Having a business is like having a great big love story. First, you get a thrilling glimpse of a dream, and then you pursue it. If you’re lucky, you fulfill that dream and it stays with you forever. If you’re not lucky, you either don’t reach your goals or things don’t work out for you. Either way, you put a lot of effort into something that you really care about.
In both love and business, what you ultimately want is to be successful. Of course, things don’t always go the way we want them to. Sometimes, it’s all a matter of luck – you can’t really do anything about that. Most of the time, however, it’s some of the things you do that make things fall apart.
So what are the things you did that probably ruined your business?
You were being selfish and jealous
This is especially true if you started up the business on your own. In the beginning, it was just you and your business. You spent all your time together, and you feel like no one knows this object of your affection the way you do. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that your company needs other people so it can evolve and thrive. What gives? You dedicate yourself to it, and then it turns out all that wasn’t enough? What does Bob from Marketing have that you don’t?
Typically, feelings like this cause you to stunt the growth of your business. In insisting that you run your business on your own – not trusting people to take on some leadership or management roles, insisting that you sign off on everything – you keep your company from achieving its true potential. Not only does it make things incredibly inefficient; it also makes sustainability downright impossible. A business, much like a human being, requires interaction with many different people to become well-rounded. If it can’t be well-rounded, then it’s likely going to be too dysfunctional to work.
You were trying to change it too much
On the other side of the spectrum, you have a situation in which you try to make your business “perfect” in the sense that you expect it to be able to do everything for everyone. This is especially true if you weren’t clear on what you wanted to do for your business in the first place, or if you didn’t really think that finding a niche was all that important. “What’s the point of selling if you can’t sell to everyone?” you may ask yourself. And so you keep trying to make your business fit every person’s expectations.
Of course, this isn’t really a healthy way to go about business. When we try to please everyone, we don’t please anyone at all. And it’s even worse when we try to impose this kind of expectation on businesses and people alike. Obsessing over your vision of perfection often makes you lose sight of one crucial thing: the ACTUAL merits that people appreciate about your company (or even your partner). Taking the time to notice and focus on what brings your company (and your relationship) success makes that success sustainable. Just take a look at RingCentral phone services, and Will and Jada Smith’s marriage.
Again, business and love both require a lot of dedication to work out. Most importantly, it requires you to understand that, in the long run, this isn’t about you. It’s about the business, or the other person. So you really need to get over yourself.