You may feel like your business is failing. You may feel like your business is better than you could have ever hoped. In either case, you are right where you’re suppose to be. One of the biggest keys to business success is accepting the idea of your business journey and stop asking, “What is Wrong?”
I know what you’re thinking, “Why would a business coach tell me nothing is wrong with my business? Isn’t it their job to fix my business?”
So, let’s get the record straight. Your business is NOT broken.
Your sales may not be where you’d like them to be. Your marketing efforts may not be paying off. You may be losing instead of making money. Your employees may all be depressed. How can you say, “Nothing is wrong?”
What if I told you that all of the things that exist in your business, good or bad, are a result of choices you have made. I did not say, “mistakes.” I said, “choices.” Yes, that’s right, you have made choices that have either moved you forward, kept you stagnant or moved you backward.
So, the question you ought to ask is, “How can I make better choices?”
You may have heard of ‘authenticity’. You may have even heard how you need to be your authentic self in order to succeed at whatever you try in life. It’s true. Most of the time, business owners make choices that do not move their business forward, they are making choices that are not their own choices at all. Instead, they have mimicked a choice that they learned at a seminar; in a business school; on a web blog; or a choice that was forced on them by a business consultant; or a choice from a place of fear.
Who are you, really? In order to better understand who you really are, you need to take some time to reflect on the things in life that make you happy. When have you experienced success in your past? What did it feel like? What did you think during times you were successful? What things excite you? Who were you, when you felt the most content? The answers to these questions will give you clear clues to your authentic self… and not the contrived self that you have been pretending to be.
Once you know who you are, you can now make more authentic decisions that reflect your style, your personality. Unfortunately, that is often not enough to succeed. Being authentic is much easier than pretending, but that doesn’t mean you will make the kinds of decisions that will move you forward. I now want to introduce another key concept of ‘Perspective’.
We all probably know that there are different ways to look at the world. You can be a ‘glass half full’ person (optimist); or a ‘glass half empty’ person (pessimist). Both perspectives are ‘true’. However, the way you see this truth will determine how well you act.
The best way for me to illustrate how perspective changes your action is to give an example. Let’s say you are a print shop owner. You just hear that one of your customers has complained that you botched a $2,000 order and will need to redo the entire thing. After all is said and done, you will lose $3,000 on the order and may even lose this loyal customer in the process. I want to show you five different perspectives you can take on this situation:
- Great, another botched order. Our printers are always breaking down and costing me more money than I’m making. At this rate, I will be bankrupt by the end of the year.
- I cannot believe this customer is complaining about such a small flaw in his print order. I’m not going to redo the order for him. We did all we could. It’s his problem now.
- I guess I’ll just suck it up and re-print the order. Nothing I can do about it. If our company fails, I guess that’s just the way it is.
- That poor customer. We need to do everything we can to make his order right. That’s just what good business owners do. The customer is always right.
- I’ve noticed that other printers have this same problem with some of their print orders. If we can figure out how to get this right, we can surpass other printers in quality and gain more business.
The reality is that none of these perspectives are right or wrong. However, #5 will result in moving your company forward; while the other four will result in some sort of compromise that will either cost you money or cost you a loyal customer.
So, how can you make better choices from of a place of confidence? Especially, if you are constantly questioning your decisions. A therapist will tell you that choices in your present are a reflection of some events that have happened in your past. While this may be true, it often doesn’t help your present situation to know why you are making the choices you are. You need to know what different choices you need to make to move forward.
A business coach is an explorer of sorts. With a load of curiosity, a business coach asks questions designed to uncover your authentic self and then highlights your current level of perspective on how you deal with business challenges and opportunities. In the coaching process, the business coach will help you increase your perspective level to a point that you will always make decisions that move you and your company forward.
Because every person and every business is different, no consultant can tell you exactly how to run your life or your business. If they did, they would be further masking your true self. However, a business coach can expose your true self and help you make fully conscious decisions that move you and your business forward.