The first time you open for business it’s nerve-wracking. Most business owners don’t begin their business with a marketing plan, business plan, or a hefty budget. They begin with a heart full of hopes and dreams, and a mind filled with elements of doubt. It’s a two-edged sword in many ways. What begins as a parade of energy and support soon wanes to isolation.
Isolation in business comes in many forms. There is the daily grind of computer work, emails, and shuffling papers. Staying up late to plan and finish the left overs of the office is another layer of separation. Not attending events because you don’t know anyone is a failure to thrive. These are the kinds of business activities that create confinement and ultimately collapse.
Daily tasks, working beyond the time clock, and going it alone are pieces of business ownership. However, if left alone, business is bound to be alone. In addition to the daily tasks and overall product and service of the business, consider these “business owner rules” for the fortune of its leader.
- Attend four other functions per month: Four isn’t magic; it’s a start. There are networking functions, happy hour with new business associates, chamber meetings you can attend before deciding to join, and informational meetings being hosted by other companies. Keep cycling through to find the fit. It will take an investment of time, but it leads to valued contacts.
- Do something for yourself: A necessary evil for many owners, especially women. This could be through a networking meeting that seems to fill an emotional aspect or a stroll through the mall or hardware store. Don’t fight this one; just do it.
- Make phone calls: This is difficult when there is much to do. Outside of doing sales, consider making calls to others in your similar situation. Creating a nice nucleus of girlfriends where you can expose a little more and have those much needed gut talks is valuable.
- Keep a clock: This is a business owners worst enemy. Think of it this way, if banks that manage millions and billions can figure out how to close each day and go home, then business owners can too. There is a caveat. Don’t beat yourself up. Set a goal. Maybe it begins by ending every Friday at 5pm and leaving it until Monday. Maybe it’s to meet a 5pm close twice a week. However, once you walk away, forget about it.
If you own a business you’re already strapping yourself too tight and too thin. Before long, there is no time but alone time. These business owner rules can be adapted into daily procedures without the act of congress. It’s a work in progress. Begin with one step today, like a phone call to an admired business person.
Here’s a quick list to avoid isolation
Attend four other functions per month
Do something for yourself
Make phone calls
Keep a clock
Take one step
Karleen Andresen has owned her own business more than 20 years, she is a marketer, seo certified, and a speaker on a series named I’m Dying to Tell. She publishes the Idaho Women’s Journal magazine bi-monthly. For more information, email KarleenAndresen@gmail.com