Keep your Head

Does it seem that the world is going mad? First Brexit, now Trump as president and Ed Balls surviving yet another week on Strictly! All around us things are happening that are unexpected and kicking against the perceived norm. Some of these things we may be able to influence – by voting for example – but they aren’t in our ultimate control. In contrast your business is. 

There may be times when it may not go quite the way you are expecting or something unplanned sends you along another path but ultimately the business you create is up to you.

There are plenty of books to help you establish a business plan, an infinite number of business models that tell you how to structure a company and numerous mentors and business gurus who are willing to share their expertise. With all these resources to hand you could almost abdicate responsibility and believe that what happens to your business is not your fault. There will always be unexpected events, misunderstanding and times of conflict but what’s important to remember is that your business has life because of you.

So what can you do to show real business ownership?

Look after yourself – If you aren’t fit both physically and mentally you cannot expect to be able to make the best decisions for your business. It may be difficult to boundary work and relaxation but make an effort to create the work life balance that suits you.

Build a strong support network – Humans were not built to exist in isolation. Your business may be a one man band but surround yourself with people who support your vision. Find a mentor that you are comfortable sharing those difficult work decisions with and friends who don’t mind you socialising with them in unmatched socks when you haven’t done the washing!

Appreciate the uniqueness of your business – Your business is as unique as you are. All the advice and information you can gather will inform your business style and create a strong foundation but you need to be the life blood. Appreciate the fact that your business will not be a carbon copy of what has gone before but it is yours to nurture and grow as you see fit.

Learn to celebrate – The success of your business is equally as unique as its structure. Comparing yourself to competitors is inevitable and undoubtedly there wil be some lessons to be learnt. However, it’s not the only measure of success – take the opportunity to think about what success really means for your business. Working longer hours has the potential to increase profit but is your business about more than that? Would working the hours you do and having time to go to an exercise class or work in the community be more in line with your idea of success?

As Rudyard Kipling aptly penned, ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…Yours is the Earth’ – and that includes your business!