Whew! It is been a whirlwind month of activity. And while I enjoy the same ups, downs, and daily lessons of every small business owner, I’ve recently been longing for the teams of talented people I’ve led in the past.
Even as a manager who was happy to muck in when there were “all hands on deck” tasks that needed doing, it’s been a tricky transition going from relying on a large department to provide ideas, know how and energy to embracing that a small business life means no team to execute my plans, no experts to suggest how to best achieve a goal, no other person’s energy to add to my own and achieve more than either alone.
And this month, there has been so many things happening. How can I muster day after day the self motivation to do what needs to be done? What if I do all this and don’t achieve my business plan goals?
It’s been a new mindset for me. Always before I have agreed a primary target and just gone after it. And always before I’ve reached my goal. And here I am when the goal might matter more than ever and I question whether I can do it rather than assuming that I will and turning my attention to motivating the troops to get it done. To make my goal their goal and to achieve it.
Fortunately, all my lamenting couldn’t last long, but I gained the chance to better understand my personal skill for delivering results. And it is this skill that I must put into effect now with force to make Oola make a difference. The team may not be mine, but it will certainly be filled with vendors and suppliers of services who must be chosen with care to ensure they are an extension of my team rather than a mere contractor. This is what will make the difference. If I win we all win. Those are the business partners I want and need; from designers to technology, from importers to packaging.
So after a month where I doubled the number of products on Oola, tested a wide range of marketing channels and had the data to allow me to say “no way” to a mis-priced opportunity with a coveted partner, I am returning from Easter break renewed and ready.
Oola is entering its growth phase, so please do come for a browse and tell your friends! And I am entering the phase where I do what I believe will make my business plan work – and none of the other trendy, distracting stuff. If this were someone else’s business, it would be no problem. So I am stepping out of my blinders on love of this business as if it were a fourth child to a rational and mainly objective view of the commercial reality. When I treat it as if it is a consulting gig, I get better sales results.
I’m happy to have learned this about myself and look forward to more self discovery. Have you learned about yourself from your business experiences?
Kelly Brough is the owner of Oola.com.au, an online boutique selling stylish and fun toys that teach for kids ages 3-13. LikeOola on Facebook for new product announcements, special offers and giveaways or follow OolaAustralia on Twitter.
Photo credit: www.muehlemann.com.
This post originally appeared as part of Diary of a Mumpreneur on 12 April 2012.