Who’s the Boss?

The other day, I was driving down the street, and I saw this woman on the sidewalk wearing the most amazingly put-together outfit: dress, shoes, hose, accessories, she looked like she was straight from the streets of NYC. I remember thinking it was the kind of outfit Carrie Bradshaw would have worn.

But despite her incredible outfit, there was something about this woman that looked not quite right. It took me a while to figure it out: it was as if the outfit was wearing her, rather than the other way around.

I’ve been thinking about my business in this way a lot lately: who’s the boss? Me or my business?

I often bemoan my inability to have vision to the members of my small business group. I often feel like my business is running me, rather than the other way around. Having said that, it’s running pretty well: I have more work than I know what to do with, and I’m taking on an office and expanding in the fall. I’ll be teaching a course on social media for artists at Emily Carr in the fall, and I just got invited to go to Melbourne to do social media workshops with the indie theatre community there.

Maybe it’s enough?

Maybe torturing myself over my lack of a 5-year plan is ridiculous. Maybe I should look at all my successes and be grateful (I am!), and leave it at that, roll with the punches, see what’s over the next hill?

Yes, books like The E-Myth and lots more urge you to have a plan for your business, and I did, when I started out. I guess the advantage of having a business plan is that you have a final goal in mind: you have a vision for what success looks like. And then you create the plan to get you there. But even the best laid plans sometimes need to shift and change sometimes.

So, what do you think? is it enough that I am doing fine, things are going well? Or is it time for me to hire a small business coach? Those of you out there who are running small businesses, do you have a plan?

Photo by Pink Monkey Studios

I already hired a stylist, so watch out Carrie Bradshaw!

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 11

  1. good point Nancy.

    My thought was that the fact that you’re thinking about it means you should be doing something about it. You seem to be at a fairly stable point in your business, but to avoid stagnation, it’s always important to periodically get a fresh set of eyes on it to see what could be improved, what could be ditched etc.

    It’s also worth it to wonder if ‘fine’ is good enough for you.

  2. Are you happy with it? That’s the only question. Do you WANT to make it bigger? Have you updated your business plan?

    As it happens, you already know an organizational development professional who will help you for free 😉 (and did it for Arts in Vancouver for YEARS)

  3. Plans are just blueprints to help guide your decisions.

    Do you want your business to stay where it is? Or grow to the point of bringing on an employee or too?

    As the kid gets older, what happens if you want to take a vacation from work? Can you without losing money? Is that a big consideration?

    Do you prefer working from a script or improv-ing?

    There’s not a right or wrong answer to any of those, but some of them need a different type of plan than others.

  4. ABSOLUTELY NOT. You don’t need a coach at this point. You need a break, even for a few days. There. How’s that for a non black and white answer? 🙂

    Seriously, I don’t think you need a coach. I think you have any answer within. The time for the coach was when you started, not now.

    But, hey, what do I know? I’ve wondering what the heck I’m doing lately and where I want to go. The problem is, we are exactly where we need to be.

    Sorry for going all Buddhist on you, Rebecca (I’m not even a Buddhist).

  5. Rebecca, I am going with John on this one. Take a breath, and flow with the river, good things are coming your way. You have the opportunity to share with the world and you have done your homework. A “burp” in your confidence is admissable, Have Fun, and take a mini vacation, or maybe take a walk. You are doing great!

  6. Do you know the story of the 2 construction workers who were asked “what are you doing?” The first one answered: “Laying bricks”; the second one replied: “Building a cathedral”.

    Ask yourself: “What am I building?” and it will guide you.

    (Also, I have some nifty charts…)

  7. Ann’s comment is beautiful and so is that picture of you. I hope you have taken the time to pat yourself on the back for all your accomplishments thus far, and I can’t wait to see where you go from here 🙂

  8. You are on the right path! You’re work has integrity and that’s one of the keys to success. Just because you’re asking the question doesn’t mean you have to act on it – it just means that you’re open minded. And if you need guidance I think you’re better off with one or two mentors instead.

    Follow your instinct. It seems to be working for you!

  9. Hey, everyone;
    Thanks for all your comments.
    Things are going well for me, my business is growing. In the fall, I’ll be taking on a full-time assistant, and I still may need to turn down some work. I’m teaching a class at Emily Carr in the fall. I’m super stoked about the Australia trip, and I would certainly like to do more of that.
    I like the idea of taking time off to reflect, it resonates with me. The plan is to take 10 days in August to drive down to California and not work too much during that time….
    I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

  10. First, congrats on your successes! So nice to hear a happy business story these days. I ran a family business for 8 years and we rarely had a plan. It was chaotic and crazy. We sold the business in 2007, but looking back, I realize that in the day-to-day management, we had little time to look forward. I wish I had made more time to do that. It sounds as if your business is doing well, not so much chaos, but perhaps you are asking this because you are reaching a growth stage. Sounds like you just need some time to reflect on this and center yourself around the idea of how things might, or might not, change. I always wish we had spent a little more time looking forward–identifying shifts in the market that could have hinted at change coming so we could be more prepared and confident to face it. Good luck!

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