As entrepreneurs we tend to make our businesses an extension of ourselves. This is not always a good thing as then our businesses take on all our own traits, instead of being able to stand alone as a business.
If your business is a direct extension of yourself you will probably find you suffer from one or more of the following:-
- Your business suffers from the same money problems that you do.
- You do all or most of the work yourself and struggle to balance working in your business with working on your business.
- Your business survives month to month instead of being able to grow.
- You are under-resourced.
- You learn a lot about success and know all the theory, but your time and energy is so constrained by your business that you find it hard to apply success practices.
- You love what you do, but you are broke.
- Your business decisions are influenced heavily by your personal decisions and these decisions may be in your best interest, but they are not always in the best interest of the business.
- The picture the world sees of your business is very different to the reality of your business.
- Your business keeps changing to match changes in your life and your business cannot settle.
- You will mortgage your home and/or max out your credit card to raise money for a business that is not making money.
We need to remember that a business is an entity. And this entity should be separate from you.
You should still drive the vision and the offering of the business, but this entity needs to be able to function without you doing it all, it needs to serve customers’ needs, it needs to be able to grow and it needs to make profit.
Here are some things you can do to separate yourself from your business and allow your business to flourish as an entity that you can then sell or get someone else to run for you:
- Let your personal journey reflect in the vision of the business, and not in the functions of the business.
- Create processes, structure and roles in your business from as early on as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to build a team and enforce the fact that team members need to justify and cover their own cost.
- Realise that it’s not ok to love what you do if doing what you love makes you go broke.
- Understand that a business is an entity that offers a service to customers and you need to make sure that your customers needs are met, not just your own.
- Face the reality of your business head on and proactively change your mindset and actions around your business.
- See your business as its own being (as if it is a unique child with it’s own life and personality that needs to be nurtured) and not as a pure extension of yourself.
- Don’t risk all your personal finances on a business that is not making money and has not been making money for years.
- Develop your leadership and management skills so that you can grow your business.
- Treat your business as a profit making entity – which is what it should be.
- Think big (a real business), not small (a one man operation).
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