Getting back to my ‘Why?’

I celebrated my first anniversary as a business owner recently.   The year has flashed by at the speed of light. Those of you who have explored my other Resources will know that it’s not been without its surprises and challenges.   In the spirit of practicing what I encourage in others,

I took the time to stop, reflect on what is, consider how that aligns to my original vision for my business and to consider what next.

This coincided with me reading Necessary Endings by Dr Henry Cloud.  He encourages business owners to think about their business as a rose bush.  This resonated with me.  You need to determine what you want your rose bush (business) to look like before you can consistently nurture it and prune it in all the right places.  

I gathered my business data together for year one and did some reflecting and exploring by myself and with peers about where I want my business to be 3 years from its launch.  I thought about where I am now and what kind of routines and relationships I am forming. Who I’m working with and what they’ve said they valued about working with me.  I reminded myself why I left full-time employment and what I had hoped to achieve from that.  It was the right time for me to ask myself some hard questions.  

Was I on the right path or starting to get lost in the woods?

My answers were mixed.  I’ve exceeded my expectations in some areas, but there are other goals that I haven’t started to work on (and I had honestly forgotten about).  I’ve come to expect more evolutionary progress against some of the business objectives that I thought I would ‘complete’ in year one.  That’s not to say I can’t point to some significant achievements: I have a website which represents my brand; I’m winning repeat business from clients and I’m now an established mentor sharing my experience and skills with others across Greater Manchester.

To keep my ‘Why?’ in focus I took the rose bush analogy and created my own.  The roses represent the main areas of focus.  

You can’t have too many because businesses can’t sustain lots of objectives and deliver them all well.  You need to figure out what’s most important and then prune out the distractions.   

I liked the idea of drawing an image that I could put above my desk to remind me of what I am trying to achieve.  You might notice that it’s a climbing rose bush as my business is still growing and establishing itself from the initial idea I had.

Image created by Liz Needham, April 2019

My values are included, shown as the roots of the rose bush as they are what nourishes me.  I don’t think my areas of focus are unique, but the image means something to me however imperfect it might be.  I’ve chosen:

  • Professional growth as a business owner and in my role as a coach and consultant.  One won’t thrive without the other.  
  • A well-oiled machine I’ve learnt that even in a small business getting (and staying) organised and having basic systems and processes in place is critical.
  • Being in my tribe having a sense of belonging and being accepted is important to me.
  • Knowing my market may sound obvious, but when you work with a number of market segments getting really close to each group is important.
  • A sustainable lifestyle my own physical, mental and social wellbeing along with the impact I have on those around me.
  • Reputation, reputation, reputation we know this is important.  In a market where work largely comes through referrals and existing clients it’s absolutely critical.  For me it’s about being known across the NW (and beyond) for how I work, who I work with and the impact that I deliver with those I partner with.
  • To be ‘excited’ running my own business is more of an emotional roller coaster than I had imagined.  Being and staying excited by what I do has to be a priority.

I’d love to hear about your ‘Why?’ whether you are a business owner or you work for someone else.

How are you keeping this at the heart of what you do every day?

If you would like to explore your ‘Why?’ then please contact me for a free consultation.