Have you ever told yourself: “Once I get my business to this place, I can relax?” At one time or another, most of us have felt like a hamster on a wheel, churning and spinning on an endless business development journey leading to a finish line that seems just outside of our grasp.
Running your own business, even if it is a startup, is both exhilarating and exhausting, regardless of whether you are an independent sales rep or engineering professional, the head of your department, an entrepreneurial start-up, or a small business owner. There are lots of items on your “to do” list and hopefully you have enough sense not to flail about at all of them simultaneously.
Yet when you get to where you think you are going, that oasis of business stasis, there always seems to be another new bright, shiny object just outside your grasp.
Do you make that object your next business goal or do you relax and survey the environment and celebrate your accomplishments?
How many of you would have said that celebration of your accomplishments represents “settling” and it’s time to charge off after that new goal, that “what’s next” instead?
I recommend taking a nanosecond or two to pause and survey the business ecosystem in which your accomplishment is currently thriving. That business ecosystem, like any ecosystem, isn’t static. You know as well as I do that the rate of change in technology, and its concurrent impact on just about everything else, will change your business ecosystem as fast as you can blink.
I recommend understanding your business ecosystem, its dynamics, its vulnerabilities, its terms and conditions, its rules of engagement. Map it out: for yourself, your employees, your colleagues, your customers. Because they are all inhabitants of your business ecosystem as well.
They certainly are not static participants, either. Once they make decisions, they are upsetting your perfect little system, aren’t they?
Business stasis isn’t realistic. Business homeostasis is.
It’ represents a state of dynamic equilibrium.
Homeostasis is the tendency of a system to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated responses of its parts, to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function. [Dictionary.com]
Stasis describes a stable state in which all forces are equal and opposing and cancel out each other. In other words, where little or no change occurs. [Wikipedia]
Unless you plan on freezing your situation in time (which we won’t discuss within the space of this blog post), targeting business stasis is not only unrealistic, it is unfeasible as a goal. Think of the daily fluctuations of the stock market. Think about the trials and tribulations of your daily commute from point A to point B. Think about what happens in your household on a daily basis, particularly if you have a 2-year-old or a teenager or two. Nope, stasis won’t describe how even these three personal scenarios impact your business life. Let alone everyone else’s involved in your business.
There’s simply a whole lot of “stuff” that happens even when you have accomplished what you set out to accomplish. And it changes your business ecosystem and your roadmap for future business growth.
Your ability to anticipate, and factor in the impact of as many of these variables into your ongoing business life, and those of your customers and colleagues, allows you to become proactive and anticipatory.
You become a student of the constant ebb and flow of trends impacting the homeostasis of your business ecosystem.
Have you ever thought about your professional life like that? Understand the dynamics of your business ecosystem as you survive and thrive within it. Evaluate whether there is realistic opportunity for you to pursue within your current, dynamic, homeostatic business ecosystem, before you rush off to pursue that other bright shiny object just beyond your grasp. It might reside in an entirely different ecosystem from yours.
Realism in business development is far from stifling. It represents a state of dynamic equilibrium. What does your business ecosystem look like?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools.