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Business Connect – ‘Being Your Own Boss’

Business Connect – ‘Being Your Own Boss’
February 23, 2019 Sam Wigan
Sam Wigan
In Business, Entrepreneurs

Business Connect – February 14th 2019 – ‘Being your own boss’.

Sam Wigan – Executive Life Mentor

I guess it was ironically apt that on Valentine’s Day our theme was the benefits and challenges of ‘Being Your Own Boss’.  Yes, it can be lonely at the top, but it also comes with great advantages too. Focussing on the benefits was a reminder to leave the session with a renewed spring in our step.

In the group we had established businesses and businesses starting out, as well as first time entrepreneurs and seasoned entrepreneurs on second or third time around.

This write up is not offered as a guide but as a buffet from which you can pick and choose the selection of takeaways that resonate with you, to inspire further reflection, inspiration and encouragement.

So with that, here’s the takeaway menu from the session:

  • It’s a challenge to get the ball rolling
    • 1st 5 years are tough going.
    • there’s great power in recognition that comes from winning respected awards.
    • it’s a very competitive market, even more so than 10 years ago.
  • You need to be a two trick pony
    • promotional power AND the product to back it.
    • …. and visa – versa.
    • selling AND manufacturing.
  • Delight at being own boss
    • “It’s hard but I’d rather be doing this than working for someone else.”
    • “Thank God I’m not working for someone else – because I’m unemployable!” (said by successful business owner 🙂
  • Importance of downtime
    • some days it’s just not happening: co-operate with your own process / trust the process.
    • sometimes the downtime is when the inspiration strikes: shower, running, driving, doing the dishes: all times when entrepreneurs get inspiration / solutions.
  • The thin lines between Aspiration and Reality
    • the necessity to be able to go on faith – vs – the importance of going on certain knowledge.
    • the willingness to promote where you want to be – vs – the certainty of only broadcasting where you currently exist.
  • Biz parters & investors
    • how to build without investment: it’s slower, less secure, but you own it 100%.
    • investment brings scale and pace of growth.
    • “I wish I had brought investors in sooner as we could have grown so much faster”.
    • finding the right partners..
    • importance of keeping majority shareholding: ideally partners who insist you do.
  • Top Challenges
    1. Decision Making
    2. Time
    3. Sales & Marketing
  • Addressing the Top Challenges
    • Decision Making
      • no-one to bounce ideas off; not in a team.
      • can end up turning decisions over in head for months.
      • reminders to trust your gut… and do due diligence, which is not the same as indecision.
      • trusting self and trusting universe: I will come through this and out the other side, whatever happens.
      • “when I haven’t trusted myself is when I’ve made the big clangers”
      • come back to your values: your values inform decisions: Is this aligned with the company values?
      • give self a deadline for the decision: if I had an hour to decide, what would I choose?
      • if it’s 50/50 pros and cons, flip a coin: when you don’t like how the coin lands, that tells you which decision you do like.
      • any decision is usually better than no decision.
    • Time
      • with very limited time comes huge demands to be efficient with time available.
      • then it’s the challenge of identifying what’s most critical, what is priority, what should I be using my time available for, as most important.
      • the need to be focussed when time is available.
      • time sorting lists and defining work is time well spent.
      • pulling out the actionable next step in a project will re-ignite momentum, and avoid overwhelm.
      • Next actionable steps are usually very manageable.
      • “It’s all about baby steps. That’s how you succeed. It’s never overwhelming when you’re taking baby steps.” Renée Elliott
      • If in doubt, just start with something. If 10 things to do, just choose one and do it. That will unlock paralysis.
      • Narrow it down: What one thing will I do today? Just do that, and be surprised by how much else you end up doing too.
    •  (Side Note) On time, Sam talked about categorising your work into horizons:
      1. Overarching mission: far horizon. Everything you do is about moving toward this. If what you’re working on is not connected to this, it probably isn’t important.
      2. Projects: mid horizon. All the projects that are moving you toward the far horizon: The suggestion is you keep a running list of projects. How you segment this list is up to you: there will likely be multiple projects within projects, and it will be a moving / evolving list as things are completed and new things are entered onto this list.
      3. Action Steps: immediate horizon. These come from your projects: they are the actions you can actually move on. Keep these as a moving list too, separate from the Projects. That way, when you have time, you can easily scan all the actionable items on your Actions List decide which to go for first.
    • Sales / Marketing
      • avoiding it / scared of it / beat myself up about not doing it.
      • choose your beliefs: eg change “I hate selling” to “selling is fun.”
      • make it a game, play a role.
      • note the underlying narratives (stories you’re telling yourself): if they don’t serve you, change them.
      • have a clearly defined message that you can repeat to everyone: your script
      • have 3 headline points you always say.
      • even though you’ve heard it 10,000 times, the person you’re talking to is hearing it for the 1st time.
  • Top Benefits
    1. flexibility.
    2. don’t have to ask permission.
    3. can choose when to work and when not to work.
    4. can set my own targets and goals.
    5. It’s all mine / 100% ownership / pride in my own creation / I did that.
    6. love the power, love being the boss “I like being called ‘boss’!”
    7. the rewards are infinite: and I keep them.
    8. money can be spiritual: have it all.
  • Sidenotes
    • UK reserved about celebrating wealth / material gain.. US the opposite.
    • ‘feminine’ trait: “I need help”  // ‘masculine’ trait: “I’m great” (both have strengths and limitations)
  • Top Takeaways
    1. Defining the Action Steps within projects.
    2. Trusting my gut.
    3. Knowing everything is perfect all of the time.
    4. Value in coming together with fellow entrepreneurs.
    5. “I’d love to do this more.”

 

And you can do this more! We’ll be running ‘Business Connect’ in-person every month.

You can find a list of upcoming events on Beluga Bean Calendar.