The adventure of entrepreneurship is one of the most interesting roller coasters you will ever ride. There are some amazing highs and times where the drop is so fast, your stomach goes to your throat.
I would like to offer the following statement for consideration:
“Business owners want to take as much risk as possible and live a chaotic life.”
Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it?
In my own business, and as a technology consultant, I see people make decisions that enforce the statement above. It seems to be human nature to find a way to make things harder, when all we want is to make them easier.
So what can we do? I was listening to a teacher about the freedom to choose… and the message that came across loud and clear was that we all have the choice to take steps that bring peace or chaos into our business experience. We just need to put in place steps to recognize and be aware.
She offered some guidance that can work in life and business:
Part of the human experience is that we tend to run patterns. The way to make improvements and change is to be aware that we have been programmed and when a trigger hits, the pattern for that particular trigger executes and autopilot kicks in. Learning how the pattern executes and what it is trying to protect you from will provide you with awareness to better evaluate alternatives.
So, what does this look like?
I run into this with business owners who are used to reactive models. If I am honest, this is an area that I struggle with because I am such a good “fire fighter”. In our business, the “norm” is to have the phone ring with someone on the other end going through a technical issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Letting the “firefighter” pattern run rampant served me well because my clients know that we respond in a timely manner and we are going to fix the issue they are having. The dark side of the pattern kept me from having peace and success in the operations of the company. I kept making poor decisions and the company was stuck for a long time.
At times, I was so triggered by reaction that it was virtually impossible to see the value of making changes and being proactive. It was stress…well, anxiety that forced me to look at things differently. I began slowing down and looking at the situation from a different view point. I surrounded myself by wise counsel, great friends who support me and I let my staff step up to the challenge. It was not always easy. It required many hours of journaling, reading, watching great videos, going to classes and testing different solutions.
Today, we have a good business model where we provide excellent, timely service to our clients. We put in place solutions that make it easier to be proactive and we enjoy time with friends and family. We have a better quality of life and a good rhythm of work. Are we perfect? Nope. Is it better than it was five years ago? Absolutely!
I encourage you to find a rhythm of work that fits your company culture and your life. A quick disclaimer: sometimes in the startup phase we feel that we have to chase every opportunity and say yes to every bit of revenue. Dig deep and make a conscious decision. I have successful business friends who are far better at this than I have and they skipped the pain that I put myself, and my staff through by working on things that were not profitable and rigged.
To help bring it all together:
- Identify your patterns. You may think they are not there, but look deeper.
- Once you identify the pattern, find out what it is trying to protect you from. Many times, this is related to your relationship with failure.
- Surround yourself by wise counsel. I worked with several coaches in business, leadership and personal development.**
- Implement…fail forward, fail fast, fail better!
**This is a key area where spending the money is well worth it. If you need a legal document, get a lawyer. If you need to secure your data, call us. If you need a marketing plan, hire a consultant or take an online course.
***Get a business coach, read great books. I can make some great recommendations! Just send me a message through www.TheCriticalUpdate.com/contact-us.
Use the extensive resources available and have fun. There is so much to enjoy, even in the chaos. Embrace the chaos and get stronger!
Luis Delgado is a father, husband, community resource, speaker, and entrepreneur who founded The Critical Update, inc (TCUINC) in 2003. TCUINC is a business and technology consulting firm that has evolved from basic computer support to affordable technology consulting, network management, outsourced IT and cybersecurity. Our clients are from every industry in Central Texas - for profit and not for profit.
Luis is focused on helping business owners create more jobs for Texas families by addressing compliance and productivity needs.