When I start working with business owners, one of the first things I ask is, ‘What is the purpose of your business?’ In other words, why does the business exist? Surprisingly, this simple question often causes some debate.
Imagine being above a ravine clinging to a rope – white knuckles and fear of your grip slipping would be understandable. As a business owner concerns about letting go may be inhibiting your company and your health. And if your team is now remote working you may want to cling on more tightly.
As a business owner, this is the perfect time to think about what you achieved last year – and plan what you want to achieve in the coming months.
As a business adviser, I work with owners of all sorts of businesses – creative and otherwise. One thing that a surprising number of business owners have in common is that they just don’t plan their business.
The word ‘mentor’ goes all the way back to Greek mythology (it was the name of young Telemachus’s adviser in Homer’s Odyssey). And just as Shakespeare gave us many words that have percolated their way into everyday speech – including, interestingly, the word ‘manager’ – Homer’s Mentor became an everyday description for a trusted, experienced adviser.
Picture an ‘exit’ sign. Visualise those four letters above a doorway. What’s the first thing you think of? Chances are you think of something being over, finished and done with; ‘exit’ means there’s nothing more to see or do. Your work here is done.
Do you have a clear vision of where you’re going? Some business owners do and some don’t. When I start working with a client, if their vision is a blurry, vague picture, without a distinct destination or route towards it, I start by helping them clarify that picture.