Personal Development:
Tips for a problem-free business

Business owners with a strong foundation of personal development tend to have less stress and problems in their business. They are in the habit of looking in the mirror when problems occur in order to reflect on how they themselves might be causing or contributing to their problems.

Business Coaching Insight:

The source of many ‘business’ problems can often be traced to personal issues

Why focus on self development?

There’s nothing more draining for entrepreneurs than wasting valuable time putting out fires when they could be doing more important things like driving their business.

Of course, it is perfectly normal to experience ‘challenges’ in the process of running a business but some people attract a lot more than their fair share.

Conversely business owners with a good solid personal foundation have got mechanisms in place to minimize, and even repel, problems.

Like a skyscraper, businesses built upon a good strong personal foundation can grow tall without being in danger of toppling over.

Personal development areas

There are five particular personal development areas that are important for minimizing problems. They directly affect how you operate and if you work on them you’ll notice that you are much more in control:

1.    Standards

Excellent businesses are built upon high standards where there is little tolerance for mediocrity.

Strong professional standards also automatically minimize potential problems occurring.

If you are battling on-going problems in an area of your business, look closely at whether or not you have set high enough standards and keep looking for ways to improve what you deliver.

2. Tolerations

How much are you putting up with or tolerating in your business?

When you turn a blind eye to issues in your business, you may be making life easier for yourself right now in the short term but you are only storing up problems for later.

As a business owner it's crucial to get into the habit of recognizing and taking action with problems as soon as they occur so they don’t escalate into much bigger problems.

3.    Integrity

Most people will say they have good integrity but the test for business owners is staying true to your integrity even when under financial pressure.

Let’s say you’re worried about your cashflow and a customer walks in wanting to spend money with you but you know in your heart of hearts that what you offer is not the best solution for them. What would you do?

If you always stay true to yourself, even under immense pressure, you will create a good reputation for fairness and honesty and this will prevent future problems occurring.

4.    Boundaries

Boundaries are like an invisible line that you draw around yourself. It acts like a fortress and prevents other people from invading your personal space. 

Some examples of weak boundaries would include:

  • Saying yes when you really mean no
  • Agreeing to take on extra tasks even though you are feeling stressed already
  • Accepting being appointed the head of a volunteer committee when you already feel over-committed
  • Doing extra work for a customer that they’re not paying for and which isn’t ‘added value’
  • Allowing others to distract you for a chat when you’re busy

5.   Reserves

Busyness is not necessarily a good thing for business but many small business owners allow themselves to be distracted and hampered by things that are not really that important for the business.

When you create space in your business, ie. when you have reserves of money, time, energy and support, the quality of your work will improve and you'll generally incur a lot less problems.

Dealing with business problems: symptom or source?

When problems occur in your business it’s really important to avoid blaming others and to look beyond the obvious presenting symptoms for a common underlying cause.

Most people’s immediate reaction is to look outside of themselves for excuses. But denial and blaming of other people means that you miss opportunities to make improvements.

Problems are clues as to what you need to change.

Sometimes you will even need to change things about yourself. Looking for the deeper issues causing problems will often require an honest assessment of your own role and how you may have personally contributed to the problem.

Self awareness is an important protection mechanism for your business.

Business Coaching Questions:

•    What are you tolerating in your business?
•    Which personal development areas do you need to strengthen?
•    How are your causing or contributing to problems in your business? 

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