Being a business owner isn’t for the faint of heart. Especially small business owners. There’s this constant “tug-n-pull” between rolling up your sleeves and working in your business, and working on business. Unless you’re just getting started in business I bet you’ve experienced this a few times, if not over and over again.
You know the drill. You’re doing great working on your business. You’re delegating tasks, focusing on how to grow your business, and have others working the daily grind. Then all of a sudden there’s an influx, which is fantastic, but to keep things moving you find yourself working in your business. Seems like a good business practice to step in and help when things get hairy, and it probably is, but what is this vortex that gets created when you decide to step into your business for “just this week”? You know, until things smooth out a tad. All of a sudden a month or two has gone by and you’ve done next to nothing to work on your business.
So how do you avoid the all-consuming vortex and make it out the other side in a timely manner to resume your empire building activities? I suppose there’s probably enough solutions to fill an arctic tundra, but I’ll share with you one of personal favs.
Ready for this mind blowing revelation?
What?? I know! But hold on a minute before you click the X button to get out of this page.
Do you know why? Or maybe it’s more how? Unfortunately, reading Harry Potter is probably not going to get you to vacuum yourself out of that vortex. However, books on your industry, or self development books? Abso-stinking-lutely.
Having a sharp focus on working on your business is a state of mind. When we’re working in our business we’re in worker bee mode. That’s not the mindset that’s going to grow your business. Not saying it’s not helping your business. You most likely got started because you are tremendously good at your service, or knowledgeable about your products. That’s why you do what you do. But along the way you have found (or will need to find) other worker bees that are good at handling different pieces of your business.
And what happened each time after you filled someone else in where you used to be handling tasks? You gained time to work on your business. And then what happened? You saw growth in your business.
When we’re getting sucked in and out of working in our business it sometimes cascades a fog that blocks out the view of the growth we’ve seen at each point that we’ve handed over the reigns in a certain area. We just get so busy rushing from one point to the next, we sometimes become out of touch with the progress we have made.
In order to sustain this progress though, we need to make sure we’re not being sucked into our business for a month or two at a time. Can you imagine if you had an entire month more of time spent solely focusing on working on your business. How significant would that be for you? I’m guessing immensely for most people.
So back to this why reading thing…
Let’s break it down into two categories:
Reading industry related materials, whether it be an actual book, an audio book, or a few articles you’ve bookmarked to go back to, keeps you on your game. It keeps you up-to-date with the latest trends and tips. It shows you how the big dogs in your arena are managing things, and I’m guessing you wouldn’t mind being more like them?
Reading this type of material is powerful because your brain gets a surge of excitement for what you do (assuming you are actually passionate about your industry that is).
I’m not listing any specific books for industry related, because obviously, that would be different for every person reading this.
Even the self development category can be broad. In the business owner arena, I tend to think of it as anything that expands or solidifies my confidence, leadership skills, sales abilities, or spiritual endeavors. Working on, or reading material regularly that taps into one of these areas keeps us eager and excited to be working not only on ourselves, but also our businesses.
Here are a few reads that may peak your interest. If none of these seem like something you would be interested in, you can do a quick Google search for “self development books” and have a waterfall of choices a mere click away.
1-The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
In this book the author lays out a step-by-step path to live with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity. The book focuses on adapting to change and positioning yourself to be available to opportunities.
2- Crushing It! ,by Gary Vaynerchuk
If you don’t know who Gary V. is, you need to! His energy is contagious through audio, and honestly, you can even feel his zest and drive leaping off the pages of all his books. He is passionate about helping people build brands. In Crushing It he talks about the importance of building your personal brand, avenues to do so, and gives it to you straight about what it takes to get there. There’s no overnight get rich quick scheme in here, but he gives you solid advice on using social to build your brand, and includes inspiring testimonials along the way.
3-You Are A Badass, by Jen Sincero
If you recently have experienced a crush in self confidence and are looking for something to breathe life back into your belief in yourself, look no further! Sincero somehow seems to be in your mind reading all the thoughts that little pessimistic voice in the back of your head echoes to you when you’re not feeling fully capable. Whether you don’t know what, or how, to be a success, or step into your own greatness, or what the heck that even means…this book is for you.
4- Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown
I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard any of her talks, or read any of her books, but I don’t think you can go wrong absorbing any of her work into your brain. In Dare to Lead Brown discusses overcoming your fears and choosing courage. It’s an amazing book that inspires you to step out of comfort to be the leader you are, and develop a culture of bravery and vulnerability in your workplace. I highly recommend it for any business owner.
As I had mentioned earlier, there are numerous possibilities on how to make sure you stay focused on working on your business. Choosing one that gives you a little bit of time to yourself each day, and helps refuel your spark and passion, is a win-win. When we are confident and inspired we bring that out in others; it creates a powerful environment for your business to flourish.
Truly though, I hope if you were starting to trip into the vortex that this blog helped to give you a way to refocus and regroup. Cheers to a successful and prosperous 2020!