When I launched my business in 1990 I recognized that many small business didn’t have reliable feedback on the operations of their business; and I was passionate about helping them “get the numbers right”.
I had clearly found a need and a niche’. My business grew every year, and my clients’ businesses did too. Everything was great.
Ten years later, I had a thriving practice with clients waiting in the wings. But when I looked at my business I saw a major problem: As I expanded my services to other areas of consulting, coaching and training, my fascination with “getting the numbers right” had faded. I no longer loved that element of my work.
I knew my business would start to suffer if I tried to ignore the way I felt. As much as I hated to admit it, I realized that I could only be happy if my work was personally gratifying as well as financially rewarding.
It was scary, but I decided to make some big changes.
Acknowledging my true feelings was a powerful first step to making a change in my business that ultimately changed my life.
After identifying what I didn’t want to do, I needed to clarify what parts of my business I wanted to pursue. I made a list of the aspects of work I most enjoyed. The kinds of people and clients with whom I wanted to spend my time. And, the financial goals I wanted to achieve.
I realized I wanted my focus to be on coaching and consulting. Working with people – not examining their data – was what I really loved. As obvious as that is to me now, it wasn’t that clear then. It took a lot of self-examination before I identified what I really wanted to do.
Then, the question became: How can I do it? How would my clients react? Would changing my focus kill my business? What would I do in the interim?
The answer was I had to make the change slowly. I taught my clients’ staffs to do for themselves what I had been doing for them. I turned my clients’ attention the new kinds of questions about how they were running their businesses – questions I wanted to answer. I shifted my marketing and business development efforts to attract more of the kinds of clients I wanted.
It didn’t happen quickly, but after a few years, I had left financial review work behind, and had re-focused my practice on work that I loved. (And still do!) Now, I do work I enjoy, with people I enjoy working with.
What I’ve discovered is that you can love what you do – and make money – if you are willing to put in the necessary work to clarify your interests and strengths, fortify your business with the support it needs to grow, and have the patience to stick with it.
Ask yourself – what aspects of your business do you most enjoy, and has you feel really alive? Why not start today by taking one small step closer toward doing that? It may not happen overnight, but keep making conscious actions in the direction you want to go, and you will get there.
And here’s even more good news: You’ll have a whole lot more fun all along the way.
Go do something you love now – and make it an extraordinary day!