If you haven’t completely lost yourself in your business, you just haven’t been in business long enough. Most entrepreneurs start with a big, bold dream. A belief they can do it better. Whatever their “it” may be. And then they start walking the path of business ownership. The long days, the never-ending list of tasks, the sheer volume of balls being juggled. You play the part of visionary, salesperson, producer, marketer, customer servicer, bookkeeper, IT administrator, and the list goes on and on and on. All the while trying to turn a big enough profit to support yourself, your team, and your families.  That’s one BIG job. Getting lost in it all is bound to happen.

Over time we start to lose sight of our big vision, not just of our business but for ourselves within the business. We move from action to REaction. We react to market conditions, customer complaints, quality issues, competitor movements, technological advances, employee attrition, giant tax bills, and often times, just plainly, our own fear. We are in what I call “the Swirl”. The swirl of day-to-day business can be so intense it feels like being pulled into the undertow and you aren’t truly sure how to get to the surface to take your next breath or as mundane as just feeling “unfocused” or “foggy”.

When I speak with owners in the Swirl, I hear things like:

  • “I just need to focus on adding more sales. If we can get over this hump it will get easier.”
  • “I need to implement XYZ technology and I’ll have so much more visibility and control over the business and my team.”
  • “If I can make this (Integrator, Operations Manager, Sales Manager, etc.) hire I can refocus on other parts of the business and gain so much more headspace.”
  • “I’m implementing this new team management/incentive program/goal-setting system and it will create a better sense of ownership within my team.”

Hearing statements like these make me cringe.  Not because they are bad options, but because each and every one of them is looking in the wrong direction. When we are caught in the Swirl whether we’re gasping for air or just feeling a bit off, it’s time to refocus on ourselves, our big vision, and what we want to create for ourselves, our community, and the world.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, the team here at MACKEY has a framework for reconnecting with your original intent. We call it Business by Design. Set aside some time to be alone and answer the questions below. I can’t guarantee it will solve your problems overnight (in fact, I guarantee it won’t). But I can guarantee it will help you gain a clearer and more confident understanding of what your next steps are.

Business by Design in 5 Questions:

  1. What does your business life look like?
  2. What numbers are you trying to achieve?
  3. What products and services do you offer?
  4. What is your culture like?
  5. Who are your customers?