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entrepreneurs, balance

 Zoom. Zoom. Zoom. OMG! I love that famously-recognized Mazda commercial circa 2000. Little did we know at the time that the little ditty would personify our lives. 

In 2009, Graeme Wood, Australian digital entrepreneur and philanthropist, wrote: “Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again.

Hold onto your hats! 

There are moments (many of them) when growing our business feels like careening down a steep hill with failing brakes. 

An accelerated pace of change ushers in an entire slew of complications. Who knew that a mere five years ago, we could say, for certain, our business model was set in stone? When conflicting headlines and confusing economic indicators​ are added, the future feels tentative.

What are entrepreneurs to do? 

Put on the brakes? Play it safe? Hunker down until certainty returns? Anyone who survived the 2008 economic downturn or COVID knows first-hand the impact of uncertainty. 

Admittedly, I can sometimes feel a little bit like Chicken Little running around clucking on how “the sky is falling.” Yet, I worry. (I’m German, so it’s in my DNA.) I worry especially for the small business owner who dedicates blood, sweat, and tears to growing their passion. 

entrepreneurs, balance
Photo by Laura Goodsell

The Big Exam

Complexity tests our skills to balance it all out. Do we have what it takes to adapt and transform our organizations? The real challenge is keeping pace. Staying relevant. Being competitive.

It is important to find the right balance between uncertainty and complexity, as this balance will determine our business success. 

The time is NOW—not tomorrow—to take massive action to protect, optimize, and grow into the future. 

The Entrepreneur’s Balancing Act

As you might guess, here are a few of my recommendations to get you started: 

  1. Purpose is essential. Today’s consumers want to do business with businesses of like values and purpose. Know your “why” to build trust and strengthen those relationships with your clients. Develop transparency of your core values to protect and promote your brand.
  2. Clarify your business. If someone asks what business you are in, can you quickly—and clearly—say? Business lucidity is a must. It’s a real head-scratcher to answer the question, “What business am I in?” — particularly for professional service firms. However, it’s a journey in distinctiveness that is worth the ride. 
  3. Future vision. Knowing where you’re going beyond “a building lease for three years,” guides your direction and turns you into a wise, strategic decision-maker. Since you’re the curator of your dream, be sure it’s compelling to you.
  4. Optimize business operations. Combining (wo)man and machine with integrating digital solutions increases productivity by more than 30%. This frees you and your people to focus on the most important priority—your clients. 
  5. Be bold. Be brave. You’ve got this! You’re smart and intuitive. Trust yourself—and your data—to help you take significant, courageous steps into a better tomorrow. 
  6. Invest in technology. Improve efficiencies and productivity. Leverage technology to drive consistency between what you say and what you deliver. A gap of any kind is detrimental to the future of your business. 
  7. Develop an adaptive mindset. Rather than perfect today, understand the complexity of your market to identify opportunities in your industry. Balance market trends with timely decision-making. A flexible mindset allows you to respond quickly to change so you can thrive—not merely survive. 
  8. Master strategic decision-making. It’s required in a complex ecosystem. Sharpen the “why, what, and how” of your decisions to accelerate growth.
  9. Get connected. The more we connect, the quicker we learn. Get up to speed with technologies and methodologies to meet complex challenges and form new paths to growth. Tap into your community to help monitor changing environments. Maybe join our Mastermind for the Messy Middle! A supportive environment that promotes risk-taking. 
  10. Ask questions. The better the question. The better the answer. The better your business works.
  11. Stay healthy. Building a business means working long, grueling hours and staying healthy—mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Navigating Turbulent Terrain

I love what the Entrepreneur of the Year award winner had to say: “There’s no point in doing anything other than to look for the opportunity in the crisis.

Apparently, 67% of entrepreneurs agree! Pursuing new market opportunities during economic uncertainty is a winning strategy.  

Navigating the balance of uncertainty and complexity as entrepreneurs is one of our greatest challenges and critical to our success. And yet, an open mind to learning, a healthy lifestyle, and focus and clarity are our best wayfinders.


Don’t let uncertainty stand in the way of achieving your dreams. Contact us today, and together we’ll create an actionable plan to ensure your business thrives!

goal achievement

What makes one business thrive while another flounders with goal achievement? What qualities and characteristics are common among goal achievers?  And, what draws individuals to embrace a framework for achieving their goals? 

These are the type of questions that keep me awake at night — that and did the neighbors cat make it home okay. 

To find out, I went where we all go to solve the mysteries of the planet. Google. 

My search for “qualities and characteristics of a goal achiever” was revealing. In that, it provided no further insight into the workings of the goal achiever mind. 

Most of what showed up in my Google search were ‘how to’ set goals. Included in my findings were the characteristics of an excellent goal-setting system. Think SMART, which has been done to death.

Given that, I decided to do a bit of deep dive into my experience. (I do run a goal achievement mastermind, after all.)

The Goal Achiever Vs. Goal Achievement

After two decades of guiding business owners along their growth journey, this is what I can tell you…

The most successful – by that, I mean those most likely to achieve their goals – have shared qualities. 

They have a goal-setting mindset likely developed at a young age. 

They are forward-thinking with aspirations for their business. Their enterprise is more than a day-job replacement. 

They crave focus and clarity. Those are non-negotiable for their performance.  

Baked into their DNA is a commitment to life-long learning. They re-evaluate, revise, and reboot their plans if they miss the mark. 

They dislike vagueness, overwhelm, and chaos.

They expect the best of — and from — themselves. They have great pride in the quality of their work

A deep-seated optimism keeps their eyes focused on the horizon. 

They are much more gifted and talented than they recognize in themselves. It’s likely what keeps them humble.

They know how to lighten up, have fun, and laugh — mostly at themselves. 

So, achieving goals is about the essence of the individual. A goal achievement framework is a tool used to achieve outcomes. 

An artist has a favorite brush.  My landscaper has his versatile Hori Hori knife. The goal-achieving entrepreneur’s tool for performance is the goal-achievement framework.

I missed National Relaxation Day (August 15, 2015)! ACK! Just my luck ­to miss an excuse-worthy motive to kickback, put my feet up, and do absolutely nothing…but relax. Ahhhh!

Isn’t every Saturday relaxation day? Should we really be working on our so-called “day off?” As any entrepreneur knows, Saturday is often a solid catch up workday—one without the constant interruptions and distractions of the typical business day.

In some respects, it’s rather sad that a National Day of Relaxation exists, isn’t it? One would think, given the collective intelligence of the world, entrepreneurs would have already figured out the benefits of relaxation. Despite our big brains, we believe we can override the system.

Who do we think we are? God?! Even s/he rested on the 7th day…as the story goes.

Close Your Business * Open Your Mind

I really shouldn’t need to list pointers on how to relax. However, if you’re anything like the “former entrepreneurial me,” you may well have forgotten how to unwind and let go.

If that’s the case, these suggestions are for you:

  • Unplug from all technology. And, by that, I mean all—not just some.
  • Enjoy your morning coffee or tea outside while indulging in an actual newspaper. (For those who aren’t familiar, a newspaper is “a printed publication [usually issued daily or weekly] consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, feature articles, advertisements, and correspondence.” Once read, it was used to cool cookies hot from the oven, line the birdcage, or make pirate hats.)
  • Stroll through your neighborhood.
  • Listen—or dance in the kitchen—to your favorite music.
  • Allow someone else to prepare, cook, and serve your meals. (Psssst, learning to receive is a skill to be practiced.)
  • Take a nap.
  • Spend time in your garden—or nature—and let it feed your passion.
  • Treat yourself to reading something utterly ridiculous, without purpose, and unrelated to your business. Read for the sheer pleasure of reading.
  • Refresh your mind and body with a massage.
  • Escape to a private sanctuary. I call this “running away from home” when struggling to relax at home is everything but.
  • Soak away your cares in a hot tub or at the beach.

These ideas are merely a drop in the bucket of relaxation possibilities, designed to nudge your brain into recalling how you used to relax—before becoming an entrepreneur. What other ideas can you contribute to our list?

Seeing as how we missed the selected National Day of Relaxation, I guess we’ll have to designate our own day. Let’s name it (put your name here) Day of Relaxation, okay?

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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