Being that this is the first post on my blog I figured I would start with the one who started it all, the owner!
Businesses wouldn’t exist if they didn’t have an owner. A business needs someone who holds a vested interest in the success or failure of it otherwise it would run completely out of control. The owner is the one that has his/her neck out on the line everyday; legally, financially, and even their public image. Yes, not all business owners are present at the business everyday, but in some way, shape, or form they typically check in for updates on the business. Ok! Yes there are some owners that just don’t give a crap about their business but I’ll leave that rant for another post.
So let me ask, are you the owner from hell? Does your business dread having u around? You might be surprised the damage you’re doing to your business day after day.
Despite the fact that the business owner is the one who has the most to lose, he/she isn’t always the most beneficial person for the business. Have you seen that show “Bar Rescue” with John Taffer? It airs on Spike Sundays at 9pm and is a “reality” show about failing businesses that are at their breaking point and have, as the show says, agreed to “pull back the doors, bust open the books and make the call for help to Bar Rescue”! The whole reason I brought up this show is that more times than not you’ll see that the failure of the business and the on going problems of the business are caused by the owner. This doesn’t seem to really make the most sense since the one who’s neck is on the line seems to care the least. But as the show progresses you see John start to peel back the layers of emotions that really cover up the “true owner”; the owner the business really needs.
Back to where it started!
So, you started this business! Maybe it was for the Benjamin’s, maybe it was for freedom from corporate prison, or maybe you saw a need and wanted to show others in your community and beyond how much better your idea or business was than the other schmucks out there! The point is that you once cared deeply about your business and you were on fire for success. You worked 7 days a week, 18 hours a day, and never shut up about what new product or feature your business was coming up with. What happened? Where did that passion go and why is your motivation about as dried up as the Mojave desert? Whatever the reason is I challenge you to get out of your funk and start living your life once again. I could spend hours writing on the many reasons why business owners seem to hit a wall and go down a slippery slope of progressive failure, but honestly I think you just need to start with some self-reflecting. Here’s a few tips that will help you get a better understanding of you and why you’re in the situation you’re in.
- Write down the last time you remember being in a good mood and happy, for a solid month, to be at work. Now write down two possible reasons why you were in a good mood whether they were work related or not.
- Write down the last time you remember being frustrated, depressed, and annoyed that you had to go to work.
- Write down two reasons why you started your business.
- Write down why you are still at the same business.
- Lastly, write down the one thing you wish your business could provide for you.
Take a look at what you wrote and see if you can find a rhyme and reason to your misery. There’s always an answer out there to every problem, but it usually is just a matter of finding it. Write me or post a comment and tell others what you came up with. You might find that you aren’t as alone in your situation as you think.
Where did that passion go and why is your motivation about as dried up as the mojave desert? Whatever the reason is I challenge you to get out of your funk and start living your life once again.
Your Sour Attitude
Ok! So we know why you started your business and hopefully you have some idea as to why you now hate your business. Or at least hate doing what you’re doing at your business. Let’s talk for a minute about why you might just be the business owner from hell.
Let me say, I hate the flu. It’s been a good several years since I’ve come down with it, but I figure I’ve made it through a good amount of flu seasons unscathed because of precautions I’ve taken. I do have an immune system of steel, but like Superman and kryptonite, I have my weaknesses. 😉 Back to my point! When flu season comes around I make sure to keep a good eye on who is sick and stay clear of them. Being trapped in a petri dish of a room with sick people is just asking for trouble. I also make sure to wash my hands several times throughout the day. This really helps decrease the chances that I will be infected by any others. Lastly, I take some extra measures and keep up on the vitamins.
Why the story about my fears of catching the flu? Well, I think the effects the flu can have on the work place is very much the same that an attitude can have. A negative attitude is contagious! It will inevitably rub off on others around you and if they don’t take precautions themselves on staying emotionally and mentally healthy then they run the risk of becoming negative as well. You might be surprised on how much your attitude effects your staff. You are supposed to be their leader and they look to you for direction. Just like you would your own children, you need to set an example for them on how to treat each other, customers, and vendors. The whole dynamic of your business starts with you and how you handle your days. What do they think of you? Do they think all you care about is money and the bottom line? Maybe they feel used and only good for what they do for the business and not what the business does for them. When is the last time you’ve thanked your employees? Maybe write them a card telling them how much you appreciate them and what they do. Include a gift card as well just so you don’t seem stingy. This will help break through the walls they’ve built up trying to keep you and your insanity out.
How do you handle problems that arise at work? Do you get stressed out and start to yell? Do you take it out on your employees right then and there without first processing the situation? If yes, then you are only doing damage to your business. Learning to deal with stress is one of the most important things to master as a business owner. There is too much to loose to not be able to handle stressful situations CORRECTLY so you need to get a handle on this if you lack in this area.
The Road to Freedom
Just like a negative attitude can kill the mojo, a positive attitude WILL nurture growth, cause positive change, and create an all around healthy work environment. Which environment will breed growth and ultimately increase your bottom line? I’m putting my money on the positive, mojo enhancing, attitude.
Let me challenge you to do a few things that will help turn your work environment into a positive one:
- Learn to respond, not react! When something bad happens just take it in, think about it, and thoughtfully and caringly work towards a resolution. If you have a manager, get their advice for how to handle the situation.
- Be a leader! If you have a manager, teach them how to lead your staff. Delegate responsibilities so you’re not doing it all. Don’t let your business be a free-for-all. Control can be maintained with compassion and a positive attitude. A loud voice only goes so far.
- Have a shoulder to lean on. Well, at least someone you can vent to. Having a positive attitude every second of the day just isn’t realistic. Sometimes you will need to blow off some steam, but just make sure it’s to someone that isn’t involved in your business. If you are married, I would recommend to have a friend that you can also talk to. There are just some days that venting to your spouse will only create more problems rather than helping you be free of them.
- Lastly, treat your staff with respect and make sure they know you appreciate them. Even if they only come in a few hours a week. If they do a good job for your business then they deserve a thank you. An employee that feels appreciated is usually one that will bend over backwards for their boss. They will go to bat for you when you really need them and most importantly, when they move to their next venture they will always remember the positive impact you made on them.
Thanks for reading. I hope this post helps you get a start at living the life you should be living. Free from depression, stress, and anger. You worked hard to start this business, so why not put in some work to clean things up?
Follow my blog if you’re not already! I will be posting regularly and things will only start to get good as people start to interact with my posts. Good, bad, and the ugly I want your comments and I look forward to giving you my replies.