Tell me about some of your most treasured memories since you started your business…
• Was it when you landed that first big contract that turned you into a proper business owner?
• Or was it that time when you got a note from a client thanking you for doing such a great job?
• Maybe it was the time when you got a tax bill and you actually had the exact amount set aside for it and all you had to do was B-pay it on the day it was due?
• How about the time a favourite employee left but you had two absolutely perfect candidates keen and ready to slot right in?
• Or how about that time when you took a client to lunch on Friday afternoon and simply decided not to come back because you knew everything was under control?
I bet your best memories in business are all like those and one thing they have in common is that they have nothing to do with how much profit you made last year.
But when we measure the success and value of a business, all we do is measure profit or “Shareholder Value”…!
Why is that? And is there another way?
Let me tell you about my client Lisa. Lisa had started a creative agency a few years previously and she was now employing eight people besides herself. Her clients were German car brands and 5-star hotel chains and such like, and she was making money too. By all appearances, Lisa had done extremely well in the 5 years since she got started.
But Lisa felt stuck. She spent her days managing crises, and the only time she ever got to do the creative work she was so passionate about was late at night at home or on Sundays.
Business just wasn’t much Fun anymore so Lisa and I decided to make Fun the focus for our work together.
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Create a Fun in Business Scale
We started by creating a Fun in Business scale. 10 on the scale meant that the week had been as much Fun in Business as Lisa could imagine and 0 meant the opposite. Every week I’d ask Lisa how the week had rated on her scale and then I’d ask what number she’d want to get to next week and what specific steps she might take to achieve that number.
One time, Lisa reported that the week had been a 5.4 on the scale and that next week she wanted to get to 5.5. The task she set herself to get there was to spend an hour writing a procedure for managing the business dropbox filing system and train her staff. This simple system would save her lots of frustration dealing with missing files and conflicting versions.
Another week Lisa decided to take action on some outstanding debts to improve her cashflow. Making Fun in Business her Key measure of Success and consistently taking this approach, week by week and step by step changed Lisa’s business and her life forever. So much so that a year later Lisa decided to take Fridays off to focus on her other passion, sculpting.
Roland Hanekroot is the founder of New Perspectives Business Coaching and the author of “The Ten Truths books for business owners” To support small business owners take the first steps to building a business that sustains them for years, Roland runs a series of regular Free webinars called The Small Business Masterminds Foundation Webinars. There are three different Foundation webinars, on Time Management, The Purpose of Business and How to have more Fun in Business. Find out more and register free for the next one here