It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, and once again the focus is on relationships: love, passion, admiration and appreciation.
While many poo-poo the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day, there is something to be said for forcing one to focus on your relationship. There is no doubt that relationships require hard work and a conscious decision to keep things fresh, happy and sustainable.
Your relationship with your business is no different. It too can get stale, stagnant, comfortable and boring.
There is no shortage of relationship advice out there, so let’s take a leaf out of the book of love and apply it to our businesses. How do we keep our relationship with – and passion for – our business alive?
Just as you can’t keep your thoughts, ideas, opinions and feelings bottled up inside in a relationship, your thoughts, ideas, targets, goals and plans for your business can’t stay in your head or your heart. Talk about where you see your business going, how you will get there, and discuss the issues and challenges you might be facing with your team or someone that you trust.
Your business needs to respect you, and you need to respect your business. Give your business the attention it deserves, and demand that you get some satisfaction out of it. It’s about give and take, a win-win situation that brings out the best in you and the best in your business.
Quality time vs Quantity time
It’s easy to be busy being busy and to do the hours. Ensure that the time you spend on the business every day includes the activities that give you a kick. Engage meaningfully with your business to bring you closer to your personal goals. It’s not good enough to just show up and be there. Make the time count.
Healthy relationships flourish when the parties have independence and separate interests. Similarly, the business needs to be able to operate without you, and you need to be able to operate without your business. It cannot be all-consuming. Nor can it define you completely. Don’t take your work home with you. Switch off.
Affirmations and appreciation
Sometimes we take our work, colleagues, clients, knowledge and experience for granted. Take time to recognise what’s been achieved to date, and acknowledge the importance of building on that rather than starting over again.
Positive vs Negative
It’s easy to focus on the negative the whole time. Clients are demanding, your team isn’t performing optimally, cash flow isn’t what it should be, the economy is tough. Uh-oh… have you been drinking from that half-empty glass again? You need to consciously focus on the positive. What have you done that was good? How can you replicate, repeat and expand on that to grow the business? What successes can you celebrate? What do you love about what you do?
Choose your battles
People in happy and healthy relationships choose their battles wisely. In business, you also need to prioritise rather than letting every little mishap or incident bring you down and keep you occupied. Nobody is perfect. Nor is your business. There will be good days and bad days. The trick is to figure out which challenges you can let go and which challenges have the potential to threaten the health of your business if you don’t tackle them.
Keep your mojo up!
All the relationship advice columns will tell you that relationships require an active and healthy sex life. Why? Because the more you get it, the more you want it, and it makes you feel connected in the relationship. In business, our endorphins are released when our hard work “climaxes” in the achievement of a goal, a target, landing a lucrative client, or getting positive feedback from a client. And the more you experience the euphoria of success, the more you want it… because it makes you feel more connected and passionate about what you do.
If your relationship with your business is on the rocks, perhaps it’s time for some counselling. Contact me. Through business coaching, I can help you fall in love with your business again and iron out the issues that are preventing you from having a fulfilled relationship with your business.
Have a great weekend.