Those who know me, know I have a penchant for soapboxes. I have a large variety of these wonderful contraptions and can get very excited about all of them (not always appropriately I might add).
One of my favoured soapboxes revolves around this question: Who do you need to be to have the business you want to have?
I have done a lot of reading, studying and reflecting over the last couple of years, and it has become abundantly clear to me that there is no such thing as “I”. Some of you might have seen “The Secret, and the Law of Attraction” recently or that mind boggling movie “What the bleep do we know” and come away with a frown on your forehead; Or some of you might just have observed at times that what you think about somehow becomes real.
Telepathy and Love how many of us have been in love at some time in our life and it seems uncannily as if you are telepathically connected to your lover; Suddenly it seems as if they can read your thoughts, they ring up moments after you flash on them, and you find yourself finishing your lovers sentences.
These are merely some of the most obvious real-life examples of the concept of our connectedness, but there is no reason to believe telepathy only works when we are in love. Have you ever wondered how for some people things always just seem to happen? While for others, nothing ever works out. The simple truth is that we don’t exist in isolation from everyone else or from the world at large, we are an integral part of it, and where “I” starts and stops is simply not a discussion worth having anymore.
The evidence for this statement is clear, all branches of science have started to come around to this view of the world and us in it, especially in the last 10 years and new evidence is piling up by the day. What does it mean? So what do we do with that as business owners in 2007? What does that mean? How does that make a difference to us?
There is never enough time in a day as it is, without taking up navel gazing as well. There are many implications of these thoughts but as business owners I would like to focus you on one implication in particular: The idea that your business is a reflection and an expression of you. In other words, your business is what it is precisely because of who you are today.
The state of you and the state of your Business are inextricably connected. (By the way this statement is equally true for everything that you are a part of; for example your relationships are what they are today, because of who you are today, etc) If you accept that statement, there are 2 obvious questions that follow:
- Who do you need to be to have the business you want to have?
- What does your business need to look like to be a reflection of who you are?
Hence my soapbox: To work on the growth of your business, you must at the same time work on your own growth. If you want to have a business that is twice as big, twice as efficient, twice as much fun, twice as well organised or twice as profitable, you have to make the matching shifts in your own brain at the same time.
Helen’s Brain This explains why in small and medium business especially the traditional “business consulting” approach often fails. Business owners and consultants as a rule do not appreciate this concept of the intricate connection between the owner and his or her business.
Let’s take a business owner named Helen; the process goes something like this for Helen: We have a problem or a challenge in my business; let’s get a consultant to tell us what to do. The consultant looks at Helen’s business and its challenges and makes his recommendations. Often this involves proprietary systems and tools owned by the consultant. There are templates and processes for Helen and very clever IP.
Developed in and for other businesses and based on the latest research and management science. All great stuff, but it misses out on the vital ingredient, namely, Helen’s brain and the connection between it and her business. Invariably, what worked for John, John’s brain and his business, is totally inappropriate and unworkable for Helen, Helen’s brain or her business.
The first step in any business change process must therefore be for Helen to be ready to step up to the next level. Helen has to appreciate that there will be no business change in isolation from her own change. A friend of mine hits me whenever I make this statement: “If you do what you usually do, you get what you usually get” and although I appreciate her point that clichés can be nauseating, there is real value in this particular one for us as business owners.
You simply can not continue to work, behave and think as you are if you want your business to be something more than it is now.