Starting a business is one of the most exciting things you will do in your life.
If you think back to when you first started, your mind was full of opportunities and possibilities.
You had a clear and compelling purpose.
Little else mattered.
That purpose (perhaps even a calling) inspired you to work crazy hours, up to seven days each week.
And when you weren't working in your business, you were thinking about it.
Do you remember how good that felt?
If you've lost your mojo for your business, then it's a drag.
It's no longer an exciting dream but a frustrating nightmare.
You thought you'd have a business you love.
Instead you've finished up with a business you hate.
Or perhaps it's worse than that.
The passion has gone.
The Three Big Reasons Why You Have Lost Your Mojo
- You're ill.
- You have serious family problems.
- In the struggles and frustrations to make your business successful, you've lost your big purpose.
Let's take a look at these reasons for losing your mojo in more detail.
Your Health Threatens Your Business
I've certainly been there.
I came back from holiday in May 2010 and told my mastermind partners that I'd lost my mojo for my business while I was away. the effort of having a good (but relaxing) time had totally drained me.
I remember vividly saying "I've lost my mojo" when a few weeks before I had been so positive after recovering from a previous health problem.
A couple of months later I was sitting in front of a respiratory consultant with an appointment arranged a week after a chest X-Ray. My file was marked on the front in big letters written with a black marker pen "VERY, VERY URGENT."
That focused the mind I can tell you. As did the consultant forcing me onto his list for bronchoscopy procedures the next day, despite the department telling his secretary that the list was full. It wasn't the suspected advanced lung cancer than goodness but it was the start of my vasculitis.
Several months later I was sitting in front of the consultant again and he said that it looked as if the disease had started to attack my kidneys. Two days later I was in intensive care with acute kidney failure.
The disease, which would have killed me in a few months is now in remission . The symptoms are largely under control although I have to live with the effects every day.
Something like this can suddenly strike any business owner. Hopefully not you but it is best to look after your health and to be prepared.
- Look after yourself. Keep yourself fit and eat well. Try to cut back if you smoke or drink because the stresses of owning a struggling business can make you turn to this false comforts.
- React to any symptoms and see the Doctor. Don't soldier on and be brave.
- Build a business that can survive and prosper without you if possible. Employ good people and build robust systems that maintain quality when you're not there. These nice-to-haves suddenly become must-haves but they need to be in place while you are fit and healthy.
If you have a health problem, struggling with a business on the edge could push both the business and you into much more serious difficulties.
You Have Serious Family Problems
Sometimes you have to accept the work is a secondary priority. Some things really are more important.
Again I've been there.
In recent years, my partner (I wish I could think of a better phrase for 'er indoors) has hpefully recovered from cancer and my father has died from it. Both times, my business had to take a back set.
I believe you work to live and not live to work.
When I've talked to insolvency practitioners, they often find that relationship difficulties and other family problems lie behind some of the business failures they see.
You need to create a robust business in the good times, so that, if your personal life ever hits the rocks, your business doesn't.
You also need to invest in your relationships while you can. Remember the saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
I bet one of the reasons you started your own business was to take better care of your family and to give them things that you couldn't as an employee of another business. It doesn't make sense if you don't have quality time with the people who matter most to you.
You Have Lost Your Purpose
This is the most common reason why a business owner loses his or her mojo for the business.
The struggles of surviving drive out of your mind the reasons why you started a business in the first place.
If you think back, you were energised by one or both of:
- How your business can help customers with their problems. You had a cause that you felt passionate about.
- How you can provide a much better life for the people you love by owning your own successful business and truly living the dream of being your own boss.
Probably the best idea from the famous book, The E Myth Revisited is the principle that your business needs to be designed to give you the life you want.
In the book, Michael Gerber explains the idea of your Primary Aim. This is the powerful and visionary statement that describes what your life is all about including how you want to be remembered with your legacy.
Your Strategic Objective defines the deal you have with your business. It explains why your business is an opportunity worth pursuing and committing your time to build.
I'm very clear that the purpose of a business is to create value for customers and the business owner(s). If you lose sight of that, you will run into problems.
Lock yourself away for an hour on your own with a pen and a blank sheet of paper or two.
I want you to find your motivation for your business again.
I want you to get clear on:
- What problems and pain are you working to move your customers away from?
- What solutions, pleasure and gain are you working to move your customers towards?
- What problems and pain are you working to move your family away from?
- What solutions, pleasure and gain are you working to move your family towards?
A successful business means that you do great things for both your customers and for your family (and yourself).
Find your business mojo.
21 Reasons Why Your Business Isn't As Successful As You Want It To Be
This is the first of a series of articles I'm writing to look at the major causes for poor profitability in an independly owned business.