I’ve owned my own business for 28 years now and I can tell you that I’ve never quite figured out the delicate balance between me telling want my business what it wants to be and my business telling me what it wants to be, but I have come to recognize that struggle.
Last week I sent an email to a group of followers based on a conversation I had with a small business owner who confessed she felt stuck in her business and didn’t really know how to get unstuck.
There were a lot of things she was unsure of, but mostly it was that she was no longer having any fun.
Here’s ‘my response and I have to admit it created quite a stir.
Open Letter to a Business Owner
I want to ask you a couple questions and start a conversation about something.
One of the best parts of what I do for a living is that I get to visit with lots of business owners and listen to them passionately describe their thing – their project – their dream.
Of course, that’s the good news – unfortunately, I also get to hear about their struggles, challenges, and stucks.
Sometimes I even hear stories of despair as business owners get the life sucked right out of them and all too often lose everything they’ve worked for – and the worst loss of these is the loss of hope.
You know me, I think the answer is always a marketing answer, but the fact is, nobody struggling to make a go of it just wants more marketing.
If fact, some business owners would rather they didn’t have to mess with all this marketing stuff at all.
No, what they want more than anything is more clarity. Clarity is the quality of being easy to see and with all the things swirling around the typical business day to day – nothing is easy, and so we just try to do more and solve our challenges through brute force.
No, what they want more than anything is more control. To stop being busy all of the time so they can actually get something done. To lose that feeling of helplessness that comes from not knowing what to do next.
No, what they want more than anything is more confidence. To stop wondering if the mound of conflicting information they consume every day holds any truth to their current situation. To know that if they take this one certain path, they will reach their goals – quickly.
No, what they want more than anything is more customers or clients. To be able to serve and bring their brand of brilliance to the market instead of wondering if Facebook or, lord help us, SnapChat is the answer.
So, why am I telling you all of this? It’s because I think there is a solution. I’m not going to offer you one today; that’s not what this is about.
But, I would love it if you could write back to me and let me know if I’ve nailed something you are currently feeling – if getting more clarity, control, confidence and customers sounds good.
Let me know if these 4 Cs resonate and how they line up with your current challenges.
I think owning a small business is one of the most freeing and enriching experiences possible, and I’m trying to do everything I can to understand how to help as many people as possible have that experience
Let’s talk about getting unstuck. Hit reply and start the conversation. I’ll be checking email over the weekend and replying some because I want to get into this. (After I let my wife know what a wonderful mother, and now grandmother, she is of course.)
And Now What
It seems I hit a nerve as I received hundreds of responses from readers telling me how spot on what I said was and how much it described precisely what they were thinking and feeling about their business – for good or bad.
I kind of sensed this based on conversations I’ve had with small business owners, but it appears that feeling stuck in your business is officially a phenomenon.
I spent a great deal of time this Saturday reading, responding and thinking about this issue and here’s the first thing I want to do to help.
I want to get to the heart of this issue.
Would you do me a favor and complete a very simple, eight question survey so I can get a better picture of how to help business owners get more clarity, control, confidence, and customers.
This will take about three minutes – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dtmunstuck
I really appreciate it and here’s to getting unstuck and achieving what you were meant to achieve.