By Beth Silver, for Edwardsturm.com.
Yesterday was February 14th, Valentine’s Day. To many across the country, this Hallmark holiday marks a time to look at love and relationships. For me, it’s the time of year where I stop and ask myself, “Just how in love am I with my business?”
Yes, every February 14th, I take a slight break from the hustle and bustle of business to make sure I’m still in love with what I’m doing.
These are the questions I ask myself, and I invite you to do the same.
Am I Happy?
Do you enjoy doing what you do?
As a marketing and PR consultant, I truly love learning about businesses and watching how my recommendations make a difference. If and when the time comes that I am not happy, I will do something different.
Do I Have Fun?
One of the first things I tell potential clients is, “I must have fun doing what I do.” If I am not enjoying myself when working on a specific project or with a specific client, it’s time to make a change. Challenges and learning are vital components in business, but if you hate picking up the phone or looking at an email, not only will your life be worsened but performance for your clients will be as well.
Two very startling statistics about this reveal that, “Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%” and “Happy employees are 12% more productive.”
The best entrepreneurs (and employees) could never be happy doing under average work. Not having fun, and not being happy leads to underperforming, which goes against my rigorous standards for personal success.
How Can I Be a More Active Member in My Business?
Whether you are a one-person shop or multi-person team, it’s vital to take a personal assessment of your role within your business. While I don’t always enjoy looking at my own weaknesses, it’s important to know what you can do better. Last year, I knew I was not as financially organized as I would like to be. I hired a QuickBooks expert to mentor me so I could improve upon this weakness. Now that I am stronger organizationally, my business and I are better for it. When evaluating myself I look at the following areas: financial; operational; marketing; sales; and personal (work/life balance).
How Can My Business Be Better to Me?
For some people this may be limited to financial reward but I also look at how my business has affected my family and work/life balance. I ask whether I need to make sure my clients clearly see my boundaries and whether I need to plan more vacations or turn off the phone or laptop.
How Thankful Am I?
Because I’m so selective, my clients are extremely interesting and special people. The relationships I have formed with them are real and the work we create together is meaningful to both my business and my life. Almost two years ago, one of my favorite clients and friends suddenly passed away. At that moment I realized how thankful I was to have a business that has enabled me to create such strong relationships. I feel blessed to have clients that are also friends that are special in my life.
What to Do If You Have Bad Answers
What happens, however, if you asked yourself these questions, and discovered that you really weren’t as happy as you wanted to be? It’s time to really examine your life. Distance yourself from technology, maybe even from other people, and reflect. Find plenty of media about this to aid you in self discovery. Strength Finders 2.0, by Tom Rath, is very good and I’d also suggest checking out videos like this.
As for me, after taking this short self-created quiz, I am happy to say that I am still in love with my business. I learned a few new things about myself and realized that my business and my relationship with it is still evolving, even after 15 years.
Did you realize anything special about yourself and your relationship to business? Got anything to add? Share your thoughts below in the comments and we can start a discussion.
Happy Valentine’s Day!