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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Master strategic decision-making. It’s required in a complex ecosystem. Sharpen the “why, what, and how” of your decisions to accelerate growth.
- 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.
- Ask questions. The better the question. The better the answer. The better your business works.
- 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!