Carol and I would be the first people to tell you that running your own business is HARD.
As a business consultant to consultants, I have found that prospects don’t look for my strategy and accountability services when they’re starting their businesses, as I had initially thought.
Instead, they come to me when they hit the wall and are exhausted and frustrated. That point tends to be somewhere between 5-7 years in.
You see, in the beginning, you think you can figure it all out. Also, you might not have money to invest in a coach or business consultant.
And here’s a biggie: In the beginning you don’t know what you don’t know.
After having some success (and running into a lot of walls), you may be tired and cranky. You may say to yourself, “If I have to work this hard, I might as well work for someone else.”
Entrepreneurs reach out to me saying they’ve been in their businesses for x years and they want to become an employee. I can definitely help them with that. You may have seen the interview I did with Carol on entrepreneur.com.
Sometimes, there’s a compelling reason and the entrepreneur does hire me to help them with the transition from entrepreneur to employee.
But, more often, they decide they actually love their business and they’re just frustrated at the moment.
In that case, we dive in and fix their business. The questions I ask roughly follow this sequence:
What I listen for are ways to combine the good stuff and minimize the stuff that’s causing overwhelm or exhaustion.
Do you need to hire someone to do the things that aren’t a good use of your time? Maybe an administrative assistant, bookkeeper, virtual assistant (VA), social media expert, or project manager might help.
Would you be happier focusing more deeply on a specific niche because you are currently marketing to everyone? (This is expensive in both time and money, and your messaging will be bland and boring if you’re trying to appeal to everyone.)
Are you saying the same things to all clients? If so, maybe you could offer group coaching, or create a formal training program to free up hours in your day.
While business pivot is a trite term at the moment, you may benefit from making one – pronto. One of the best parts about running a small business is that you can be flexible.
If you own the business, you should be doing something that you feel good about.
Sure, running a business will always be hard, but this way you may actually enjoy much of the time you spend growing your business.