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Lately I’ve consulted for half a dozen business owners who have great ideas but lack more bandwidth for business. How the lack of bandwidth shows up is usually indecisiveness. Here’s one story that illustrates what I mean.
Manny is the chief breadwinner for her family. She works as the Chief Operations Officer in an already successful business that is owned by another family member. She has supported her family and two other families for a decade, but she feels like she doesn’t have the opportunity to make her own mark as an entrepreneur in this business.
Manny consulted with me because she wanted to decide what other business to start. In the prep brief she wrote for me before our time together she listed 6 business ideas, 3 related to her existing family business and 3 in completely different industries.
She has moved to another state in the past year and is running the existing business virtually.
She is a mom and regrets not having time to do more fun stuff with her family.
After she moved several other family members and their families also moved to be close to her. Only one family member remains in the original location where the business is located.
She still enjoys her COO work in the family business but feels that she should be doing more. Due to a variety of factors the family business is staying steady in sales but no longer increasing in sales.
Manny states that between caring for her own family and running the existing business virtually she is “constantly plugged in” and has no available time to plan out and launch a new business, even though she never quits thinking about possibilities.
In her existing role as COO she feels that her “new ideas” are often squashed by the family member who owns the business and wants things done in his way.
While Manny hired me to help her decide which of her 6 business ideas she should pursue, making that decision was not what was primary. Manny has a bandwidth problem. She can’t fully engage in any of her 6 business ideas without first making some big decisions about her current situation.
- Given that the family member who owns the business will never change his personality, Manny needs to decide if she wants to make her mark badly enough to walk away from her current COO position and go out on her own. Remembering that she is the primary breadwinner and makes multiple six figures right now, this is a decision with potential big consequences.
- Given that this family no longer lives in the same state as their business and that sales are flat, Manny and her family should consider selling the existing business. In the long term, running a brick and mortar business from afar will get harder as time goes by and existing staff members leave.
Manny and her family are in a life change mode right now. She doesn’t have the bandwidth to start something new until she cleans up the issues of the massive amount of time it takes to watch a business virtually, the constant travel back and forth, the lack of family time she longs for, and whether she will always work under the shadow of an opinionated family member who owns the existing business. It’s personal growth that is needed right now, not business growth.
Getting the personal and family decisions made will free up the bandwidth Manny needs to go full bore into something new. She is a savvy business owner, knows her industry extremely well, and is a consistent performer. But her life has changed, she’s in a different life stage, her family has changed, her physical location has changed. All of these have eaten away at her free time to focus on something new.
Give Manny 6 months to work through these two big decisions and we can have the conversation again about which of her 6 ideas is the most fruitful. Right now, she needs to make decisions that allow her to either let go and find bandwidth or recommit to her existing work.
Manny’s indecisiveness is due to a lack of bandwidth. She instinctively knows she can’t physically or mentally do more, but it’s more comfortable to focus on which way to go in the future than to focus on her big life decisions that are keeping her stymied. When you feel totally indecisive ask yourself, “What do I need to let go off that will free me to make the decisions that seem impossible to make right now?”
Are you facing uncomfortable decisions? My One and Done consulting hours are designed to help you focus on what’s next so that you can get those decisions behind you. Click here for more information or to book an hour with me.