There are a lot of reasons why people go into business. For me it was so I could work the way I wanted to, when, where and how much.
There was freedom in that, beyond anything I ever experienced working for someone else. And it also meant that I eventually made a whole lot more money than I would make as an employee.
I still make full time wages, even though I’m working way less than half time. (I’ve got a few other projects that take up my time right now. Things like grandchildren, my garden, my new beekeeping venture and finally writing a fiction series.)
That’s just part of why I love having a business.
And, for me, that also meant I wanted to share the joy of working in a business that mattered. So I hired friends.
Sometimes it worked out great. Sometimes it didn’t.
And that’s when I realized I had a problem.
I Gave Jobs to the Wrong People
I gave jobs, and even partnerships and joint ventures, to people who needed the income. It was to “help” people, not help the business.
I had forgotten one of the fundamental rules about business.
You have to make business decisions for the good of the business.
And as it turned out, it wasn’t helping people as much as enabling them.
Give the Business a Seat at the Table
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from an experienced business owner. I had had my business for about 5 years at that point. His advice?
Give your business a seat at the table.
When you have decisions that need to be made, there will be times when you make them just from your gut. Maybe you make decisions based on your personal preferences, your ego and sometimes it’s due to your own insecurities. It’s common for entrepreneurs to have their identity mixed up with their business.
There is a risk there. When the business changes (and it always will), you can find yourself at odds with yourself. That’s when you see people sabotage their business in order to try to take it back to a place hat feeds into the owner’s identity again.
But if you think consciously about decisions and have “meetings” with your business, you’ll find that you start working as a business owner and not a person who just uses a business.
When you have a decision, simply ask yourself, “What would my business think?”
If you are thinking about hiring a friend or maybe firing a friend, ask yourself, “What would the business say?” If you’re honest, you’ll find out what you really should do.
What Decisions are Hanging You Up Right Now?
If you’re struggling with a business decision right now, try this. Let your business weigh in. What would the business say if it had a voice?
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