Tag Archives: Coping with Change

Making Tough Decisions Leads to Happier Business Owners

Photo Credit: Portobay Hotels on Flickr

“Well – I did it,” she said.

There was no fanfare. No high fives. No confetti drifting down from the ceiling.

If anything, there was uncertainty in her voice, as if she wasn’t quite sure how to feel, or what to say. She’d made her choice, and she’d mailed the letter. Should she be proud? Excited? Worried? Maybe terrified?

She was all of the above.

As the owner of a thriving counseling practice, Holly had experienced her share of success. When she opened her doors a few years earlier, she couldn’t imagine that anyone would actually pay her for what she did.

Do you really think I can do this?” she asked.

You know me. You know what I said to that.

So she made the decision, signed a lease, set up her space, and opened her doors. And because she had a strong network — and was really really good at what she did — it didn’t take long for her days to fill.

Word got out. Her phone rang off the hook. And before long, there were too many people wanting too much of her for too many hours a day.

If you’re just starting out, that sounds great! Too many clients? Really? Ohhh to have such a problem!

And yet – it wasn’t just her clients. It was her family. Her friends.

Her own soul.

All of them wanted her attention, her energy – and she had less and less of that to give.

Continue reading

How I Became an Accidental Entrepreneur

Photo Credits: Gideon Tsang, Flickr

Perhaps your life goes like this.

You set a goal.
You make a plan.
You implement the plan.
You reach the goal.
You set another goal.

 Nice and steady. Straight up. Unwavering. Always on target.

Yeah. Not me.

I set a goal.
I make a plan.
I implement the plan.
I hit a few curves in the road.
I find a new goal I like even better.
I make a new plan.
I stumble into a stop sign.
I take a detour.
I may or may not make it back to my plan.
I may or may not make a new plan.
I reach my goal.
Or change it to another goal entirely.

I keep moving up.

It’s messy – and it may sound completely crazy.

But it works. Continue reading

What Your Small Business Should Learn from Big Business Mistakes

Photo by Alim Mohammed on Flickr

They’d lost seven million dollars in one year…

But after two years of losses, the numbers finally looked better. By the fall of 2010, Starbucks had earned $152 million, compared to that awful loss the year before.

That was a giant shift for a company many thought was dying, and the success was sweet.

But it sure wasn’t easy.

In his book Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, Howard Schultz, Starbucks ceo (they don’t use capitals), tells a story of transformation as they went from hanging-on-by-a-thread to alive-and-thriving through the Great Recession.

It’s a powerful story, and a fascinating read.

“Personally, for the first time in a long time, I felt as if we were winning.” He writes.Not that we had won, because there is never a finish line, but that despite the odds, the brand and our partners were prevailing.”

It was the fall of 2010, and that’s what Schultz thought just before calling investors with long overdue good news.

Schultz, the company’s founder, had stepped away from the CEO role eight years earlier, when everything was going well. Starbucks was opening stores around the globe at an astonishing rate. Profits were steady and always on the increase.

Yet by 2006, he’d begun sensing an intangible change when he visited stores. Something was missing; the customer experience had shifted in ways that he could feel, but not explain. Traffic was down considerably.

Something was just flat off.

And it bothered him.

A lot.
Continue reading

How to Tell When It’s Your Time to Grow

It may just be a growth spurt, you know.

Or the start of one.

Whatever this is that’s bugging you, this “thing” that just doesn’t feel right; it might just be that things are changing inside for you – in a good way.

It usually starts as an uncomfortable feeling, a sense that something is wrong, out of whack, not what it should be. Sometimes those feelings are a whisper, just below the surface. Sometimes they’re shouting in your face.

Either way, they get harder and harder to ignore when you are being challenged – more and more – to grow. Continue reading

One Magic Word That Will Change Your Life

magic-wordMy life turned upside down a few years ago. 

I found myself in the midst of an unexpected transition, an uncomfortable in-between time, when I knew what had been but had no idea what was to be.

Ever felt that way?

I’d just finished a term in public office where I poured everything I had into serving my community. I lived and breathed that work for four unbelievably intense years. And I loved it.

But when that ended, I was lost. It was as if I’d been pushing up a long, steep hill, eyes to the ground, carrying a weight that was worthy but so heavy… And suddenly the hill leveled out, the weight disappeared, and I looked up for the first time in days, not quite sure where I was.

I was disoriented, at loose ends, and had no idea what to do next.

And with a successful business, that I’d run for years, on life support, dying from neglect.

So I threw myself into rebuilding, and focused on doing what I knew how to do to breathe life back into it. I set up a super-simple business plan with a year’s worth of goals – then met them all within two months.

I was still restless.
Continue reading