I created this piece and presented it at a local Leads Group meeting last year. Now, more than ever, independent businessowners need to bring head, heart, and spirit to the table in equal measure. In business as well as personal arenas, it’s time to Be Whole Now!
Ask yourself the tough questions.
Ask why you are in business.
Why you are in this business, in this place, in this time.
Ask yourself if you truly love what you’re doing.
If you truly enjoy getting up every day and engaging
in the business of your business.
And if you don’t, ask why you keep on doing it anyway.
Ask people who you trust and whose opinions you respect.
Especially ask those whose answers you may not want to hear.
Ask what they think about your business.
What they think you might be doing better.
Ask your customers how you’re doing.
Don’t stop with the easy questions.
Keep on asking, and then, take the time to…
Listen to your own answers,
and listen to the answers that others give you.
Listen as deeply as you can.
Listen from a different perspective and hear things differently.
Sometimes, the most important answers are hidden beneath the surface,
or never even spoken at all.
Listen to words, but also listen for the sound of footsteps approaching your business.
If you can’t hear them, the silence alone may speak volumes.
Listen to how you speak to others about your business.
Listen to the tone of your voice,
the words that you use,
the images you project.
When others listen to the music of your business,
do they hear a light melody,
a comforting concerto,
a clash of cymbals,
a funeral dirge?
Are they inclined to want to learn more about your business
Connect with your customers, your clients,
your suppliers, your neighbors.
Connect in person or on the phone.
Connect on the internet, on the bulletin board,
at the market,
in the coffee shop.
Connect through volunteer service,
through special events and joint promotions,
newsletters and festivals and walks in the park.
Find your point of connection.
Seek out ways to strengthen weak connections;
seek out opportunities to build upon strong connections.
Every connection is a doorway
into another connection,
Business isn’t so much about making sales,
as it is about making connections.
Sales are complete when the customer walks away.
Connections develop over time,
and provide the fertile soil for your business to…
Grow your business at the pace and rhythm that you choose.
Do you want to grow into a larger space
or into a more highly defined market?
Do you seek more customers –
or more loyal customers?
Would you rather expand your geographic reach,
or expand your menu of services or products?
Do you see yourself growing roots to anchor your business,
or wings to carry you into new directions?
Grow a wider network of other businesspeople,
develop authentic relationships
based on a balanced give-and-take of ideas and support.
Expect to grow as an individual,
and bring your mind and your heart
and your spirit
into your business dealings.
Only then can you…
Success can be measured with many yardsticks.
Financial success may or may not be
your primary motivation.
How do you define success?
Your version of success may be centered upon
the contribution you make to your community,
upon a lifestyle that allows more time with your family,
or the opportunity to express yourself creatively.
Whether your goals include helping others to find
greater ease, comfort,
joy, health, safety,
or peace-of-mind in their lives,
only you know when you have succeeded.
Your business is what you make of it,
just like the rest of your life.
Cultivate success in every moment
and you are certain to achieve your every goal.