At this time of year when love is in the air, let’s take a ‘tongue in cheek’ look at how the overworked word ‘passion’ works its way into business! And can the development and growth of a business be likened to that of a more traditional romantic relationship?
The dating website eHarmony advise us in their blog that there are 3 stages in a loving relationship:
- Romantic – You only have eyes for your partner, it’s an emotional rollercoaster!
- Realistic – The rose tinted glasses are off!
- Mature – The slippers are in front of the fire!
So let’s consider these stages in the set up and growth of our SME.
Where is the passion in your business?
You have an idea, it is exciting. You have a real desire to make your idea into a tangible business, you seem to have extra energy to make contacts, set in place suppliers, instruct professionals, employ staff. You are prepared to go that extra mile to establish yourself in the marketplace. There is real passion in your business; it will be a success despite ups, downs and hiccups along the way!
You can’t be separated from your new project because every minute counts. At this all important set up stage, you perhaps begin to lose sight of the end goal whilst you deal with all the immediate demands, just as in romantic relationship, our brains can lose their ability to reason when high on the emotion of first love!
But something has to give, we are not designed to continue in this manner indefinitely, your natural passion in your business wanes…
So reality hits, despite the excitement of the set-up stage and getting your business off the ground, you now find that the day to day processes of running a business are perhaps not so exciting! Now, just like in a romantic relationship, you begin to understand who your partner is or rather what your business is.
It is time to step back and look at what you have achieved so far, it is the time where problems become real issues and there are some real disappointments. You may feel that you are the only one committed to this business and it is draining you emotionally… where is that passion in your business now?
Some might say this is the time to sell your business, when the passion has gone but others will encourage you to refocus and look again at what it is that made you set up your business in the first place, what were your goals?
Either way, both options will have common actions that are required!
Look back at your successes, identifying what you like and don’t like, delegate some of those jobs that get you down. Get your books in order, keep them up to date. Where do you see your business in 5 years.
Working through this tricky stage will give you focus for developing your future business or planning your ‘break up’ !
This is the stage of the business where having had a little melt down, things are now beginning to tick over nicely. Trade happens almost automatically, you have time to develop ideas, you know from experience how to work through problems and you know when to walk away. And whilst things may not be plain sailing, you have the strategies and knowledge in place to enable you to feel safe in your decision making. You no longer have that burning, first love passion, but a satisfied ‘togetherness’sort of warm feeling…. a different sort of passion in your business!
It is often at this stage that SME owners take on other ventures, just like in a relationship you may look to start a new hobby with your partner, now may be the time to look at adding another side to your business – maybe purchasing a business to expand or compliment your current venture.
Whatever, you decide it is a decision founded on confidence in yourself and your business just as it would be in a mature relationship.
So, it may be Valentine’s day, but it would appear that you do need passion in your business (and a certain amount of desire!) as much in your business life as your personal life!
If you find that you are at that stage of your relationship with your business, where the time has come to divorce or in fact expand, contact us and we will be happy to assist you with some business relationship management!