How did you feel when you walked back into your agency after the Christmas break?
Did you look forward to opening the door on the first day back?
Was there a sense of excitement? Did your team feel the same way? Were they enthusiastic and full of ideas?
Did you sit down at your desk with total clarity around where the agency is going and what you want to achieve for it in the next twelve months? And do you know what you want to achieve for yourself in that time?
What about your team? Do they believe what you believe and will they be as clear as you are about the aspirations for the business and their role in achieving them?
And are your clients feeling good about you, what you do and how you go about delivering it?
If the answer to all those questions is a confident ‘yes’, you can stop reading now.
On the other hand, perhaps you spent the final days of the Christmas holidays feeling the same as I so often did: a hollow feeling in my stomach accompanied by a sense of trepidation, angst and multiple worries about where the new business would come from, which team members - and clients - we might lose…I always found plenty to worry about!
Throw into the mix too many sleepless nights, not engaging with the important people in my life as well as I should have, and that very uncomfortable feeling that’s so difficult to shake off that there should be more to life than this.
Looking back I can see that I was just anticipating more of the same without any idea as to how I could go about changing it. And that was despite my apparent ‘success’ having created a respected business with some global brands as clients and a healthy workload!
To be honest, I’m not even sure that I had enough awareness of my situation that I even wanted to change anything, or knew I needed to.
I was just expected another year of struggle, and hopefully survival, without any clarity as to where I or my business was going, let alone how we were going to get there.
Not a nice feeling, not nice at all. I just didn’t know any better.
It was all about grasping for money: get the job, do the job and get the invoice out as soon as possible and then do all again. I’d clearly lost all sense of direction and purpose: I’d lost the dream I had when I started the agency.
I know from working with them that this is how some agency owners are feeling right now. Whoever said that the real battle is always against ourselves, not our competitors was absolutely right.
Even those that have a clearer sense of how they want the business to develop realise that it’s not about how good you are now that really matters, it’s how good you - and the business - can be.
Does any of this feel familiar to you?
I was lucky enough to get help from someone who had the experience and insight to help me see my situation for what it was and give me the tools to do something about it. Thanks to the very special Alan Mullett, that’s what I did.
The best part of all? Replacing that miserable feeling of not being in control of my life or my business and instead, gaining total clarity of what I wanted my life to look like and how I was going to shape my business to enable me to achieve my business and personal goals.
I now have the immense privilege of working with other business owners sharing what I’ve learned from creating, building and sustaining a multi-award-winning agency with an effective and full-engaged team, a clear sense of direction and a portfolio of loyal, big-brand clients, and reshaping my own life in the process
My top five suggestions for any business owner yearning for a less stressful, more fulfilling and rewarding 2018 are:-
- Be clear about what you want your life to look like and how your business can help you achieve it. Set your intentions and know how you want to feel when you get home at night.
- Get clarity on what you want to achieve for the business and communicate those goals effectively to your team, indeed all your stakeholders, so that you can work together to achieve shared objectives guided by shared values.
- Set realistic, achievable goals - goals you really believe in. Celebrate your achievements and embrace your ‘failures’ – they are all valuable learning experience.
- Be an authentic leader, be consistent in your moods and behaviours and learn to really listen. Leadership is a choice, not a rank. ‘Leaders must own everything in their world - there is no one else to blame’.
- If you don’t already have someone doing this, find someone outside the business who will regularly challenge you and hold you to account as a leader.
Finally, if you’d like to explore some of these ideas, or think I might be able to help, please get in touch.
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