How to love your business again
Running your own business is not always romantic dinners and roses. Katie McMurray shares how she fell out of, then back in love with her business.
Have you ever fallen out of love with your business?
Once upon a time, I fell out of love with my business. What I did everyday no longer filled me with yummy, buzzy feelings. In fact, my main feelings were ‘empty and confused’. My clients seemed happy enough, but I could see the love bubble was bursting.
In retrospect, the love had been waning a while. The signs were there. I was about to turn fifty and life needed to make sense in new ways. My values had changed. I had changed. On top of all that my industry had been disrupted by internet.
It was sad. I had fallen out of love with my 16-year-old business.
"You may even have stopped loving your clients. It isn’t their fault, they aren’t bad people. They don’t know you’re not in love with what you do anymore. "
How do you know you’ve fallen out of love with your business?
- You don’t enjoy what you spend your time doing.The feel good factor has left the room.
- You may have stopped loving your clients. It isn’t their fault, they’re not bad people. They don’t know you’re not in love with what you do anymore.
- You feel confused as if something needs to change. If your business isn’t profitable, this should be obvious. It’s even harder if the business is making good money and you’re not in love. Everything looks good on the outside, but it’s not a true reflection.
- You don’t know why you’re getting out of bed in the morning. You stop caring and work loses its meaning.
If this feels like you, read on, I’ve got some good news.
I know it feels like this was your best chance at love. You believe you’ll never fall in love like that again. I promise though, you can fall madly back in love with your business.
I know because I did it. Here’s how:
- Talk to your clients. Ask what their real needs are. Make sure you know why they hire you, and wouldn’t go near anyone else. Think about it yourself. Go beyond the surface and look deeply at what they receive. You might be surprised at what you find.
- Speaking of value, find your absolutely highest value. There are things you do better than anybody, and you know it! You have unique experiences, knowledge and wisdom. Let these lead you to discover your gifts. Are they being fully realised through your services, or hidden away? We get resentful when our gifts aren’t utilised. It’s your business, make sure your gifts are in full view and integrated into the business.
- Stop treating yourself as the least loved employee. Look after yourself as if you matter, because you do. Self-care and appreciation is important. If you’re cared for and happy, the business will feel good too. Get your shine on.
On the surface, I was a publicist achieving media coverage for my clients, who were mostly business owners. I was driving myself into the ground. With the decline in newspaper journalism, it was taking me three times as long to deliver less quantity and poorer quality articles.
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On investigation, it turned out my highest value wasn’t the actual media coverage. It was guiding business owners to their authority voice and helping them be heard in a competitive marketplace. The internet had created lots of new platforms for their voices. I didn’t need media coverage to deliver my highest value.
Your situation will be different. They key here is to be in love with yourself and what you do every day. And to love what you give others. Without that, the relationship loses its spark.
Step away from the day to day. Talk to yourself and others about what you do and what you know. Our clients, spouses, even our kids, know our brilliance. It can be hard to see for ourselves.
Be courageous and authentic. Allow your business to become a magnificent outlet for your vision and values. The world needs you and your clients will thank you.
And remember that the best part of breaking up is…in the making up.
Have you ever fallen out of love with your business? How did you reignite the love affair?