If You’re Not Groaning You’re Not Growing!
I recently attended Women in Focus conference at Byron Bay, NSW. To say the conference was a resounding success would be an understatement. The content and calibre of the attendees were astounding.
What wasn’t surprising was the common thread of experiences. Similar risk and rewards stories coupled with peaks and troughs, doubts and decisions. All in the name of business growth. It doesn’t matter which gender you are, being in business has its highs (otherwise why would you do it) it certainly has its fair share of lows along the way.
Each unique phase – start up, new business, micro and small business, mid-sized and then large, all at various points, have challenges, none are necessarily unique to an industry with a commonly woven theme. That theme being, get the foundations of your business right first! Do you have your foundations in place for your business to grow? If you don’t, what result are you expecting?
Strong businesses are built on strong people with strong values
Self-awareness, integrity and humility were key traits highlighted. It was very evident that endurance, grit, determination and focus were also common. Resilience and staying dedicated to the end game. The end game being a project, system implementation, driving cash flow, talent recruitment, a growth phase or any number of measurable items to bring you closer to a better system, a better business, or just better everything! Outcomes don’t become outcomes unless you have a goal a plan and then measure the progress against it.
The very words described above are valid for business but sit equally at a personal level. When you want something bad enough in life you have to work for it, you have to be committed, you have to show up even when challenges are in front of you. No doubt as you’re reading this you may be thinking about a time when you didn’t put the amount of effort in that you should, and of course the result you got was – well less than you wanted. A half ass attempt will grant you a half ass result.
Keep improving your skills
Also highlighted was the need to be educated. Not university educated (although there was that) educated in areas which needed development. Where there was a knowledge gap. The gap filler was done a number of ways, through seeking counsel from trusted people, industry experts in an area, short and longer term accredited and non-accredited courses and of course further tertiary education. There was a strong desire to enrich, broaden and improve skills where and when necessary. Without hesitation and with resolve.
Successful business requires investment. Advancement personally requires investment. This investment can come in so many forms.
What and how are you investing in yourself or in your business to improve it? Education or training is used to improve performance, be it through knowledge and or skills. Are you getting the support to expand your skills, knowledge and experience that you need or want? Questions to ask yourself if you wish to continue to grow, evolve and progress forward!
Woman in Focus was certainly a platform to hear from successful entrepreneurs, as well as stories around family successions, business succession, social enterprises and start-ups. Wildly passionate about their businesses and fully vulnerable about the challenges.
I learnt to reflect (unfortunately not earlier in my career and life) on what I knew and what I still had to learn. It’s bloody hard and I still have to remind myself, to stand back and look and celebrate and to not be so hard on myself, set goals and work your butt off to achieve them. You will have many emotions (hopefully when no one is around!) from totally pissed off with everything and everyone – to crying in the corridors – for seemingly sometimes no reason. Fortunately the trials and tribulations are there, however so are hugely satisfying moments, the small wins (some big) and the reason you get out of bed everyday – make it all worthwhile.
I should have invested better in myself earlier. Undertaking business because you’ve got a great product, a fabulous idea or you want to work for yourself are all fantastic – but do yourself an absolute favour and get the basic business skills (a minimum Certificate IV in Small Business) to support your knowledge to grow your business, ensuring you have the skills to be in business today, tomorrow and in the future.
As one of our key note speakers commented “If you’re not groaning you’re not growing”! Enjoy!