I had an interesting discussion with a successful business owner. His business was thriving! But it was clear that continuing on the same path would be a struggle—he needed the help of a business coach. Some new symptoms were taking a hold on his life: lack of sleep, high level of stress, deteriorating health, decrease in energy, and ongoing piles of work that he started to take home. Altogether, he was questioning why he no longer had time to spend with his loved ones and or to pursue his own passion. In one sentence he summed it up, “It’s not fun anymore!”
How to Tell if You need Small Business Coaching
If you own or manage a business and you are familiar with these thoughts or got to experience those symptoms, join the crowd of many business owners whom I help overcome these kinds of challenges with executive leadership coaching.
This syndrome tells a common story of business owners that get so caught up with the operation of their business that they no longer feel they can drive the business. They complain that the business runs their life. At the same time, each manager who seeks me out for executive coaching hopes to grow their business, have their employees engaged, influence more people (either through their career or through their personal life), and of course improve their quality of life.
I’ll let you in on a secret. You can aspire for business growth. But operating at full throttle day in and day out without a business strategy drains your resources and makes you wonder at the end of the day: what have I really accomplished?
Plus, when you lose your own focus, it becomes nearly impossible to lead your team to excel. You see, diminishing levels of performance just don’t go well with higher achievements. Not for you. Not for your employees.
Is there a solution to this evident challenge?
Yes. Does it come with guarantees? Depends.
The good news is: It depends on you. It’s called small business management and as a business coach, I can show you how it works. But you cannot avoid the two sides of the coin: strategy and implementation. You need to lead both.
In order to make sure you are effective in running your business, no matter how big or small it is, you must run it as a leader. And leaders make plans and act to make those plans come to fruition. They don’t manage from the seat of their pants.
- Start by allocating time for strategy work. And when I say: allocate, I mean on your schedule! This time will be allocated to working on your big picture. The overall outlook is more important than resolving another daily business issue. Those issues will always be there. The question is, how effective will you be at resolving them? Make sure you are uninterrupted!
- Outline your top problems. To ensure success, avoid being in denial at all costs. Now is the time to be frank and honest with yourself.
- Write down what you’d like to accomplish within a year, a quarter, and the next month. Be specific. And yet, be realistic.
- Identify all your resources and their strengths—and decide who on your team can help you resolve any of the issues, or can take on a challenge or a goal. As part of motivating employees in the workplace, schedule follow-up discussions.
- Partner with a small business consulting firm or a business coach who can take you through the above steps, while identifying the real causes who have not allowed you to develop and act on a strategy. If you could have done it on your own, you would have done that already by now.
Implementing a strategy to get out of the mode that the business runs your life requires vigilance. It’s very easy to fall back into doing things the way you used to. Planning and evaluation allows you to continually focus.
- Make sure you put on your calendar when you will evaluate the progress. Reviewing does not mean you manage it on a daily basis. A successful business owner separates planning and evaluating the business from running it.
- Create an accountability structure for yourself. The biggest mistake individuals make is thinking that change will happen simply by virtue of making a decision. The hardest thing is to follow up and consistently be in action to implement a plan. If you are about to implement a change resulting from executive leadership coaching and a new business strategy, start to refer to yourself as a leader.
- Work with the right executive coaching professional who can take you through your own leadership skills assessments. Their role should be to help you not only in reviewing your personal leadership assessment, but also defining your specific leadership development plan. Remember, there is no one size fits all when it comes to your personal development program.