It’s All About The Journey!

It’s All About The Journey!

Author: Steve Smith

Every time I take a break from running my business, I’m reminded of the incredible benefits I’ve received from experiencing the triumphs and setbacks of building my business. Like many business owners, I’m continuously thinking about the ultimate goal of my business when, in fact, the real growth comes from the journey itself.

Recently, my wife and I embarked on our annual vacation- a road trip. We started doing trips on our motorcycle because traveling this way can be very economical while experiencing more of the journey as opposed to the end destination. This year, we decided to see as much of the outlying areas of California as we could in a week.

So, several months ago, we began the planning process: when would we leave; which route would we take; what would we visit and where would we lodge for the night. We also considered what we could carry and what we would need in case of unforeseen situations. If you’ve ever traveled via motorcycle, you know that the only thing worse than getting rained on, is running out of gas! We made sure our itinerary and provisions prevented these 2 things from derailing our adventure.

The trip was perfect! From LA, we went through the Mohave Desert, up to Lake Tahoe and made a brief pit-stop in Reno. From Reno, we headed west across California to Napa Valley, down to Santa Cruz and over to the coast. Since we didn’t stay or drive through any major cities, we enjoyed a continuous flow of the state’s natural landscapes and small communities along the way. It gave us both a sense of how others experience life in a state where geography and economics can border on the extremes.

Riding a motorcycle for 8 or 9 hours a day gives you a lot of time to think. If your trip is well planned and you prepare for every circumstance, all you have left to do is enjoy the ride. And this ride was all about the journey. We had only ‘stops’ to make throughout our time on the road; no destinations. As I was navigating the long straight-aways of the Mohave Desert and the twists and turns of the pacific coast highway around Big Sur, I started to think about how similar this experience was to running a small business.

As a small business owner, you tend to start your business because you have something you want to pursue. Something that evokes the desire to achieve; something you feel is the direction you must take on your journey to entrepreneurial success. These early musings may last for several years or be the product of a disruption in your current life that propels you to take action.

Once you begin your journey, you will undoubtedly face opportunities as well as challenges. Being prepared for both can insure you sustain the confidence and commitment to stay on course. There will be times when the journey itself is so difficult, that it will be hard to keep the original purpose of your trip in mind. It’s at this very point where growth, awareness and breakthroughs can happen. As the owner of a small business coaching company, I was struck by the uncanny similarities that small business growth has with being on the road.

If you are planning a new business or career change that will launch you on a new journey, here are some areas I recommend as a small business advisor to my current clients:

Clearly define the reason for your journey. Journeys (business, career, life) can be initiated for many reasons but the ones that have purpose or defined meanings are the ones that will most likely be successful. The purpose of our trip was not simply to vacation cheaply but to experience the rural and wilderness aspects of California. The purpose of your business should be something more significant than just making money.

Map out your route. Know where you plan to go, how you expect to get there and what you’ll need along the way. In business, preparing your start with enough financial support is critical. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is also necessary. Developing milestones that will help measure your progress is critical to realizing growth and progression along the way.

Anticipate obstacles. Our first trip ending abruptly when we encountered mechanical problems and had to be towed to a strange town for repairs. Had we obtained the proper road assistance plan in advance, we would have saved a tremendous amount of time and money getting home. ‘Things’ happen. Be prepared by understanding what could go wrong and have solutions to overcome them quickly and efficiently if they do.

Schedule stops. Riding a motorcycle 400 miles each day requires stopping to rest and re-energize. Running a business requires the same. A journey of 18 hour days is sure to end in disappointment. Take the time to review where you are and evaluate how the journey is going so your energy and awareness remain sharp.

Make the most out of your ride. Enjoy each phase of your business and learn from the victories as well as the set backs. Take the time to recognize the people who have helped you and devote some of your own expertise to those who could benefit from it.

If these areas of focus seem a little out of reach or unrealistic, it may be time to seek out a professional business coaching program. There’s no better place to put your resources than towards an investment in yourself.

The best part of a well planned journey is the feeling of certainty that you will reach your goal. If you have a business, its knowing that at some point, the things you want from your business will be realized. Having the confidence that you can and will be successful makes the journey that much more enriching and rewarding. And when it’s over, you’ll never have to say “I wish….”

About the Author:

Steve Smith advises and mentors small businesses on business growth startegies and tactics. His company uses a unique blend of successful mindset development combined with mareking strategies that increase revenues and attract ideal clients.

Article Source: - It’s All About The Journey!


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