How Much Do You Enjoy Running Your Own Business? - Column #165
Why did you start your business? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably wanted greater control over your destiny. Perhaps you wanted to build something meaningful that could be sold for a profit or passed down to your children. You might have also wanted more freedom, financial abundance and the ability to travel frequently. Maybe you wanted to make a difference in some fashion or actually enjoy what you do for a living.
More often than not, people who start a business do so based on what they know — what they’re good at and comfortable doing — not necessarily what they’re passionate about. Conduct this simple experiment to determine if you’re doing what you love. Consider the entire time you’ve been in business. How often have you been so excited you couldn’t wait to start your day? How often has it been just the opposite? Do you dread even the thought of working on or in your business? Be honest here.
When you love what you do, there’s no sense of burden or drudgery. There’s only enthusiasm, passion and joy. In fact, you’ll often feel better when you’re “working” than when you’re not. You’ll constantly seek to improve yourself and your business, ideas will flow readily and it’s fun being you in your business.
Sometimes people start a business based on a product or service they think will make them rich, but ones they don’t really believe in and wouldn’t even use themselves. This will eventually create a huge disconnection within a person for which even riches can’t compensate. If you sell useless, low-quality or defective goods and services — and you know it — your lack of integrity will catch up to you at some point, potentially destroying your business and any professional satisfaction you once felt.
Believing in the products and services you provide is a necessary ingredient in the enjoyment of owning your own business. Not only does integrity feel good, but it also attracts and retains talented team members and increases the number of loyal customers you serve. Integrity increases the fun, pleasure and success you experience in running your business.
Another key ingredient in the amount of satisfaction you derive from your business is your style of and ability to lead. If you don’t like to be a leader, don’t understand what one is or how to perform this responsibility in an effective way, the amount of fun you have in your business will suffer tremendously. Ineffective leadership is, undeniably, one of the major pitfalls to happiness and success in business.
Effective leaders provide a consistently empowering example, use the best tools for hiring true talent and invest in the development of their team members. They aren’t perfect or infallible. They’re human. But they’re also authentic, strive to be their best and support others in doing so as well. This behavior results in greater job satisfaction; increased productivity, loyalty and retention; exceptional customer service; and improved sales. Becoming an exceptional leader takes time and effort. But as you do so, your business runs more smoothly and becomes more successful. The amount of fun you experience increases exponentially.
The quality of your team also is essential to your happiness and success. All business owners understand the unending stress and challenges poor-quality team members bring to the corporate culture. This is a situation that’s well worth avoiding at all cost.
The more qualified, better trained, happy and committed your team members are, the better for everyone involved. People who actually like and enjoy their work will perform at much higher levels than those who don’t. Hiring talented individuals is truly a science, and a qualified professional can offer proven strategies to dramatically improve your success.
Through my work as a professional development coach and consultant, I’ve met many business owners who’re financially successful, yet aren’t thriving. Financial success is only one aspect of your business.
When you’re passionate about your business —when you truly love and believe in what you do — and are an effective leader who’s built a capable, happy and loyal team that offers exceptional products and services, greater financial rewards will follow. At the same time, you’ll derive a great deal of enjoyment from your business.