I Dislike My Business! Now What?Nov 22, 2021
There’s no worse feeling than getting what you want, only to realize you don’t like “it”.
There are endless examples of this…
- Landing a dream job…that turns out to be a nightmare
- Getting reservations at an exclusive restaurant which ends up being subpar
- Purchasing an expensive computer that causes nothing but technical problems
- Taking a much-needed vacation that was anything but enjoyable
- Starting the business of your dreams that you end up hating
Some of the examples mentioned are out of your control, while others can be avoided with proper due diligence and preparation.
When it comes to owning a business, I always recommend doing proper research before committing to it to avoid a number of potential issues, including a late realization of disliking your business.
So, what are some of the possible reasons for you to hate your business?
Here are some of the possible scenarios that can happen:
- The business is much harder to operate than you anticipated
- Low sales numbers have left you without a profit and consistent losses
- You are drowning in tasks because you wear too many “hats” resulting in burnout
- You are unable to create and implement sound strategies
- The day-to-day functions do not align with your core strengths
- You started with limited capital and therefore you are overleveraged
- Your expectations are not met leaving you feeling unfulfilled
- The learning curve is too steep
- You don’t have the drive or motivation to do what is required
- You realize you don’t have the risk appetite to be your own boss
So, now you are asking yourself: “Should I keep going, change direction or quit?”
Before we answer that question, let’s take a moment of reflection.
You Are Not Alone
Yes…you are not alone in this sentiment of disliking your business. Surprisingly, many entrepreneurs may still feel unsure even when their business is doing well. There will be numerous times during your entrepreneurial journey where you will feel stressed, challenged and you will question your decisions.
When you don’t love your business, or you don’t like what you’re doing, your work may feel like an all-consuming task that you just want to get out of.
An important question to ask yourself then is, “What led me to feel this way?”
Is the discontent stemming from a failed endeavor? Unmet expectations? Difficulties in making a profit? The overwhelming number of things to do? Or a mere change of heart?
It is essential to understand the reasons you’re feeling this way.
Before we delve into some practical tips to help you work through any feelings of discontent in your business…let’s answer this question first:
“Is it important to love your business?”
A study published in the March 2017 edition of the journal Human Brain Mapping found that entrepreneurs’ emotional and brain responses toward their businesses resemble parents’ responses toward their children.
In other words, the attachment between entrepreneurs and their businesses can be compared to that of a parent toward their child.
It can thus be inferred that love is one of your company’s most significant drivers for success. An entrepreneur’s passion for their business will keep them invested. When you love what you do, you’ll be committed to the company’s success.
That is why it’s hard to let go of a business. Most get emotionally attached to it inadvertently.
In contrast, this concept contradicts an old saying: “Keep emotions out of business”.
Therefore, to answer the original question…I honestly don’t know if it is important to “love” your business; but I will say that it’s important to find fulfillment, alignment and enjoyment in what you do. Also, always remember that no matter what you do, there will always be tasks that you don’t enjoy and that’s par for the course.
What To Do If You Don’t Love What You’re Doing
If you truly don’t enjoy what you are doing, you have 3 options:
- Push through and possibly remain miserable or eventually find fulfillment
- Pivot and hope that the change will alter your feelings towards the business
- Exit (either close down or sell) and seek happiness elsewhere
However, before you choose the options mentioned above, try these 7 tips and see if it makes a difference.
#1 - Take a Break
Entrepreneurship is a 24/7 job, so it helps to take a breather.
Take a vacation or simply a few days off to re-energize. Disconnect from work. Reflect and assess if you still want to continue.
Most of the time, entrepreneurs return from a break with a better perspective on things and are ready to plunge right back into work or at the very least make some changes for the better.
It’s important to highlight that taking a break during the workday is equally important. Standing up regularly, stepping away from your workstation and going for a walk outside are all vital to keeping a positive mindset.
#2 - Personal Development & Coaching
Too many times, entrepreneurs believe they know “everything” and that taking guidance from others is a sign of weakness. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Just like anything in life, if you want to be better at something (including running a business), you have to up-level yourself.
Entrepreneurs that are truly serious in becoming better business owners and leaders will explore personal development options, or coaching/mentorship.
Personal development can include reading books, taking online courses, and going back to school.
Coaching or mentorship can help with having someone in your corner, giving you feedback, helping you devise strategies and holding you accountable on your deliverables. It gives you a sense that you are not alone in this fight.
#3 – Living In Your Zone of Genius
Everyone has a skill set…something that they are good at. There are many functions to run a business and discovering which function you are exceptional at is extremely important to your happiness within your business.
You don’t want to continue doing the tasks that you aren’t particularly great at.
I suggest building a team (if you are able to afford it) so that you can focus on your strengths and delegate the rest.
If you cannot afford a team, I suggest you build a mindset on doing what is necessary to move the business forward…fully understanding your grind is only temporary and that once your business grows, you will be able to hire a team to alleviate the burden.
#4 – Mindset
Mindset tends to be a big buzzword these days, so let me simplify what I mean by mindset: Building and nurturing a perspective that results in productivity, positivity, alignment and confidence.
Being able to take things in perspective is half the challenge…especially in entrepreneurship. We are our worst critics and are too hard on ourselves.
How we look at things and the way we approach any scenario is a difference-maker. If you dislike your business, it may be a mindset that’s making you feel this way.
For example, if you have too many tasks and you continuously say to yourself that you will never get all your work done…you’ve already approached this scenario with a negative mindset that will result in discontent for your business. A negative mindset will also yield poor results for your business.
Now, if you were to say to yourself that you will solve this problem and come up with a solution, your approach has given you optimism and hope. Your mental approach is a game-changer to how you view anything in life, including your business.
#5 – Pivot
Pivoting means taking the business in another direction. In other words, it’s implementing a change. Most businesses pivot on product offering or sales strategy, but you can also pivot on your operations.
If you recognize that you don’t like something about your business, then I suggest you implement a change. There’s no guarantee that the change will make things better, but at least you have taken an action.
Making changes in your organization can be overwhelming and demotivating. However, you should remind yourself that it is important to be adaptable and ready to evolve.
Does your business demand more time now? Are there process changes you’re not comfortable with? Are you now forced to give up your weekends? Are you unhappy with the group dynamics in your business?
Asking yourself what’s wrong and then making changes will help you and the way you feel about your business.
#6 – Change of Environment
Sometimes, a simple action such as a change in the environment is all that’s needed. Whether you are working at home in a crowded, small room or you have an office in a lousy neighborhood, making a move can change your feelings for your business.
Just make sure that there are no other underlying reasons why you are disliking your business, otherwise, the change in your environment may only provide temporary relief and within a short period of time, you will be right back to square one.
#7 – Thinking & Reflection
Every entrepreneur should take at least 30 minutes out in a day to sit and reflect. This is not to confuse reflection time with taking a few days off. That’s because reflecting regularly will help you stay aligned with your vision and goals.
It’s important to continuously remember why you started your business in the first place.
Taking time to reflect and think daily will keep you on top of your priorities, help you devise strategies and allow you to recognize any changes you want to make.
I get it…you started a business with the hopes that it will be your ticket to living a dream life. I also understand that you truly WANT to love your business. And when it turns out that you dislike your business, you are CRUSHED.
If you aren’t passionate about your business and work, you will begin living in a world of bitterness and resentment, which is unhealthy.
If you find yourself in a place where you dislike your business, then know that you have options. As a business coach, I always advise that any action is better than inaction. Look into the 7 tips mentioned in this article and then make a decision on how you want to move forward.
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