Learning flexibility as a business strategy
One of the skills I work with my clients on is learning to be flexible with their business strategies, and even their business in general. Flexibility is an important tool that can help you assess a situation and make changes in what you are doing without having to suffer, because you plan for the need to be flexible.
Often times when a person starts a business s/he gets a fixed and idealized vision in his/her of how the business will work, what level of success will be had and what s/he will do as a result of that success. Inevitably they’ll realize that the path from vision to reality is a lot harder than they expected.
The realization that the path is harder than expected will either have the business owner adhere even more firmly to that particular path, or it will help him/her realize the value and need for flexibility. The latter realization is a better once because it helps you adapt your plans to the reality of the situation you are dealing with.
A while back, I realized I needed to be flexible, and my flexibility involved trading one profession for another. Instead of continuing to be a social media coach, I switched to a business coach. I did this because I realized that the social media industry was changing into a direction that involved a lot more technical information than I wanted to deal with, and would also involve doing work I didn’t want to do. I wisely decided to focus on what I really wanted to do, which was working with people directly to improve their business. I let go of the social media business and allowed myself to be flexible in the process.
It’s important to have a vision for your business, but it’s also important to know when to evaluate that vision and examine what might need to be changed in order to realize it. In my case, the choice of leaving an industry to pursue a different business was one that has allowed me to get closer to my vision. If I’d stuck with social media, I’d have been much unhappier as a result. The short term effect of my choice was that I started my business over, but the long term effect is that by being flexible I’m following my calling instead of continuing to be miserable.
What about you? How flexible are you with your business? What are you willing to do to change your business, if you aren’t happy with what you are doing or dealing with?