The business you’re building will never be done. There really is no finish line. That’s why it’s okay to make a change to what you’re doing.
Change keeps you relevant.
There’s an old Chinese proverb: “A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.”
In other words:
- The bottom falls out of the economy? Adapt your cost structure to survive the moment.
- There’s a sudden shift in consumer preferences? Tweak your product strategy to meet new demand.
- There’s a pandemic or a wild fire or some other unforeseen event that renders what you used to do useless? Get moving or accept defeat.
It’s straightforward and logical. Business is just Darwin’s survival of the fittest in action.
We all get it – in theory.
We’ve also got to acknowledge, however, that for a new small business owner, change can feel personal.
It’s not easy to admit that something you built and care deeply about needs to change.
But, you can’t willingly stay blind. You can only embrace the change and keep moving.
Let’s get a little vulnerable here.
I’m going to share a change that I’m going to make. I am changing the way I talk about what I do.
CLOSE TO HOME
Most mornings, I take a 3 mile walk with Gemma, at 5:30am through the park near where we live. It’s quiet, the birds are chirping, and the sun is just peaking over the mountains.
It’s a really important part of my day – it’s my opportunity to learn and reflect before things get busy.
On one walk recently, I was listening to an episode of Problem Solvers – a podcast from Entrepreneur Media – called “A Better Way To Describe What You Do.”
The interview focused on the idea that many new business owners just aren’t great at talking about what they do – how they want to sound professional and clever, but they end up twisting themselves into a pretzel and confusing their potential customers.
Initially, I thought: “Yes, absolutely.” I see this all the time with new clients.
I continued listening, casually. Suddenly, a question struck me: “How might I use this as an opportunity to improve what I’m doing?”
I stopped walking just for a moment – the idea physically giving me pause.
I’ve had the same promise for 3 years: I help new entrepreneurs achieve strategic clarity, so they can confidently start and grow their businesses and step boldly into the role of business owner.
Strategic clarity is very personal to me. It’s part of my story and it’s a guiding philosophy for how I help people. And, yet, most people don’t have a clue what strategic clarity is.
So, was I missing an opportunity to take my own medicine? Was I stubbornly trodding along with a message that had served me well to this point, but might have outlived its usefulness?
MAKE A CHANGE & KEEP MOVING
Another idea freed me from paralysis – something I often share with clients: it’s okay to make a change – you haven’t arrived. You never will. There is no finish line. The work of building your business is never done. Get moving. Run the experiment.
I don’t believe you should make a change just for the sake of change. It needs to be grounded in data or consumer feedback or some other insight.
With that in mind, I mentally scanned my roster of clients. All referrals. None of them had actually heard my strategic clarity message out in the wild and said, “hey, that’s what I need.”
But, what’s the thing we actually focus on during our time together? Mindset.
So, here’s a new promise: I help new business owners create, cultivate, and capture an entrepreneur’s mindset, so they can start and grow their businesses with confidence and step boldly into the role of business owner.
The change I’m making here matters only insofar as it serves up a critical lesson for every new business owner.
When you encounter new information, new insights, new circumstances, or new terrain, it’s okay for it to knock you a little off balance. Take a deep breath and regain your footing. Then, take your blinders off and survey the land with clear eyes and an open mind.
If you were an external consultant, peering into the business you’ve built, what would you say?
Say it. Then, make a change.