Starting a business is a bit like falling in love for the first time: it’s exciting, exhilarating, and new. You want to savor each moment and be your very best every minute of every day.
After the adrenaline rush subsides, however, reality sets in and you may discover that not everything about running a business is so wonderful. There will be tasks you don’t like to do, activities you find stale and boring, technical difficulties to test your patience, and clients and vendors who might challenge you.
Unfortunately, being a small business owner isn’t all red roses and Lindt milk and white chocolate truffles (my personal favorites).
Thankfully, however, you can rekindle the flames of passion for your business after the honeymoon is over by making a few subtle changes in how you work and think. Here are six tips for falling in love again with your small business.
1. Delegate tasks that you find monotonous
If they really don’t need your personal attention or expertise, consider handing them over to someone who is perfectly capable of tending to them. So, if entering expenses in your accounting software or proofreading proposals drags you down, lighten up by giving the responsibility to an employee or virtual assistant.
2. Streamline processes to make things run more smoothly
I feel energized when I find ways to “re-invent the wheel” and make my business more efficient. Take an objective look at how you’re managing your employees, producing your products and services, and running your business overall to identify where your productivity hits roadblocks. Then, brainstorm with your team to discover tactics and tools that can improve workflow and yield better results.
3. Take time to work not just “in” but also “on” your small business
Having started numerous companies, I’ve learned that business owners need to set time aside not only to do the work, but also to plan. No matter how small or large your business, you need to consider the big picture, identify goals and objectives, and create a roadmap to guide you toward success. I recommend scheduling time on your calendar, at least weekly, to review your master plan and check your progress toward achieving your goals.
4. Join a professional networking group with high-energy, enthusiastic members
Socializing face to face with inspiring entrepreneurs and professionals always motivates me. Energy and enthusiasm are truly contagious. Get out there to mix, mingle, and revive your business drive and determination.
5. Find new opportunities
When I look for ways to expand upon my business offerings and enter new markets, it invigorates me. And I especially feel alive when I can add new team members or promote my existing staff to higher positions. New opportunities, whether you’re on the receiving or giving end, can recharge your batteries like nothing else.
When you’re in a bit of loveless lull with your business, put forth the effort to remember the positive aspects of entrepreneurship. Make a list of what you’re grateful for. As I remind myself of the perks (such as greater control of my schedule, ability to select the people I work with, limitless professional development opportunities, and others), the pitfalls always seem less significant.
Don’t lose hope if you’re not currently feeling fondness for your business like you used to. Although the spark of adoration may have dimmed as you face the day-in-day-out realities and challenges of entrepreneurship, all is not lost. With a little effort, adjustments, and patience, you can revive your affection and keep your love alive.