What’s love got to do with business success? Strange topic for a business blog you think? Or something you believe isn’t talked about enough?
When you think about love, do you think about hearts and roses? Are you thinking romantic films and happy ever after? Or does it raise the unconditional love of a parent or grandparent you’ve felt in your life? Or the experience of someone or something you care about deeply leaving your life because you needed to move on? Whatever the word love means or feels like to you, I believe it’s all those things. And more. And that’s why we can’t ignore talking about love when it comes to work and business.
Falling out of love with your business
When I set up my first business it was for the reason of helping other women. Yes I knew it would grow an income for me and I had big plans to grow the business across the UK. But helping others was at the heart of what I did and what I wanted to do. That’s what I loved about my business. Helping other women find the right bra for them and be comfortable and supported during pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond was my focus.
As the business grew, and technology changed, I embraced different tools to reach more women. My premise was the same – to help women. My accountant wasn’t always happy with this, but I was! I loved what I did. I enjoyed all time I chose to put into the business. My business grew. The money flowed, and I chose to invest in my long term vision and growth for my business success. I wasn’t just growing the business for the women I was helping, I was building an income for my family’s future.
Finding some bumps in the road
It turned out that however much I loved my business, the bumps I came across actually floored me. Literally the bumps took control where I’d previously been in total control of my life and my business. I had a personal bump in my Mum’s health deteriorated and I wanted to spend time with her in her last few months. This was at the same time as the credit crunch of 2008 started which halved my online sales over night.
The three year lease on premises for business growth I’d taken on a week before seemed a noose around my neck despite the brave face I showed the world.
How to deal with business challenges
It felt like the business challenges alongside the personal challenges were all too much. Like most people I kept going. My focus was on my Mum and my family, (my boys were 6 and 4 and the youngest was just starting school). I had staff who were very understanding and capable and I guess I put my head in the sand for a while. I wouldn’t advise that to others!
Instead of listening to myself and focusing on what I loved about my business and what my customers loved about my business, I realise now I turned into a “business woman” following other people’s systems and ways of dealing with challenging times. I soaked up training courses, advice and quick fixes from all sorts of experts. Yet none of those quick fixes were right for me.
I knew my business best, yet I gave it over to people and ideas that had no clue about what I did, who I was and why I’d become so successful in a short space of time. I stopped listening to the voices in my head and the instinct in my gut which had helped me grow the business so quickly and so successfully to start with.
My team members did their best. Yes I trusted them. But their vision for the business was different from mine. I’d never communicated what was at the heart of what I did – supporting women and helping them. That’s what I got my buzz from. Not the monthly sales figures.
Yet it was the monthly sales figures that started to take my focus. I just knew that the business would be successful again (success being measured in financial terms here), if I could just keep it going. Hmmm. How wrong I was! I took my eye off the long term goal. I forgot what brought me to start the business and love what I did so much – the human connection of helping other women.
Focus on business success
If I’d continue to focus on what business success meant to me throughout the challenges which came my way I wouldn’t have gone off track so much. At the time I felt I was on a hamster wheel, but that wheel was on a roller coaster too. I felt I couldn’t get off. Looking back all I needed to do was stop.
Stop. Breathe. Listen.
It’s too late now, but what if I’d stopped the hamster wheel. What if I’d taken some time just to breathe and listen to myself. Maybe I’d have found a different path to step back on to. Who knows? Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it? There was no-one in the group of people I was surrounded by that suggested I needed to stop and listen. Or maybe I just didn’t hear them clearly enough?
When you’re clear about what success means to you, you can keep that in focus every step of the way. Whatever challenges and bumps come along, or different directions are shown to you which look inviting.
It’s taken me a long time to realise that the most important person in my business is me. I have the power to take control of my business and my life. I can listen to others and learn from them. But only I can take the steps I need to get back on track, or get out of a sticky situation. It took me a long time to get out of a deep rut I found myself in going round and round on the hamster wheel.
Trust yourself and love your business success
Trusting yourself is one of the keys to your business success. You know what your vision is. You know what success looks like for you and your business. I believe from my own experience that it’s the main key to your success. Trust. Having the confidence to be yourself and stick to what you know is important to you and your business can be hard when you get distracted. Yet it’s what makes you you and your business as successful as it is.
You may have had a particular reason for starting your business. Is that still at the heart of what you do?
I want you to have all the business success you want and know you can if you love what you do. I encourage you to listen to yourself more. I’ve needed help to learn to listen to myself these past few years. Now I’m helping others to learn to listen better through the Intuitive Steps to Success Program. What we’re creating in this program would have been life changing for me all those years ago. It will be life changing for those who come on board now and in the future.
Falling back in love with yourself and your business may not be your primary goal right now. But finding that love to trust yourself and have the confidence to do things in the right way for you will help you take control of whatever bumps may be in your way right now. Don’t be alone on your hamster wheel like I was. Stop. Breathe. Listen. Ask for help and get the support you need to love your business and love business success.