“I have tried everything!” you may be screaming at the mirror. Are you at your wits’ end? This time of year we tend to get introspective as we look forward to September and getting back to work for real. Here in the northern hemisphere, we are back to school and back to work. But if you have been struggling with your business – and many of us have been – you may be looking at re-launching your business with new services or products, or maybe even re-launching yourself back into a corporate job.
The distinctions between entrepreneur and intrapreneur (being entrepreneurial within a company) are more blurred now than they have been in the past. Pamela Slim in her book Body of Work says we need to stop forcing these distinctions and concentrate less on “work modes” because as professionals we will tend to flip between them – entrepreneurship, small business, and corporate. I know I have….
As a career transition coach and business consultant to consultants, I can tell you that it is incredibly valuable for you to step back periodically and be BRUTALLY honest with yourself about what you want your life to look like, what your best skills are, and what you are enthusiastic about delivering to clients. I talk about this at length in my new eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility.
What Excites You?
Do you know that you need to shake things up in your business? Gauging your enthusiasm is something I have been stressing with clients a lot lately. Most of us have many services we COULD provide to clients, but what gets you excited?
If you are looking to add additional services or products, make a list of what you could do and then run it through the enthusiasm filter. Does it get you excited? Great. Does it potentially get your clients and prospects excited? If yes, then you have a winner! (Having a cool product or service that nobody wants to buy won’t help you.)
Most of us can intellectually rationalize for or against any decision, so I have found that how your body feels is actually a better indicator. Do you feel energized? That’s good. Do you feel a little nervous? That too can be good. Does thinking about your new service or product make you queasy or think, “Ugh!”? That is not a good sign.
I highly recommend you add this technique into your overall decision-making process as you evaluate what you should do with your business.
When Should You Stop?
As small business owners, I think it is valuable to go back to our website, business plan, marketing plan, etc. quarterly and evaluate what is working and what could be improved.
If something isn’t working, and you have tried to fix it but it still isn’t working, just let it go. Do it even if it is a little embarrassing for your ego. (Maybe especially if it is!) I have seen small business owners doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result, which is the definition of insanity.
Not everything is going to work. Our time is our most valuable commodity as small business owners. Know when to walk away – and do it sooner rather than later. You’ll be grateful you did.
Over to You
I would love to hear about your decision-making process and how you evaluate what you will continue with in your business and what you will stop doing. Is it strictly a financial decision? Do you consider emotions like enthusiasm? Are you going to try this? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you really stuck and need help thinking through whether you are continuing with your business, going back to corporate, or maybe starting a different kind of business? You will definitely want to check out my eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. For $4.99 it may be the best investment you will ever make in yourself.
Catherine Morgan is the editor of Business Unplugged ™, an engaging speaker, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant and former employee of three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine combines strategy development with accountability coaching. Her productivity tips and career transition advice have been featured on WGN AM 720 and WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, and on WCHE AM 1520 in the Philadelphia area. Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to productivity, career transition, small business, and entrepreneurship. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.