Given the lethargic economic recovery, now is not the time for business owners to be super heroes or lone rangers. Now is not the time to be isolated, alone, stubborn, and pretend to have all the answers. It’s OK, end the superman or superwoman charade. Remember, this is your friendly Growth Coach here that has pretty well seen it ALL over the past 19 years as a business coach. So please relax, be honest and be yourself. You don’t need to put up a false front for me or anyone else. In fact, please put away your super hero cape and tights, stop running around ragged like a speeding bullet, and stop trying to leap tall buildings in a single bound. You aren’t fooling anyone and you are most likely exhausting yourself, your employees and probably your family.
Now more than ever, you need to be strong enough to ask for help. In my experience, the most successful entrepreneurs always ask for help and guidance … they are confident enough and strong enough to seek a competitive advantage, wherever they can. Are you?
Ask and you shall receive … all the help you need. Let go of your ego. Choose to be more effective instead of always having to be right. No owner has all the answers and everything working well. We are all human, struggle, get in a rut, and lose our way. Still clinging to your super hero cape?
Face reality superman or superwoman. We can all benefit from additional help, coaching, new perspectives, objective feedback, tough-love accountability and on-going support … your virtual business coach (me) included. As human beings, it is impossible for us to be truly objective … we have blind spots, inaccurate and false assumptions, unnoticed habits, and even limiting beliefs holding us back. We can’t see our own true behavior and habits … they are partially invisible to us. Besides, better solutions always come from honest objectivity and a diversity of ideas … not just your ideas. Be strong enough to ask for help and then listen to the advice, wisdom and feedback of others. Ready to hang up your super hero cape and tights? At least admit that the tights make you feel uncomfortable, expose you to the world, and no longer fit like they used to.
Keep in mind … for better results, you either have to do different things or do things differently … the same old, same old ways won’t get you to where you want to be. You will only get the same old results, if even that. You must be open to think and act differently.
Our Growth Coach franchise owners throughout North America are busier than ever helping several thousand small business owners every year achieve greater success and balance in their lives. These small business clients, especially over the last 2-3 years, have come to our business coaches in record numbers seeking help to get their ships in shape to weather the choppy economic waters. A real fear of loss has motivated them to seek additional help. In a real sense, they were awakened by the great recession … their eyes and minds were opened. They woke up to the reality of needing some more objectivity and accountability in their lives. They finally admitted to not being superman or superwoman and as such, they benefited significantly from a proven coaching process to help them confront their problems and opportunities in a structured, disciplined, and continuous way. Have you?
Because of our powerful marketing system, the majority of Growth Coach clients, in good times and bad, come to us partially enlightened and open-minded because of strong third-party endorsements from people they most trust and respect … CPA’s, bankers, attorneys, financial planners, peers, Chamber leaders, trade association leaders, reporters, and other influencers. These advisers and influencers care deeply about their clients and want them to get some much-needed business coaching and accountability help … they don’t want to see them overworked, overwhelmed, and feeling like prisoners to their businesses.
However, what troubles me are the unenlightened small business owners who have not yet embraced business coaching or other types of assistance. They are still trying to be super heroes and do it all themselves … Chief EVERYTHING Officers. They still have on the cape and the overly tight tights. They don’t realize what got them to where they are now is no longer sufficient to get them to where they want to go. Here is a sad truth … unless they grow as owners, their businesses will not grow. They need to grow their knowledge, mindsets, habits and skills to survive and thrive. Now is the time to ask for and receive such help. Here are some suggestions:
- Hire a business coach with a proven business coaching process. A business coach should not tell you what to do or how to do it … that is not an empowering and effective process. You should always own and drive the vehicle, your business. Stay in charge, in control, and your hands on the wheel. Never let a consultant or coach take the wheel from you. An effective coach can be a GPS for you and your business but not do the driving for you. An effective business coach should simply hold up a mirror to your world so you can see for yourself what is broken and what YOU want to change. You simply want an objective coach who will help you discover for yourself what you need and want to change. They will help you create an action plan to achieve the changes YOU want to see based on YOUR wishes, wants, needs and goals … nobody else’s. They will then help hold you accountable for making those changes happen. They will challenge you, stretch your mindset and assumptions, and help you recognize and overcome your limiting beliefs and the behaviors holding you back. Click here to find a business coach near you.
- Next best thing to business coaching (100% focused on you) is to join a mastermind group of other business owners so you can discuss common challenges, opportunities, fears, doubts, etc. While not focused solely on you and your plan, you will still get different perspectives and the chance to share best practices and avoid worst practices. You want a group where you can be yourself and speak the truth … no room for mind games and pretending. Check out your Chamber of Commerce for CEO Roundtables, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.eonetwork.org), or start your own mastermind group of 6-9 business owners and meet once a month or once a quarter to help each other.
- Read books from proven business leaders and owners to gain inspiration and wisdom. Also, listen to educational and motivational CDs while you are driving around. I invest heavily in CDs and highly recommend www.nightingale.com for a great selection. As John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” Take off the super hero cape and be open to never-ending learning. Click here for our free e-book, “Becoming a Strategic Business Owner”.
- Assemble your team of advisers (CPA, banker, attorney, financial planner, consultant, board of advisers, etc.) in one room at the same time and ask them for help. Pick their brains. Ask for advice and suggestions to battle the slow economic recovery. If they are unwilling to roll up their sleeves and truly help your business, seriously think about getting new advisers.
- Ask your employees for help. Ask them, “If you were the owner or CEO of this company, how would you increase our revenues, decrease our costs, improve our operations, and enhance the value and satisfaction we provide our customers?” Stop trying to have all the answers. Stop being a lone wolf. The strength of the wolf is the pack. Ask your pack, closest to the action and your customers for help … and then listen.
Whether in good times or bad, you should be receptive to asking for help. But in challenging times, even more is at stake. Go ahead and pull the large ”S” off your chest. You don’t need to be super business owner any longer, you simply need to be a more strategic and effective business owner. That’s a much easier burden to carry. Again, put away your super hero cape and tights … save them for Halloween.