When you own your own small business, you are faced with many problems to solve and decisions to make. Some are are strategic. Some are tactical. Some are work/life balance related.
Typically, at the beginning of the business, we face big strategic decisions. Which target market should I serve? How should I decide on my offering? How should I brand myself? And more.
As we grow, we often face further strategic and tactical decisions, of course, but also management, operations, and lifestyle issues.
I feel many of the issues we face or the problems that surface, are personal problems in disguise. I don’t, necessarily, mean, deep-seated, psychological issues, although, that may be the case.
Rather, more often than not, our personally, our style, or way of being has great impact on the way our business develops, the way it’s run and its potential for the future.
If different aspects of our personality, or way of being, don’t support the various business management and development requirements, of running a business, those areas of the business will suffer.
For example, I’m (generally) a strategic, futuristic thinker who communicates well. But, I’m also impatient, impulsive and behave in extreme ways. The strategic, futuristic thinker, who communicates well, can do big things. However, impatient, impulsive, and extreme behavior can derail even the best strategic planning, futuristic creative thinking and effective communication.
Does that mean I’m doomed? Of course not. Can I change my ways of being? Possibly, to a certain extent. But, my potentially disruptive personality traits are simply part of who I am.
How do I deal with them? I start by admitting that these personality traits get in my way, then work to understand them, manage them and constrain them so that I can exploit my strengths.
If I know my limitations and the personality traits that are not conducive to the kind of success I’ve determined is important to me—a balanced, steady and constantly maturing and evolving business—then I can manage against them. The best way, I’ve found, for managing and contraining these issues, is by working with, and collaborating with, people that don’t have these particular personality dynamics and also have complimentary strengths.
I don’t believe there are 3-easy-steps to overcoming every business problem since many of them are personal problems in disguise. But, I do think that self-reflection, and a willingness to deal with these issues, is the best first step. From there, we simply get up every day and graciously work to solve the problems we face. That includes both long-term strategic problems and short term tactical, managerial, and work/life balance problems.
That’s the job of a business owner. Solving problems, both personal and professional. Can you do it daily?