are so excited about your business that you can’t wait to get out and network and tell people about what you do?
Re-imagine your business
When you started it you didn’t think you would just open the doors, and if the stars aligned and the economic forces showed favor, your dream would come true.
So now that it is what it is, why blame the universe? Why do you feel it is no longer in your ability to make it the thriving business you originally envisioned?
I believe it can be. I do.
- Cast your vision. Answering the questions above will begin this process of finding vision for your business. I believe God has a vision for our businesses and if we seek Him first, pray about it, as we work through this process we will end-up with a God-vision. How do we know if it is a God-vision? Everyone is different, but I feel like a God-vision fills us with boldness, passion, and purpose. If you answer the questions above and you aren’t excited, well then….why would you strive for that vision?
- Assess the gaps. What is different about your business today than where you want to be? This can still be a little depressing and overwhelming, but we can’t fix it if we don’t face it. Hopefully, the renewed picture of what you want your business to be will help you face the current challenges. If we don’t identify them, we will not be able to transform our business.
- Develop a transition plan. This can take all sorts of forms depending on the gaps. But, ultimately in all of business building, we need to have a solid foundation in order to grow. Attached is a .pdf of our Business Path: Crossroads-PATH-map.
If you follow the path and make sure each foundational piece is solid before moving to the next step on the path, your transitions will set-up the platform for the next transition. You may also want to download our FREE Clarity Kit to help you process a new vision and assessment.
Here’s the thing:
As you move through this process, you are moving toward your vision. You feel purpose and progress right away, even if you are years from getting where you want to be. If it’s God’s plan for you and your business you will start to feel the embers of passion catch fire again. Your heart will participate.
And ultimately, you will fall back in love with your business.