In order to be where we want to be in business and in life we have to become not only business savvy but also business wise. Becoming business wise means we have learned to blend together what is vital to have in our business along with what is vital to have in our life. Becoming wise means (among other definitions) to be aware – aware of yourself, your energy, your stamina, your ability to hold your ground no matter what is going on around you.
How to become business wise is the question I get asked in almost every single coaching session I do. No one specifically says “How do I become business wise?” But that is what business owners mean when they ask any of these questions.
- Why am I so overwhelmed trying to run my business and my home?
- Why do I feel guilty about working on my business?
- Why can't I get my spouse (or children or parents) to understand my business?
- How can I lead my business without feeling exhausted and tired all the time?
- Why can't I ever find time for the really important long term planning I need to do?
- Why is finding time to market always a challenge?
We are not trained to dig deep and truly be 100% honest about what we need. We are trained to cover up our needs under dozens of layers – our kid's needs, our parent's needs, our spouse's wishes, our customer's demands, and our team members' desires. Underneath those layers is you – a person who is thirsty for living life in a certain way. It's something you probably have not thought about or felt into in so long that you actually have forgotten how to get in touch with that.
When I do a workshop for business owners I often ask them to list what they are most frustrated about. More than once I've had a smiling businesswoman tell me “oh, I can't think of a thing to be frustrated about.” I'll say, “It can be that a button is lose on your shirt. It can be that your son never picks up his room. It can be that your neighbor leaves you cookies you don't like. There is SOMETHING you really would prefer not to deal with, something that frustrates you.” Once I prime the pump these women who are not frustrated with anything end up with a list many miles long. They have “accepted and adapted” for so long they literally forget what they need, what they crave, what they are hungry for in their soul.
Getting in touch with what we deeply, deeply wish for in our life – both in business and in our personal life – is becoming business wise. It really is so critical to you – for your life, for your business, for your sanity, your self-confidence, your health, your soul. It's critical because it helps you create the lifestyle and income you most want. It really is where the fight for yourself begins and ends.
I also can tell you it will be your biggest challenge (or fight) because those around you (kids, spouse, family, friends, customers) who are well used to you over delivering and sacrificing yourself will NOT want you to stop. You make life easier for them. They will guilt you constantly and try to pull you back to the space you were in like a team of wild horses.
Be prepared for that. To become business wise you will have to have courage. At first it will feel like you are being a hard-ass to others. That's because you have been too easy on them for years and years. You have trained yourself to deny your own inner wisdom and to give your time and energy to things that are not healthy for you.
In the end, becoming business wise is better for them AND for you. So when you already are over committed and exhausted and doing too much is the perfect time to say, “I want to be business wise. I will and must say no to the things that are not mission-critical to my health, my wealth (my business) and to deepening relationships with those I love.” (Tip: Picking up their socks does not deepen your relationship, nor does acting out of guilt.)
Stick to your guns and push back the guilt. If you expect your kids to do chores without complaint don't let up on your expectation until they do it. Besides building your character and theirs, it takes some of the load off you. Keep your hour-long client phone calls to an hour and that's it. Becoming business wise is your biggest challenge. It will also reap the most rewards for you, your business, your family, and your community.
It's hard (in fact, I think it is impossible) to do this without outside help. If you want to create a “getting business wise” plan I suggest a One and Done hour with me to identify the issues and create a plan.
Want more about how to lead your business wisely? You might like “Are Your Kids Your Excuse For Breaking Your Commitments.”