One of the most difficult aspects of moving your startup or business to the next level is doing the work. It’s hard work. Often this work involves changing the way you see things, think about things, process things, and do things.
Doing the work involves moving yourself and your entrepreneurial mindset one millimeter outside of your current comfort level. That small shift in perspective, that tiny little pivot, can open up so many opportunities for you and your business. Yet when you are in the midst of moving your mindset, this is one daunting task.
Moving that one millimeter can seem like travelling millions of miles.
You can’t go back to where you were yesterday, because you know you are on the road to a better destination. Yet your mind plays tricks on you and suggests that things were “just fine” the way they used to be. That one millimeter pivot in perspective creates a Herculean mental tug-of-war, doesn’t it?
Your co-founder has decided they don’t want to do the work. They aren’t as committed to your vision as you both once thought you were. Your partner has one set of revenue projections for the next 18 months; unfortunately those don’t quite mesh with yours, which are 100 times those revenue projections. One founder thinks of the business as more of a feel-good social hobby; you view the business as a sustainable revenue generation machine.
You sense you are moving towards a sole proprietorship, but are in denial. You resist the obvious decision to be made, because you “had it in your mind” this other way, which has proven to be unrealistic and unfeasible.
You resist that one millimeter shift that you know you have to make.
Just when you thought you couldn’t do one more ounce of work, or learn one more piece of new information, there are more books to read, webinars to attend, customers to meet, homework assignments from coaches and mentors. It never ends. You don’t know as much as you thought you knew. Your coach isn’t going to spoon feed some fail-safe “how-to” recipe to you. Because there isn’t one.
Businesses are built by learning from past failures as well as successes. Businesses and startups grow because you incorporate process and discipline into your decisions.
Your business succeeds because you structure it that way. You take the time to build that critical foundation and come to those agreements with co-founders and partners which make all the difference down the road, when you grow, diverge, exit. There’s a lot of up-front work to do. There’s a lot of continuous work to do.
Your personal business development never ends. One success or failure opens up the door to many more “What if?” questions and hypotheses.
It only takes your decision to move one millimeter outside your current comfort level. What will your decision be?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development, one millimeter at a time. She works with manufacturing and engineering firms and small business entrepreneurships. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page.