As a small business owner you tend to be the beating heart of your business, connected to and having an impact on all aspects of the rest of the business body. As a result your PERSONAL PERFORMANCE probably has the biggest role to play in determining whether you are successful or not.
Your performance is essential to getting your business off the ground and to a level where you are making a sufficient return on the financial, the emotional (blood sweat and tears) and the time investment you have put into it so far. However this can be incredibly challenging with many roles to play as a Business Owner, so much to do and a variety of different priorities to juggle, so working hard to make sure you’re performing at your best is key to the success of your business.
A close look at the current status of your business is likely to reveal significant insights into your personal performance; where your strengths are and where you have areas for improvement!
Whether you employ a large team, or operate as a sole trader, as a small business owner you need to lead and direct in all business areas to ensure the business is moving forward as you want. If you have a team for instance, your leadership and management capability will be a key influencer on your business success.
So how would you say your current business performance is reflecting on your personal performance right now?
You may be very capable in certain areas as most business owners have areas of significant previous experience, but feel completely out of their depth and struggle to deliver in others. Your performance in financial management, time management, sales, marketing, strategy, team leadership, communication, networking, IT etc. determines what you achieve on a day to day basis. This in turn dictates the results you get in your business and the level of success you will ultimately achieve.
Most business owners are in fact far more capable than they might think, but it can be challenging to keep driving forward and challenging yourself to perform at your best day after day, and in some cases YOU may in fact be your own biggest obstacle to growth!
The difference that makes the difference is your ability to access your ability. See the formula below to explain what we mean here:
Performance = Potential – Interference
In any business there are many possible interference’s. In our last two blogs we’ve covered influences both external and internal to your business that can have an effect on its success, but in the above formula we are referring to personal interference; blockages, barriers and limitations that you might in fact be imposing on yourself!
Running a business and building it to a successful level is so demanding that it can make you question yourself and whether you have what it takes. Or, when faced with having to continuously step out of your comfort zone and drive the business into un-chartered territories, it can trigger fear and doubt. Or when having to do activities that are not in your strength areas, hesitance and procrastination can step in.
How many times have you heard a story from someone who owns their own business explaining how they barely survived the first year. The first year of business has a tendency to be the hardest, it takes time for people to start to use your services no matter how good you are, and those times can become pretty discouraging.
At times like this your “gremlin” steps up and starts questioning you and putting doubts in your mind. This can happen no matter how good you are, and how much you’ve put in to learning, training and developing yourself.
Even a top athlete at the beginning of a race can have their potential undermined by the doubts that might creep into their mind. Things like being intimidated by the other athletes around them, or a hostile crowd, or an unfamiliar climate, or having had their favourite track shoes develop a hole the day before.
You may have developed beliefs over the years, that are assumptions not fact, that are holding you back from making business decisions or moving in certain directions, i.e. I’m no good at managing others, I can’t sell, no one can do this as well as me, I don’t have enough experience yet, I can’t compete against X, Y, Z, I can’t do public speaking, I’m no good at talking about money, etc. etc.
When you have thoughts and beliefs like these, it’s likely that you are creating a “self-fulfilling prophecy” where you are affecting your performance as a result of your thoughts and then getting the results you expect, which reinforces your beliefs and its easy to get stuck in a vicious cycle.
f you can quieten your internal interference and replace limiting beliefs with positive, empowering thoughts and beliefs that support the outcomes you want, this will help get rid of your internal obstacles to personal growth, you will perform better and you will achieve more in your business.
In addition, focus on developing the necessary competencies behaviour and skills in the areas you have identified you need to improve (be that through reading, training or coaching) and apply your learning in your business and this will also help you improve your results.
Ultimately the choice is yours. Are you going to let yourself be distracted by your internal interference? Will you let doubts and uncertainty that can creep in about your own abilities limit your effectiveness and hold your business back? Or are you going to start every day by putting your best foot forward, putting your all into achieving your goals, learning and developing in areas that you need to and not allowing your own inhibitions to undermine your potential?
You’ve already taken a braver step than most people ever will by starting your own enterprise. Don’t let yourself wake up in 10 years time thinking what you might have achieved if only you hadn’t listened to your own internal gremlins and just believed in yourself. Instead step out of your comfort zone and give 100% every day and you will be surprised by what you are capable of and what you can create.