How great is it to work for yourself! But did they tell you running your own business is a whole new bunch of skills. It turns out, what can ultimately make or break your business is not the economy or environment, the product or timing, or even other people; it is you, and how well you manage yourself! ….The beauty is, you can control this.
You bring an idea, dream, and usually lots of technical expertise and turn it into a business. In time, cracks and gaps start to appear in your life, key relationships or business. But you are not on your own; every sustained business success had to learn new attitudes, skills and habits. The first step is becoming aware and taking a truthful look at the current reality.
Main concerns for solo business owners in self management:
- Blurring of private-business life
- Switching yourself on (and off)
- Motivation, loneliness
- Noone to be accountable to
- Staying focussed to your vision among daily demands
- Keeping up with tedious routine tasks
- Shortcuts in eating, exercise and sleep patterns
The result is often stress, pressure on key relationships, and burnout. If unchecked this can develop into emotional volatility, chronic sickness or fatigue, even depression.
There are keys though, that bridge this gap to managing yourself successfully. Where you can deliver a service or product that brings value far beyond your own capability.
Key qualities for successful self management:
- Responsibility – seeing yourself ‘at cause’, initiative
- Self awareness – including understanding your impact on others
- Self Belief – your internal world that shapes your external world
- Assertiveness – holding your place in the world
- Personal Happiness – vital for sustaining enthusiasm
All these qualities need to be bedded in big doses of vision and effective daily habits….not as easy as it sounds!
Lately I’ve been noticing when people are ‘stuck’ or facing an obstacle, how big is the impact of what they “don’t know they don’t know”. We certainly do our best with the knowledge we have, but we are limited by perspective, experience and even familiarity. How can you reflect and problem solve on what you don’t see? It is this “don’t know what I don’t know” that is the tripping point or turning point. This is where I turn to a mentor. I think I have pretty broad paradigms but the truth is my perspective is more limited when it comes to my problems! A mentor will raise a point I didn’t see, or hold me to account for what I did not act on….and it is the same for you.
Whether you are the boss of a business or your life, I encourage you to find a mentor. Not doing so will cost you more – pain, time and money. Stumbling around not knowing why business or life isn’t moving ahead or not know what you can do to change it, is in effect withholding your unique gifts from the world. One of the hallmarks of great leaders is humility (Jim Collins, Good to Great). Know when to ask for insight or help.