I wrote this article on Linkedin at the end of 2017. As we enter into the second quarter of 2018, I am personally reading the article myself to inspire me! Hey, we can all use some inspiration at times. I pray you will also find the article helpful and inspiring, as well!
Entrepreneurship can be hard and at times business owners get frustrated and want to throw in the towel! Trust me, Therapeutic Solutions had its share of challenges in 2017 and although very difficult at the time, we pushed through each challenge. In my reflection, there are a few things that I call the good “F” words that helped me during hard business times. My last Toastmasters speech focused on each of these “F” words infused with some of my personal poetry. I am sharing excerpts from the speech below with hopes to encourage other service-oriented business owners to be inspired and not give up!
1) Fellowship—You need people! You need mentors, advisory board members, consultants, coaches, assistants, contractors and teachers to inspire, encourage and teach you. I owe much of our success towards the end of the year to a special mentor who will remain nameless due to his humble spirit. Sitting under his leadership has been like receiving a personalized MBA! Additionally, my advisory board, coaches and consultants have been amazing as well. And I cannot forget the contractors and staff who push me to continuously improve! When you connect with others who have your best business interest in mind and you work together to problem solve, amazing things happen!
The Power of the Mastermind
When bright minds sit at the table
To problem solve what is able
Then there is a mind that will emerge
While failure seems to submerge
Deep into a mere illusion
Because the focus becomes the solution!
2) Find information—Read! You can always improve skill sets and that does not mean you necessarily have to go back to college. Information is everywhere and if you search for it, you will find just what you need. Besides reading there are, audiotapes, classes, podcast, webinars, conferences, etc. , Commit to being a purposeful life long learner and your business will benefit from the knowledge and new skill sets!
You cannot simply sit and complain
Less your efforts be all in vain
You were made to endure, you were made to press
But in order to do so you must invest!
3) Finances—I have a confession to make. It has never been hard for me to make money but it has historically been hard for me to keep money. Good financial management is essential to keep a business running. I was once told that the number one reason businesses fail is because of cash flow. Business income can be unpredictable at times which is even more reason for finances to be in order. I personally have an advisory board and a financial advisor to help me with this area of weakness. Realize that how you handle your finances and the business finances impacts not just you but your business—employees, contractors, customers, consumers, the economy….Have a financial plan to improve your business stability!
To Lead is to Serve
Being in charge might sound nice
But to lead is to serve and requires sacrifice
Of time and energy and sometimes even wealth
To think about others and not just yourself
To listen when others disagree and complain
To continue to work even when there is no fame
To stay focused on the mission day by day
To maintain steadfast to the vision come what may
With this dedication, a servant leader will never lack
Because the love that is given out will always come back
4) Focus—Finish what you started…I am personally notorious for starting multiple projects—I enjoy start up which is why I am drawn to consulting and coaching. My ideas are endless and I can problem solve to make a vision a reality. However, visions require management for sustainability. Focus is required to add depth to the vision but if you have multiple visions without the resources to add depth to each, it is easy for things to collapse. Is it easier to juggle one ball or ten? Focus all of your energy on one thing and then move to the next thing. (Trust me, I am talking to myself here!)
Daily goals and daily tasks
Will ensure that time will not past
In useless things that will not last!
5) Fight Failure—You always have a choice! If you know why you are doing something you can fight failure. If you get knocked down, you can get back up and you can get up repeatedly until it works! In my opinion, there is no failure if you get back up and learn from your experience. I cannot tell you how many business owners have told me how they once lost everything and then started back over and over and over! Dark days come..it is a part of life but as long as you have life, you CAN fight failure!
Storms and valleys come all the time
And the only thing you can do is control your mind
And how you think about the pain
You can guard yourself and maintain
A steadfast hope, knowing it is bigger than man
An unwavering faith that allows you to still stand!
6) Faith—You cannot always look at what you see. You have to believe without a shadow of a doubt that you will make it. I believe in radical faith because I believe that my God is bigger than any circumstance that I will face on this earth. When my faith waivers, I pray for more faith and sometimes, I take faithful action steps while being truly scared! As Joyce Meyers says, “I do it afraid.” If you do not believe it will work out, it won’t work out! Faith, believing is truly necessary to push beyond circumstances into the vision that you can see for your business!
If you can actually see it in your mind’s eye
Then why not at least give it a try
If you can imagine how it may feel
Then do you not know that it can be real
If you can believe and settle for nothing less
What you believe will surely manifest!
7) Fun—Friends and Family! Ok, so there are three good F words here. Don’t forget to enjoy life, if you have to schedule it, figure it out! I am not of the mindset that you should work yourself to death to get to some end goal where happiness will be! You have to figure out how to enjoy the process because all you have is really right now. The past is gone. The future is not promised. The present is what you have—and it is a gift. There are certainly times that you will work harder than others as a business owner. However, it is essential to your mental and physical well being to take time to have some fun, enjoy yourself and enjoy relationships!
Deep down in your soul
No matter if you are young or old
There is a free medicine that will make you feel better
Lift your spirit during the bad weather
Help you down that rough ole path
I guarantee you will feel better, if you can just laugh!
Praying for a prosperous 2018 for all service-oriented entrepreneurs. You can make a difference in this world! When you are faced with challenges, don’t forget the Good “F” Words!