Being in business is a struggle at times. Read the stories of any successful business man or woman, and none of them will have had a smooth ride to the top.
It is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day battles. This is especially true in a sole trader/owner-manager business. You often have no-one to tell you whether something is good or bad, someone to add perspective to a situation.
In the early days of my business a very wise friend gave me some advice. He said that when you are working by yourself it is easy to have huge swings of emotion – one day it is great, the next you want to give up. Something very small can tip your mood; one small thing can turn a great day into a disaster.
Often you will then look to blame yourself and come up with all the reasons why you are not capable of running a business. In reality it is probably nothing to do with anything you have or have not done.
But you don’t have anyone to tell you that.
These are my three pieces of advice to help smooth your journey through the ups and downs of business:
- Never make a decision off the back of a ‘bad day’. If you are having a bad day, step back and make your decisions later with a clear head.
- Always watch the tide and not the waves. Business can be rough and the waves can push you up and down but it is not the wave which we need to look out for. The wave will be here one moment and then will go past us. It is the tide that we need to be aware of, washing us out of our depth or up on to dry land.
- Always try to make decisions from a position of strength. We often make bad decisions when we are under pressure or forced into a corner. Just because it seems like a way out of a problem does not mean that it is the right way.
At Altus, we support clients by providing that listening ear and sense of perspective. We are at the end of the telephone line for that quick ‘can I just run this past you?’ call, while our Freelance FD services provide a critical friend on a regular, on-going basis.