Managing the Ebbs and Flows of your business

Managing and growing a business can be fun, but it can also be taxing and frustrating.  Just when you think every piece is in place, something changes.  While I am no expert, I have been in this world long enough to know a few things worth sharing about running and managing a business and I’ll share a few of those with you today.  Everyone can and should run a business sometime.  Some will be better than others and even those are successful cannot take full credit while those who fail cannot be saddled with all of the blame.  Things happen.

Here are three things I have observed and find worth discussing.  I hope they prove to be of benefit to you:

1.  Things are never as bad or as good they might seem.

I entered the Talent Acquisition and Talent Development world on a full time basis almost 10 years ago.  At that time I didn’t know what I didn’t know, sort of unconsciously incompetent.  Experience has been a great teacher and many of the positive and negative issues I have dealt with have allowed me to not repeat most of my mistakes while also being able to chart a course and develop a strategy for the future.  I don’t do things the same today as I did ten years ago and I suspect things will continue to evolve as time goes by and I gain more experience.  One of the key learning's is that things are never perfect and they are never unrecoverable.  Just when I think things could not get worse, they get better.  Conversely, just when things are at the pinnacle, they swoon a little.  Business is cyclical and you need to learn to set aside resources for the lean times when things are good.  On the contrary, you may need to rethink things and plan for the future when they look their most bleak.  The most important thing is to persevere.

2.  None of us does things without the help of others.

I find the term “self made man or woman” to be a little egotistical and impractical.  Through my faith in God I know that none of us does anything alone, but even more, we don’t succeed or fail in this world on our own either.  Business is a team sport and you need the help, coordination and support of others to be successful.  Most of our business comes from referrals and these referrals have come from prior success and relationships we have gained over the years.  Not only do we receive referrals, but we also provide them for people we know who are reputable and who exhibit integrity in how they do their work.  If you think you can use “island mentality” and be successful in business you will fail.  None of us does this alone and the more quickly you realize this, the better.

3.  Find a way to give back to your profession and your community

Giving is important and as a business owner my bent toward giving has never been stronger.  This giving involves talent, time and treasure, and I am more strategic than ever in how I do this.  I try to give as much time as I can to ventures that benefit the industries I work in as well as supporting causes that provide benefit in the key areas the I find to be important.  I also give my time and talent to some of these same ventures because money does not solve every problem.  In many cases the best thing I can do is just “show up” and be present to aid others in their quest to learn and grow.  As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  I love that teaching role and I have benefitted many times through my life as both the teacher and the student.  So too can you.

These three areas are not the only areas to consider, but they are three of the most important.  If you want to weather and grow from the ebbs and flows of your business I would suggest you consider these three or develop a list of other key areas of focus for yourself.  By doing so you will gain, trust me.