Being a small business owner is difficult; yes, it is very rewarding, but it certainly comes with its challenges. It is well documented that being a small business owner can lead to isolation and loneliness while also taking a toll on one’s personal relationships if not managed properly but small business owners can overcome this by proper prioritization (Lancefield, 2020). In addition, by truthfully answering the following questions, small business owners can gain a deeper understanding of their businesses and identify how they can make the business less dependent upon one person:
- Should I still be doing this activity or task? If not, who could step in to do it?
- How well am I making and communicating decisions? How much am I empowering others to self-solve?
- What other ways of delegating and resourcing would free up my time to think and to focus on higher-priority areas?
- If I were an outsider coming into this role, what would I do?
- How well am I using my strengths to tackle the challenges in front of me?
- What biases in my thinking and behaviors can I mitigate?
- What am I learning at work that could help me and others at home, and vice versa?
As small business owners, we are always looking out for our employees, our team members, our families, even our vendors, but we often forget to look after ourselves and, consequently, we sometimes find ourselves on an island alone. This island, however, is not a necessity; we do not have to live on this island. We can find support very easily and very quickly but sometimes it requires that we ask – and when you ask the right person or people, it is an extremely quick “yes, absolutely!”
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support; even though you have more responsibility than many because you own a small business, that does not mean that you have to walk the journey alone. Indeed, it is rather the exact opposite: you are meant to find a close group with whom to proceed forward. This can be your family, it can a support group, it can be something else entirely but you should have a small group of individuals with whom you can discuss every detail of your mindset and business. If you do not have such a group yet, find one and build those relationships; if you are already in such a group, lean on that group. Remember, you have an obligation to your family, business, and employees to work as effectively and efficiently as possible, and working within a close support group will help you do just that.
John M. Beaman
President of The McGraw Council Membership, Inc.
Lancefield, D. (2020). How to be a visionary leader and still have a personal life. Harvard Business Review. Hbr.org. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2020/11/how-to-be-a-visionary-leader-and-still-have-a-personal-life?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=dailyalert_actsubs&utm_content=signinnudge&deliveryName=DM104666