It is easy to step aside and have some rest when all is going well with your endeavors may it be a business or other personal goals. Telling your self that some short break is what you deserve after all your hard works and efforts. But really, when you are not there yet, never lose your momentum.
To illustrate my point better I feel it is appropriate to share an experience that has taught me well in running my business and in life in general. I run a small outsourcing business that operates in a small office. What I do is I look for available jobs online that can be performed home-based such as data entry, transcription, SEO and website design works and hire others to do the work.
The small business has been operating for more than two years and has already net almost a million pesos. Though I already gained that much the business is still in its start-up stage. And as a start-up businessman I have many different hats which I gladly wear; manager, secretary, marketing, human resource and janitor.
Through my marketing efforts I managed to add at least one new client each month for the past year. This is very good for this kind of business. Together with the growing number of clients is I keep my people educated and motivated, I make sure they are well trained and know how to think and act using their own judgement so that they will not need to ask me all the time. I do this by regularly meeting and brainstorming with them.
I must say that I have done an excellent job wearing those two hats – marketing and handling people. It made the business running pretty well, it came to the point that the business doesn’t seem to need me anymore (at least that’s how I saw it). My people doesn’t need to be trained anymore and I don’t need to always be online to meet with our clients. I felt that I need to have some “break”, a time to relax and “enjoy life”.
I guess my definition of “having a break” was totally wrong or has gone out too far. I went out of town traveling with my wife, we went shopping and eating in restaurants. I chat with my people once in a while “with my new iPad” and answer their questions whenever needed. When I’m at our office I sit in my desk with them but I was’t really there, my mind is somewhere else. I impress my mind that I was being productive and busy by surfing the internet watching YouTube tutorial videos or reading eBooks about entrepreneurship, I was “sharpening my saw” as Stephen Covey put it, but I was not. The truth is I was being stupid, lazy, careless, unproductive – my momentum in running the business was lost.
While I was away from the office, some of my people are slacking. When I’m around with them at the office I see some of them chatting with online friends every now and then and I just tap the person’s shoulder to remind him or her of her tasks. I am receiving complaints from some clients through email I then just forward it to the person in-charge of the project and expect him or her to fix it. These actions I made didn’t turned out well. Projects are done, clients one by one disappear and it’s very rare that they come back. I have to lay down my people one person at a time. It feels like I’ve been punched in the stomach, it really does hurt.
Now the business has got my attention again. Only this time I’m not as good as I was when I am in the thriving stage, the momentum has gone. To keep a momentum back it takes the same level of effort and energy you exerted when you started it. My only option to keep the business back is obvious and that is to start again.
No matter how professional or knowledgeable you may be in your field of expertise you have to remain on top of the game. Even the best practitioner need regular training to stay up-to date on the latest research and procedures. Momentum is something you have to work at to maintain.