10 Barricades to Small Business Bliss

When I ask small business owners why they chose to open their own business, they give me a variety of answers including …. it’s a fulfillment of dream or a calling …. more time to spend with family and friends …. more opportunity to do what they love …. flexibility …. 100% control over how they are managed or motivated …. doing what they love …. loving what they do …. serving a special community …. having unlimited opportunity for earning …. and all of these answers point to one single, very powerful reason …. to find their full potential for happiness and live their bliss.

Why did you open your business? What contributed to your decision to take the risk, commit to the hard work, own the responsibility? Did you get all you expected? Are you living a blissful life?

Why did you open your business? What contributed to your decision to take the risk, commit to the hard work, own the responsibility? Did you get all you expected? Are you living a blissful life?

If you have owned your business for more than a few months, you have no doubt already learned that having it all is not nearly as easy as you thought it would be.
For most business owners they can easily identify what stands in the way of having more of what they desire. I call these the barricades to bliss. Here are the dirty dozen.

1. Lack of planning.

Planning is the mostly commonly overlooked business success component. Planning is essential but does not have to be complicated or overly time consuming. For every minute you spend planning, you save four in execution. That alone is reason enough to have a plan.

2. Inconsistent time management.

All of us have but 24 hours in every day. It is what you do with it that counts. For business owners, the best use of time is on those priority actions that can yield the greatest results.

3. Weak boundaries.

Boundaries are critical to a balance. You are the only person that can set boundaries for the way you work and the way you live. You need boundaries for work and all other areas of life, boundaries with employees, and boundaries on personal and business money and investments.

4. Lack of or the wrong resources.

You may be willing to wear all the “hats” in your business, but there is a limit on how far you can go if you are the only resource. The right team can save you time, money, and aid in your expansion and efficiency. The right team can help build your business, assist you in developing professionally, and inspire you to create more than you ever dreamed possible.

5. Human resources issues.

Most people avoid conflict of any kind. If you have a staff, you must be willing to manage them to top performance and, when necessary, to address performance issues. To avoid doing so can cost you not only time and money but opportunity. People can be your best asset but only if they are properly managed and supported.

6. Giving it all away.

It may surprise you to know that price setting is one of the most common barricades to bliss. Business owners often undercharge for their products and services. Generally this improves with time but, in the early years owners, often lack confidence that they are worth the price the market will bear.

7. Not doing what you do best.

Do what you do best every day. As a small business owner, it is easy to get caught up in doing it all, wearing all the “hats”, some of them you love and some of them you hate. Owners are most successful if they do what they do best every day and outsource or delegate the rest.

8. No time to reflect and refresh.

So many small business owners open a business so that they will have more time for recreation, family, personal pursuits, and more, but they do not make “non-work” time a priority. Soon they become overwhelmed, exhausted, and then resentful. Time to rest and reflect is critical. If you need to justify it, then remember that you are most productive when you return from rest.

9. Not aligning the business plans with life priorities.

Know what you want from small business ownership. Be clear on what benefits you hope to gain: flexibility, control, money, feed your passion. Be clear on what role you want it to play in your life and your schedule and stick to it.

10. Not delegating or empowering.

It is not easy to relinquish control, but it is critical to know when you need help and ask for it. Be sure you have the resources you trust available. Be willing to ask for help and accept it – personally and professionally. Your ability to hire staff, delegate and outsource can help you reach your professional and your personal goals much quicker.

11. The wrong attitude.

Attitude is free and powerful. It is one of those things every business owner fully controls, and it makes an enormous contribution to success. But for many they focus on what is going wrong instead of what is going right. Focus on creating and maintaining optimism, mindfulness, respect for self, and respect for others. When you make the positive choice, your outcome is higher productivity, better business results, and a more joyful life.

12. Swimming against the current.

Finally, it is critical that you take advantage of your opportunities. It is like flowing with the current in a river. Learn to recognize opportunities and move in that direction. Take advantage of all those situations have to offer. Listen to your inner voice. Go with the flow, it will take you to your final destination.

 

I have owned my own business now for over 10 years. I do so because it fulfills my passion for helping and learning, it gives me complete control over my time (whether I take it or not is a choice), it allows me to practice my strengths and abilities, it provides me with a an income that suits my needs, it inspires me to try new things and meet new people, it keeps me engaged in a pursuit that is worthwhile, and I know that I control my destiny. All of that is “well” and “good”, but if I could not say I love it then it would just be a job. The great news for me is I do love it. Always have. I feel so fortunate to have had the courage to step out on my own and make it happen. It is not always easy but it is always worth it. Can you say the same? For business ownership to be right for you, it is imperative that you wake up every morning knowing you have the best job in the world. If you do not, why not let someone else go to bed worrying how they will manage the challenges tomorrow?

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