When the buck stops with you
When I decided to start my own business I did so out of a passion to build something I could be proud of and enjoy working in. I launched into it somewhat naively and learnt as I went along. It went well as it turned out, although with hindsight I would advise anyone thinking of opening a business to get experience working for someone else in the industry before embarking on their own venture!
Running my own business was a steep learning curve and a challenge I mostly enjoyed. First a sandwich shop with 3 or 4 employees and then a cafe bar with 8 or 9. The practical, administrative and management skills I had to acquire often tested me to my limit. Having young children also added another dimension!
I remember being frustrated at the time by the numerous different issues I had to deal with and how very often they would occur only once so that I couldn’t benefit from things becoming easier with repetition. I didn’t have a support network where I could benefit from others’ experience or knowledge nor share what I had learned. Often self employment is like that.
Neither was I in a financial position to outsource work or problems and maybe I wouldn’t have wanted to anyway! We self employed people often have a belief that we are the best person to sort our issues out!
Back then I hadn’t come across the concept of the difference between working ‘in’ and ‘on’ a business. Standing back from the minutiae of daily tasks and taking time to get an overview of your achievements and plans, I now realise, is essential if you want to make the best success of your business. Reflecting on your purpose, goals and vision is at another level where the best decisions get made.
From personal and professional experience now as a life coach, as well as the benefits I am aware of the ‘lonely’ nature of being self employed. When you run your own business the buck stops with you. You take the responsibility and you reap the rewards. Whoever is involved, it is you who has the final say. It is you who has to make tough decisions. It is you who must keep an overview. How you do this will depend on your business, the support you have and your own preferred style.
Finding trusted people you can discuss your business issues with; setting aside time to review and plan; and having your vision and goals clearly identified and recorded, are all valuable investments in your business. Making that investment on an ongoing basis will more than pay for itself.