Are You Having Fun Yet?

by Isabel Banerjee

What’s the point of having your own business if you’re not having fun? Really, considering how hard you work, the sacrifices you make, the risks you face; shouldn’t the rewards be as great or greater?

Here are some suggestions to help you significantly increase the rewards and returns from your business, minimize the risks, and make the ride on the entrepreneurial roller coaster much more fun!

Don’t go it alone. As a small-business owner or a solopreneur, we wear all the hats and perform all the tasks, and we often do this in isolation. It is impossible for any individual to have all the knowledge and experience to plan, grow and manage a business. When it is not practical to hire all of what I call the “CSPs,” or “Certified Smart People,” you need on your team, take advantage of the collective wisdom of selected advisors, mentors and other successful business owners. Choose the company you keep wisely!

Invest in yourself. As a subject matter expert, you are probably the single most valuable asset in your business. Like anything else that is critical to the success of your business, you must protect and strengthen that asset. The best way to achieve this is to regularly HAVE FUN! Entrepreneurs are especially susceptible to burn out. No one can be their best, most creative, insightful or confident self when always stressed or exhausted. Relax, rejuvenate and re-energize regularly and repeat often! You’ll be amazed at how much better a businessperson you’ll be!

Know your WHY. Simon Sinek shone the light on this fundamental reason in the famed TED Talk “Start with Why.” As an entrepreneur, knowing your “Why” is essential to creating a business aligned with your values. Decisions about growth, branding, staffing, choice of vendors and more will feel right, be right and yield positive results when anchored by your “Why.”

Have a written plan. You will not arrive if you do not have a destination in mind. Make a plan, write it down, plot out milestones and critical numbers and, most importantly, check in on results with unwavering frequency. If you are off course, find out before you plunge over the edge! If being honest with yourself is hard or you easily downgrade the priority of accurately measuring progress, then I recommend you engage an accountability partner. Meet with your coach, accountant, business partner or peer advisory board at regular intervals and be prepared to explain results and corrective actions.

Grow a business, not a hobby. Attitude and action are the difference between barely getting by and building a business that is sustainable, scalable and saleable. Do you operate your business as “good enough for now” or do you have a bigger vision? Can you imagine what your company looks like at 10 times, 100 times or 1,000 times greater than it is today? How would you manage that organization? Visualize the organization you built that rewards you handsomely and continues to grow with your successors. Start thinking and doing like that business leader would today!

Honored for seven consecutive years as one of Canada’s Top 100 Women EntrepreneursTM and 2007 and 2009’s Canada’s Top 100 Most PowerfulTM woman-owned businesses, Isabel Banerjee was a recipient of Global EXEC Women’s International Council’s Women of International InfluenceTM 2009 award.

An inspiring speaker, author, transformation catalyst and serial entrepreneur, Banerjee now lives full time in Phoenix and makes a difference in many lives as CEO of BIYA Global, Inc.; managing director, Arizona of GroYourBiz; chief encore officer of The Encore Catalyst; international facilitator of MyBigIdea.

To connect with the author: strategy@theencoreactalyst.com, Twitter @EncoreCatalyst, Facebook @TheEncoreCatalyst

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