Attn: Small Business Owners – You’re doing JUST FINE!
June 15, 2015
“I so feel bad I never thought of…”
One theme I see regularly in every single one of my consults is the clients always feel bad. They feel bad they didn’t think of the recommendation I made sooner or they feel bad their training or infrastructure isn’t further along. One way or another, they always feel bad they didn’t do something better or sooner.
To an extent, this is part and parcel for a successful entrepreneur or other executive. We tend to be high drive and propel ourselves well with a competitive nature and a healthy dose of self-criticism. It is just how we roll, but I wish people could see that the only thing they are really doing wrong is feeling bad.
Your business is like a garden
It is a cool, beautiful, living thing with unpredictability and infinite potential to go many directions. It also can get trampled on by natural elements and hard use. This demands that you throw a lot of financial, mental, and emotional resources into upkeep, let alone moving forward with plans. And sometimes you get going on one area to develop something amazing and it is at the expense of other parts for a while. And that’s fine. Plus, you’re not going to think of everything all at once. And sometimes you don’t notice things until it’s too late. That is how it is for everyone.
Feeling bad might drive you. But it can slow down your business in unlikely ways
While these sentiments of feeling bad for not doing something well enough or fast enough are very natural, they affect your employees stress and anxiety more than the precipitating shortcoming probably did.
If you are constantly feeling “stupid” (the word clients usually use, and I did too as a business owner), or badly about what you didn’t think about or do, your employees naturally think you are judging them with the same impossibly harsh judgements you are judging yourself with. And nothing exhausts and wears one down like constantly feeling judged. They can get a complex real fast. Bad for them because we care about them as people. And because we have to interact with them, never fun or effective with someone worn down. And their wear will wear on your bottom line because they don’t have as much to give emotionally, mentally, or physically to the job if they are using their emotional and mental energy to survive being worn down. Not to mention they take the stress home. They brood and it makes them less present with their family and friends. This affects their work life balance greatly, and it isn’t even with work or hours benefiting the business at the “life’s” expense. So you can give them a better work/life balance without even decreasing the work part! (And actually they’ll probably perform better and have more fun so you get MORE work for the bargain)
For your business sake, drive yourself with Drops of Awesome, not self-criticism.
So you didn’t think of something obvious. So you made a mistake or have been doing something wrong for a while.
Being awesome doesn’t mean not making mistakes. It means learning from them. (Because guess what, you are going to keep making them).
And if you are working with a consultant you are doing pretty well and probably getting these things under control faster than your peers. (Consultants rarely get pulled into struggling businesses because those businesses can’t afford it and one of the reasons they struggle is not engaging the right help and support).
So if you missed something that is obvious in retrospect, your job is NOT to feel too bad about it! You are dealing with it now. You learned and that kind of ownership and action is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. So you are doing great.
Everyone misses things that are obvious in retrospect. If you didn’t develop something (usually training or infrastructure if you’re calling me) as fast or as well as you could have, you were doing other great things. We all want to be the best at everything. That is the hallmark of an entrepreneur. But ironically to be the best business owner and business overall, you have to be OK with not being the best at every single thing every time. Don’t slow yourself and your organization down by beating yourself up about it. Live, learn, own, and power forward with this great new info! You will DOMINATE your market!