Leading your own business isn’t the easy option. It is highly possible that as yet, you do not even consider yourself a leader. But as the decision maker and CEO of your business, I promise you are and it is critical that you conquer this inner game of self-leadership; getting clear on how you want your business and your role within it to look and feel, to not only maximise your performance but most importantly drive your happiness and fulfilment alongside.
If you want to grow and scale a business that for the most part, you love, here are a few tips to get the foundations laid so you can scale and grow a sustainable business:
Simon Sinek talks about starting with why before you even venture down the how and the what. Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect also discusses the impact your why can have on your motivation.
Your business is the vehicle to achieving your why; but your why is the fuel in that vehicle, so you really need to get clear on this as part of your foundation setting, so you can build from the ground up.
If we strip back the layers and get to the core of you and your business, what is there? What is most important to you?
If you value honesty, integrity, compassion and time with your family; but you end up working with others who are ruthless and unethical and require you to work in the evenings and weekends; then you will end up resentful and drained as you are completely misaligned with what matters most to you.
Therefore, getting clear on this and aligning every decision, hire and new product gives you the best possible chance of achieving your best performance. This is as important when it comes to the hours that you work and the boundaries that you set yourself to ensure that you make time for you and those you care about the most.
When I discuss strengths; I mean what gives you the greatest energy in your work. When you are energised by it, you are likely TO already have it as a competency or have the potential TO be great at it. This doesn’t mean that every competency you have is a strength. You might have been in accounts for 20 years and be competent in data entry into an excel spreadsheet; you can still hate it – this therefore isn’t the strength I mean.
Research has shown that when you leverage your strengths (aka your energisers) in your work, you give yourself a whopping 36% chance of improving your performance.
Therefore, I urge you to get curious with yourself and understand more of what your strengths are – you can sense check this simply by seeing what you enjoy doing the most and look at how you can best leverage them in your work to help increase your joy factor and your performance.
If the courtship is a nightmare, then the marriage will be a disaster!
You do not want to work with less than ideal clients. Instead of moulding yourself to who wants to work with you, figure out who you most want to support who is in alignment with your values, your beliefs and enables you to leverage those strengths we discussed too.
Your business model is the way you generate your profit, who you work with and the products and services that you sell.
Get clear firstly on the revenue you NEED to generate to pay yourself and to cover the costs of running your business.
Then comes the reverse engineering. You need to figure out how you will deliver your products/services.
Eg: if you are a service based business; how do you prefer to work? 1:1/group/online/in person. How many of your products/services do you need to sell and how often in order to hit your revenue goal?
Getting clear on your business model and product mix will then enable you to start to take steps to carve out your strategic plan to build and nurture your audience, generate leads into your pipeline through effective marketing and to get clear on your sales process in order to convert your leads into happy clients. Ultimately, it is these initial steps which will enable you to execute your business in a way that is fully aligned to what YOU have decided is most important.
Meaning that you have every opportunity to lead, grow and scale a business your way.