Posts tagged ‘change management’

August 14, 2008

Tell me about your business plan…

If you learned how to write a business plan at all, you probably learned how to write an MBA quality, 30-page plan designed to attract investors or get a bank loan. In addition, if you are like most of us, after your initial start up you never looked at your plan again.

Often with a prospective client, just asking the simple question, “tell me about your business plan” can lead to all the information I need to coach this business owner to next year. I learn about the vision for the business, the issues, the focus, the employees or lack of, and I learn about the customer who buys their product or service.

Entrepreneurs are typically great talkers so I wait until after their first breath and say something like, “Is all this in writing?” or “What do your employees think about the plan?” Really, it is not meant to be an earth shattering provocative question. Somehow it usually is.

On a side note, I love entrepreneurs. It could be that I love them because they are often a lot like me. They have great ideas, a positive attitude and have way too much to do! It could be I enjoy them because their business issues are a lot like my own. It could just be that I tend to favor the underdog and want to see the mom and pop organization take market share and win against all odds. Okay, it is probably all three.

So when I ask about their business plan, it’s because I have learned that most of my clients don’t have one and that when they take the time to think through their focus and strategy, preferably with their team, everything comes together.

When the time is right, I ask my clients, “What would it be like if you could reference a plan when making choices? Can you imagine being able to share the whole plan with your employees, affiliates and your coach?” Sometimes I ask, “Can you imagine the freedom you will have when it is out of your head and on paper?” or “What if everyone understood the business strategy, as well as the business strengths and weaknesses?” These questions along with my simple business plan format usually do the trick and they go to work on a plan.  

They often report many insights into future mistakes that would have happened had they not written the plan and that having a simple plan in writing has allowed the whole team to collaborate, align and support the business vision.

 For a simple business plan format go to www.profitconsultingco.com/business.htm

Alicia Fruin –Owner Profit Consulting Co. Business coach and trainer

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August 14, 2008

What is Business Coaching?

 

As a small business owner, entrepreneur or salesperson business coaching could be the catalyst you are looking for!

 

What’s a business coach? A business coach engages and facilitates focused dialogue. We challenge, inquire, cajole, inspire, provoke, offer support, and collaborate with our clients on their business issues. Occasionally we give advice and consult a client when it is an area of expertise. Most of the time however, it is not about the coach’s wisdom. It is about the client’s wisdom. Coaches believe that the client has the answer.

Our coaches are skilled at eliciting conversations that have you take action in areas where you have previously been stuck or stopped. In these conversations you will start to see things from a different perspective.

Coaching highlights and enhances what you can readily achieve when given the right support!

How Does Business Coaching Work?

During a coaching session you have the opportunity to stand back and look at your business from an objective point of view with the guidance of a skilled business coach.

Our coaches are trained to operate from what is right and what is working versus what is wrong and needs to be fixed.

This perspective leaves you empowered and challenged to take the next logical step in your business.

What issues can be addressed?

Goals
Vision for Business
Plans
Business models
Production
Revenue/Profit
Sales-Marketing strategies
Managing employees
Communicating with ease
Personnel issues
Hiring/Firing
Trouble shooting areas for improvement
Getting successful systems and structures in place

August 14, 2008

The Buzz About Passion

So what’s all this buzz about passion? Do we really have to have a passion for our work? There seems to be so many books written on finding your passion. Sure, when you work in an area that you are passionate about, the work seems easier and more fun and you are of course much more likely to be successful. Is that all there is to it? We just have to find work we are passionate about?

 

First, let me say that the word “passion implies a very strong emotion. To be passionate about something could mean you are really fired up about being, doing and having something. I work with many successful people who would not say “yes, this work is my passion.” Yet they are still very successful. However, I have noticed that for most of us our expectations have shifted, we want it all. We want to wake up excited to go to work, we want to make a difference with others and we want to feel full of passion and oh yes, we want to be successful.

 

That’s okay, that’s great…I say “go for it.” I do recommend that if you are going to “follow your bliss” you discover what your true passions really are. Sound simple? As a business coach, I walk and talk vision, goals, discovering what we want with clients all day long. What I have noticed is that for most of us it’s not so simple to stay present to our vision, our goals and our passions. We get caught up in dramas, problems, issues, and literally forget our purpose, our vision and our goals. We forget that the purpose of a vision is to inspire us today, mold our choices today, and give us satisfaction today. Our ability to see what possible (vision) is key to productive, inspired, passionate, satisfying days at work.

 

I recently read The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood. In addition to a great story there are several exercises to do that are designed to help you in discovering your true passions.  I thought my business coaching, training and consulting business would be in the top 5. I love my business, I love what I do with people, I love learning more and more about my business and on and on. Guess what, it wasn’t in the top 5. It wasn’t even in the top 10! I discovered that my beloved business is simply a vehicle in which I get to express my true passions for people, for communication and for service.  AH HAH!   


Since this revelation, it’s hard to say what exactly has shifted for me. I do know I am less significant about the success of my business. I feel more relaxed and I feel passionate about my whole life not just my business. Maybe passion has nothing to do with
doing something or having something. Maybe it occurs when we are being our highest expression of ourselves or in other words living our vision today.

 

So, what is the vision you have for your business? Maybe this is a clue to your highest expression, your God given talents and gifts. Your access to passion today whatever your career may be!

Alicia Fruin

 

As owner of Profit Consulting Co., Alicia has become a leader in the field of coaching, consulting and training for small business. She has designed more than 80 custom training programs for hundreds of business owners in a

variety of industries across the country. In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales professionals on how to build a business truly worth having!

 

www.profitconsultingco.com

 

 

Recommended Reading: The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood

The Passion Test is a simple, yet powerful way for anyone to discover what matters most to them in their life. When you consistently choose in favor of those things, your passions, you will find yourself filled with a sense of purpose.

August 14, 2008

Being Creative and Encouraging Innovation in your Business

“Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality overcomes everything.” George Lois

 

When running your own small business, we are often called to be creative and innovative.  Without this ability, I have discovered it is nearly impossible to be successful, let alone stay afloat. This innovative and creative spirit is especially important to small business owners because they do not have the kind of budgets the big corporations can play with.  Small business owners are required to craft new and innovative ways to get the most “bang for their buck” whether that be refurbishing old unsuccessful projects into successful ones, cutting costs without cutting corners, and of course, thinking of new ways of marketing or boosting sales.

 

While most of the small business owners I work with do embody this innovative spirit, they often forget to foster this spirit throughout their company. To run efficiently and productively as possible, they need their entire team to be on the same creative page.

 

In Adrian Brown’s Creativity & Innovation, he highlights five characteristics that he has observed in creative organizations.  All of which I believe are important not just for large corporations, but especially for small business.  They are:

 

1.      “Information is free flowing: Creativity is partially about making new connections. For example: applying a familiar technology to a completely new application.”

2.      “New ideas are welcomed: It is easy for individuals and companies to become stuck in its ways. Habitual behaviors, a rigid adherence to best practices and groupthink can all act as barriers to new ideas.”

3.      “Good ideas are nurtured: New ideas are delicate and can easily be killed off with an executive shrug or simply a lack of care and attention….”

4.      “Risk taking is accepted: Experimentation and innovation involve some failures along the way. Risk taking doesn’t mean being reckless, rather it means understanding the risk/reward relationship and taking calculated risks where the potential rewards are valuable.”

5.      “Innovators are rewarded: Creativity is hard to measure and can often be ignored by compensation and reward systems. However, often it is enough to publicly recognize creativity with a simple thank you for a job well done, believe it or not, this sends a powerful message through your organization.”

It helps to remember “you are not alone.” Remember, it is important to not only tap into your own creativity; but also your staff or team; you may be surprised at the ideas they may have to boost your business!

 

If you are looking for more ways to develop your personal creativity, or that of your team, I recommend that you enroll in an online course that is part of Profit Consulting Co.’s “Creativity & Innovation” program.  This convenient and easy to use program expands on Brown’s major themes and provides interactive exercises, additional readings, and offers learners hands-on exercises to spur personal creativity.

 

This is just one of the many programs of study we have recently added to our website! We also feature courses in Business Communications, Leadership, Finance, and Management. These courses are affordably priced, 100% web based and in a self-study format allowing you to improve your creative, business, or management skills at your own convenience.

 

About the Author Alicia Fruin

 

Alicia is the owner of Profit Consulting Co., a Business Education Company. They offer small business coaching, consulting and training. Alicia has designed over 80 customized training programs and led these programs for hundreds of business owners around the country in a variety of industries.  In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales people on how to build a business truly worth having!

 

Recommended Reading: Creativity & Innovation by Adrian Brown

 

 “The things we fear most in organizations — fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances — are the primary sources of creativity.” Margaret J. Wheatley

August 14, 2008

Work-Life Balance- Maybe you can’t do balance?

Everyone wants balance. Is there such a thing? Clients hire me as a coach for this reason just as often as the clients who want more time and money.

 

In order to get some power with this concept lets shift how we think about balance. We tend to think of balance in terms of equal time to equal areas in our lives. In our minds, we relate to balance this way even though we know it isn’t possible to spend equal time to equal areas in our lives. Especially, when our work, for most of us, takes up more than half of our waking hours each day.

 

Let’s use a metaphor: Imagine that achieving balance is like being a great juggler. The balls you juggle represent areas of your life. What makes a great juggler is not that they are great at keeping the balls in the air at all times. What makes a great juggler is that they are great at getting the ball that has fallen, back in the air with relative ease and speed.

 

See if you recognize what type of juggler you are with these examples:

 

·        Do you ignore the balls, eventually tripping over them?

·        Do you spend a great deal of time and energy analyzing the balls on the ground as if understanding their state will help pick them up?

·        Do you stay upset because balls keep dropping, making the balls harder to keep up or pick up?

·        Do you create formulas and go to training for keeping the balls in the air, until confronted with the fact that balls drop, that’s what they do?

 

I have learned from my “wise” clients that balance is about noticing what is out and gracefully putting it back in. Balance is a dance with life. It has nothing to do with time or time management; rather it has everything to do with choosing what is important to you, choosing what is valuable to you and your level of attention to it.

 

Let’s address each juggling tendency and how to remedy it (you could have more than one):

 

·        If you ignore areas until a crisis of sorts occurs: Do an assessment of what actions, projects or practices would help. Start with easy items to check off your list first. For example if you ignore your financial well being in general. Your list may look like: see a financial planner, finish tax return, and turn in rebate on computer just purchased. Then start with what you perceive is easiest. As we free up the energy used to procrastinate we gain energy for the more difficult issues to address.

·        If you tend to assess and analyze rather than be in action: Get an accountability partner (coach, partner, or mentor) who will help develop a plan and assist you to stay in action.

·        If you feel overwhelmed and stressed from all there is to do: Focus on extreme self care to reduce anxiety and gain focus. For example: exercise, meditation, quiet time, and reading. You know what you need. Also focus on creating space in your life and business.  Throw unneeded items out. Give away things, projects and tasks. Hire someone to do it. Let go of extracurricular activities unless it adds to your extreme self care.

·        If you tend to be scattered trying to do it all and end up doing none of it well. Have a sit down with someone who knows you well and start committing to what matters most and eliminating what doesn’t. Mastery is a function of choosing what is important to you and going deep into that area. Not everything deserves your attention, choose and eliminate.

 

Once again, what makes a great juggler is not that they are great at keeping the balls in the air at all times. What makes a great juggler is that they are great at getting the ball that has fallen, back in the air with relative ease and speed.

 

Is it time to pick up that ball?

 

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” Brian Tracy

 

 

About the Author Alicia Fruin 

 

Owner of Profit Consulting Co., Alicia has become a leader in the field of coaching, consulting and training for small business. She has designed more than 80 custom training programs for hundreds of business owners in a variety of industries across the country. In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales professionals on how to build a business truly worth having!

August 14, 2008

Embracing Business Crisis

“Without the strength to endure the crisis, one will not see the opportunity within. It is within the process of endurance that opportunity reveals itself.”

Chin-Ning Chu

 

Crisis is often an entry point; an opportunity to get real, tell the truth about our selves and our business. Definition of Crisis -The moment in which we know without a doubt that if we don’t make changes with ourselves and in our business we will lose. Unfortunately, at this point we usually have already lost quite a bit, which is what makes it a crisis! 

 

Understandably no one hopes for a crisis. Certainly this applies to our business or organization. Most of us as leaders would probably say one of our primary responsibilities is to prevent a crisis from ever occurring.

However, I have found that powerful lessons for all of us can be found in the middle of a business crisis. It isn’t uncommon for a leader to say, “Our staff has never pulled together more than when we were facing a crisis.” Possibly it’s the very real prospect of going out of business, facing a public relations catastrophe or even a natural disaster that causes people to unite.

And although this may not seem surprising, it does beg the question, “why?” Why do people set aside their usual disagreements and petty politics in the midst of a crisis?

I found one possible answer while contemplating teams and organizations that live in a perpetual state of daily crisis. Consider firefighters or soldiers in the midst of war.

 

At those moments, these are certainly some of the least political and divisive teams that you’ll find. For them, disagreement about budgets and lines of responsibility are ludicrous, or even worse, deadly. And that’s the point. When the stakes are clear and high, you know… life or death. Well-intentioned people can’t help but focus on the prevailing task at hand. Which is exactly what happens to businesses in crisis: they get focused around a compelling, over-arching goal. They put aside their egos and differences for the common good of the team or business.

 

We innately know this about ourselves and people which is why I personally believe some businesses create an ongoing atmosphere of chaos or crisis. Consider that there is another way, another option for focusing on the important and the common good. A way to stop avoiding the issue(s) and address what is not being said.

 

It starts with clear purposeful reasons to be in business, to do the job and to get the result. As the leader, it is your job to make sure your people have these:

 

·        A Vision

·        A Business purpose

·        Goals

·        Key measures for success in their own roles

·        Individual plans for growth and development 

 

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis’. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger-but recognize the opportunity.”  John F. Kennedy

 

About the Author Alicia Fruin

 

Owner of Profit Consulting Co., Alicia Fruin has become a leader in the field of coaching, consulting and training for small business. She has designed more than 80 custom training programs for hundreds of business owners in a variety of industries across the country. In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales professionals on how to build a business truly worth having! www.profitconsultingco.com

August 14, 2008

Am I an Entrepreneur?

Businesses fail, and often. If you think you want to run your own business, but are not sure you can be a successful Entrepreneur, I am glad you are thinking about it… keep reading. How does an Entrepreneur think, act, and respond? Is your personality a fit for being a successful Entrepreneur? Do you have what it takes?

 

Until recently, Entrepreneurs were not well thought of. As recent as the 80’s we looked on them as un-educated business men involved in shady dealings. There was a general lack of knowledge and information about what makes them successful.

 

Big business was the place to be, now that’s all changed. Our generation and the ones after us expect so much more from our career/work than our parents did. We want money, satisfaction, self expression and flexible hours such as a 4 day work week and tele-commuting. We have more small businesses than ever before in our U.S. history. In addition, smaller businesses are now attracting great employees and competing with the corporate world by offering those employees exactly what they want.

 

Today we have books, courses and business coaches in abundance. Some universities now offer courses and degrees in entrepreneurship. Business professionals have vast resources and as a whole we have learned a lot about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. I realize there is probably no such thing as the perfect entrepreneurial profile, I have noticed that there are many characteristics that seem to show up repeatedly in my work as a business coach. So from my work with hundreds of entrepreneurs as a coach and trainer, this is my summary.

Successful Entrepreneurs are, have, or do…

Available – In small businesses, where there is no depth of management, the owner must be present to win. They can’t afford a support staff to cover all business roles, and therefore need to either work long hours; have very talented people or both.

Self-Motivated – Entrepreneurs do not function well in structured organizations and do not like someone having authority over them. Rules, bureaucracy and politics frustrate them. This is often what leads them to start their own business. They enjoy creating business strategies and thrive on the process of achieving their goals. Once they obtain a goal, they quickly move to a greater goal. They constantly look to the future vision of the business. They have a compelling drive to do their own thing in their own way. They value freedom over money.

 

Well-Being – Successful Entrepreneurs are physically sound and in good health. They can work for extended periods of time as needed. They understand the relationship between a healthy body and a sharp mind.

 

Practical-Pragmatic – Entrepreneurs can accept what is and what is not and deal with issues accordingly. They may or may not be idealistic, but they are rarely unrealistic. They want to know the facts and condition of a given situation at all times. They may be too trusting (because they are often idealist) and may not be sufficiently skeptical in their business dealings with other people.

 

Embrace Ambiguity – Entrepreneurs identify problems and begin working on their solution faster than other people. Uncertainty does not bother them because their Healthy Ego feels challenged and likes to solve problems. They are the natural “go to” person in the group or business.

 

Intelligence – Successful Entrepreneurs think fast on their feet. They can comprehend complex problems and circumstances that may require planning, strategy, or working on multiple business ideas at once. They have vision and are aware of important factors to consider. They are open minded and will consider different perspectives. They seem flexible and are not afraid to change direction when failing.

 

Healthy Ego – Entrepreneurs are confident when they feel in control of what they’re doing and often like to work alone. They tackle problems head on and quickly with confidence. They are persistent in problem solving and are not afraid of smart risks. They do well with adversity, because they thrive on their own level of confidence. Someone saying or thinking they can’t pull it off doesn’t bother them at all.

 

Urgency – Entrepreneurs have a sense of urgency. They have drive and high energy levels, they are achievement-oriented, and they are tireless in the pursuit of their goals.  Idleness makes them impatient, on edge, and anxious. They thrive on activity and are not likely to be found at the nail salon or golf course. When they are in the entrepreneurial mode, they are more likely to be found getting things done instead of all the other “to-do’s.”

 

Emotional Stability – Successful Entrepreneurs can handle stress and are even having fun! They are challenged rather than discouraged by setbacks or failures. Entrepreneurs are surprisingly uncomfortable when things are going well. This is when they will probably find a new project on which to focus their creative energy.

 

Ability to let go – Entrepreneurs are not always the best “people” people. They are often impatient and drive themselves and everyone around them. They also resist delegating key decisions or responsibilities. My favorite coaching question for the Entrepreneur is “who can help you with this?” It shakes them up every time.  It is not uncommon for the Entrepreneur to do the books, drive business development and buy the office supplies.

 

As the business grows and becomes an organization, Entrepreneurs go through a classic crisis (this is usually when they call us). They have become the bottle neck; their want for control has made it hard for them to hand over authority in the way that a growing business demands. Their strong direct approach makes them more likely to seek information directly from the source, bypassing the structured chains of authority and responsibility. Their interpersonal skills, which were adequate during the start-up phase, will cause them problems as they try to adjust and free themselves from the day to day operations. Cash flow, retention and low morale are symptoms of this issue.

 

 

Do you recognize yourself? Did you locate your likely strengths as an Entrepreneur? Did you identify potential barriers to your success? Awareness matters here. Focus on your strengths, be aware of your weaknesses and go for it!

 

 

Author Alicia Fruin–Owner of Profit Consulting Co., Alicia has become a leader in the field of coaching, consulting and training for small business. She has designed more than 80 custom training programs for hundreds of business owners in a variety of industries across the country. In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales professionals on how to build a business truly worth having! www.profitconsultingco.com

August 5, 2008

Finding the right Business Coach

Step #1 – Be clear about what you want. A good Business Coach is going to ask what it is that you want. While it may seem elementary, not everyone knows the answer to this question! Most people are not used to being asked what they want in life or in work. If it will help, start by listing all the things you know you do NOT want – and go from there. People hire coaches either because they want more of something or less of something else—or because they are facing a personal or professional dilemma. Still, others see something about coach that attracts them, whether they can articulate what that may be, or not.  The job of a coach is to model a great life and business!

Step #2 – Understand that Coaching is all about you! Coaching is about your life, your work, your goals, your needs, your desires, your dreams, your values, etc. – and NOT about the Coach’s life, work, goals, needs, desires, dreams, values, etc. This is your time and your space – and a trained and qualified coach is going to make this all about you! I like to think of it as offering my client a “sacred space” wherein they can come to share any and every thing on their mind and heart. In addition, like a fitting room, clients can try on new ideas like trying on a new suit of clothing – without fear of recrimination, competition, or judgment.

 

Step #3Interview More Than One Coach and have your own list of Questions Ready…The most important thing to look for in selecting a coach is finding someone with whom you feel you can easily relate in order to create and the most powerful partnership possible. Here are some questions you may want to ask prospective coaches: What is your coaching experience? (number of individuals you have coached, years of experience, types of situations, etc.); What is your coach specific training?  Do you hold an ICF or WABC Credential? Are you enrolled in an ICF Accredited Training Program? What are your coaching specialties or client areas you most often work in? What specialized skills or experience do you bring to your coaching? What is your philosophy about coaching? What is your specific process for coaching? (how sessions are conducted, frequency, etc.). What are some coaching success stories? (specific examples of individuals who have done well and examples of how you have added value). What is the average length of time you work with clients? What are your fees and how are they normally paid?

 

Step #4 – Retain your new Coach! 

When you are ready to retain the business coach that you have selected, be ready to do some work!  Most coaches will have you read over and sign a “Coaching Agreement” form that specifies the specifics you both have agreed upon with regard to the number and length of sessions per month; the initial duration of the coaching agreement; the agreed upon fee, etc. You may also be asked to sign a credit card authorization form to make convenient payments.

 

 

www.profitconsultingco.com

Alicia Fruin – Business Coach

August 5, 2008

Being “Open for business”

I have great admiration for small business owners. I love their entrepreneurial spirit, pioneering attitude, perseverance and strength. I am lucky enough to work with them daily as their business coach.

 

Through my role as coach, I am honored to witness courage in so many ways. The courage to expand and grow, the courage to ask for money, the courage to go after the big account, the courage to hire and fire when needed.

 

If you have never been an entrepreneur or known one, these activities might not seem like a big deal. In the beginning stages, small business owners are grappling with what they feel they can or cannot do. Their businesses are literally limited by their own self perception. For example: an owner who wants to double their revenue might have to learn how to let go and leverage themselves through others. So it makes sense that most entrepreneurs have to personally grow and develop themselves to move their businesses forward. Enter the business coach versus a consultant. A consultant is the expert and they advise.

 

So “What’s a business coach?” you ask? A business coach engages and facilitates focused dialogue. We challenge, inquire, provoke, cajole, inspire, offer support and collaborate with our clients on their business issues. Occasionally we give advice and consult a client when it is an area of expertise. Most of the time however, it is not about my wisdom. It is about the client’s wisdom. Coaches believe that the client has the answer.

 

Back to my point, in most cases the entrepreneur’s limiting beliefs are what is stopping the business from expanding. As limiting beliefs are identified the small business owner can see and be aware of new possibilities allowing for more awareness and choice. Finally this brings me to the title of the article. Are you “open for business”?

 

When we are “closed for business,” we already know how the business is, how our industry is and how our customers are, leaving no possibility or room for something else. Where there is certainty there is no possibility. We become frustrated and stuck.

 

Being “open for business” is about being aware of what your biases, limitations and limiting beliefs (filters) are and not letting that mindset run your business. When we are “open for business” we find opportunities and solve problems easily.  Okay, how do I do that” you say?

 

First get clear about your own filters by talking to a coach, asking your staff, interviewing your spouse or working with a mentor and then write them all down.

 

The next step is to identify how these filters have you stuck or stopped in your business. How do your limiting beliefs impact your business and its employees?

 

Then, make sure that you stay “open for business” by being engaged in conversations about your business with someone who knows what your filters are and is willing to say something when they come up. This could be an employee, partner, spouse, friend, mentor or coach.

 

You will be amazed at the difference this one shift from closed to open can make for your profitability and your sense of well being.

 

About the Author Alicia Fruin

 

Alicia is the owner of Profit Consulting Co., a business Education Company. They offer small business coaching, consulting and training. Alicia has designed over 80 customized training programs and led these programs for hundreds of business owners around the country in a variety of industries.  In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales people on how to build a business truly worth having!

 

www.profitconsultingco.com

August 5, 2008

Business is a game

 

As a business coach on occasion I find it helpful to remind my clients to lighten up. I’ll say something like, “It’s a game; this won’t matter on your death bed.” As business owners it can be tempting to lose ourselves in the issue of the day, week or month. We forget that it is not a life or death situation. Okay, we could be on the verge of losing our business or maybe a really big account but these are the moments that perspective may be our most powerful edge. Remembering that business is a game could give you the mental and emotional acuity needed to get you through the rough patches we all experience.

 

Let me say more about business being a game. Just like a game there are rules, lots of them: your rules, industry rules, cultural rules, government rules and more. In regards to keeping your perspective, your rules are the ones that matter the most. Here are some rules that I recommend:

 

1. Play the game of business to win “as if” your life is at stake and then toss your head, smile and laugh when it doesn’t work out.

2. Have fun whenever possible, smile a lot.

3. Keep your physical, spiritual, emotional and mental reserves full for the game by exercising, praying, reading positive books, nurturing your relationships and getting rest. Of all the rules, this is the most important. Would a world class athlete show up exhausted, spent and mentally unprepared?

 4. Learn basic business principles in the areas of finance, marketing, organizational development and operations. Then master the basics.

 

In business we are essentially playing two games at once, the internal game (the real game) and the external game (the worldly game). The external game is your daily business practices and your business model. The internal game (invisible) is about being positive, having integrity, being focused, present and aware, expressing your vision and being mentally clear about what you want. As you can see, the rules I recommend are for both games.

 

The first three rules are for the internal game. Rule number 4 addresses the external game. If we play the external game and forget about the internal game we will be reactive, experience stress, get stuck, neglect our bodies and our loved ones and lose complete sight of the fact that it is a game after all. If we only play the internal game and forget about playing the external game we will neglect to master the basics of business and be very happy but unsuccessful in business. Unfortunately, I have noticed very few people have the latter problem.

 

So how do you start applying the principles above? I recommend that you sit down and write your rules for the game of business. You will want rules for the internal and the external game. Then create your ideal day, week, month and year on paper or in your calendar. You want to be able to see how a master would operate. This is your gap. Now what? Get a coach, mentor, teacher, guru, whatever is right for you. These concepts are simple not easy.

 

About the Author Alicia Fruin

 

Alicia is the owner of Profit Consulting Co., a business Education Company. They offer small business coaching, consulting and training. Alicia has designed over 80 customized training programs and led these programs for hundreds of business owners around the country in a variety of industries.  In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales people on how to build a business truly worth having!

 

www.profitconsultingco.com