Remember the early years of your business, when you woke up eager to tackle the day’s challenges? It might be impossible to sustain that level of enthusiasm forever, but if your energy is beginning to wear thin, it’s time to spice up your connection to your business. Here are some red flags signifying that it’s time to refocus, as well as some techniques for realigning your business to its intended path.
You or Your Staff Are Giving Up
Sometimes, author Robin Camarote explains, you lose sight of the challenge to “change the world for the better” that used to light a fire under your team, because the dream no longer feels attainable. No one will articulate this, because no one wants to admit it, even privately. One sign that you and your staff members are losing sight of that original mission is that you feel bogged down in daily chores and endless to-do lists, while the business feels like it’s losing steam for no reason. When that happens, it’s time to reexamine your vision. Can you refocus on your original mission? Do you need to tweak your purpose so that it feels attainable again? Renewing your commitment to a “better world” vision will unite and motivate your group.
Your Personal Focus Is Shifting
Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz parlayed his father’s drugstore business into an empire of drugstore chains. But Katz’s focus started shifting around 2007 when he decided to buy the Edmonton Oilers. Katz made several unsuccessful bids to buy the team before he closed the deal in 2008. He then spent years negotiating with city leaders for funding to build the Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton, and now he is forming a Hollywood production company. Katz sold his Rexall Health chain for $3 billion, which will free up his time and help fund his sports and entertainment interests. The takeaway message in Katz’s story is clear: When your mind is drifting toward a new area of interest, it might be time for a dramatic shift in your business interests as well.
You’re Trying to Do Everything
Each time you see other companies in your field adopting new social media channels, providing staff retreats, exhibiting at trade shows, or developing state-of-the-art websites, you might feel pressured to keep up. Most entrepreneurs are already stretching their resources too thin, and adding each new trend that crops up will exhaust you and divert your staff from their core responsibilities. The solution? Analyze everything you are doing, deciding which activities are really at the core of your business and generating profit. Freeze some projects until you have more staff members, or discard them completely if they aren’t pulling their weight.
Maybe you can’t keep up the level of intense passion you brought to your business in its start-up phase, but you don’t have to allow a sense of drudgery to seep into your work life. If your time in the office is starting to feel dreary, or if you notice that your most dynamic executives are just going through the motions, it’s time to refocus.