Entrepreneurs need to attract resources like people, energy, money, time - and sometimes they need to decide to let them go. In this article we explore the resource of people around you and the art of managing it.
In building and running a business you always need people around. Even as a sole trader you will have customers, business partners and network companions affecting your business. As an employer you hand your business baby over to others to raise. Picking the right people to surround you with is a difficult skill to master.
Attracting people to make your business grow
How do you attract people to come join your business pursuit? Whether they are joining as business partners, employees or in your support network you want them to be helpful, not dragging you down. Helpful often comes from being aligned with your goals. Sometimes because there is a win-win. You pursuing your goals also creates a good situation to your business partner. Sometimes because you are sharing goals. An employee aligned with your values are far more likely to give that extra energy when needed that the one there for the pay check only.
Being clear yourself and allowing that clarity to shine through will work as a lighthouse for people to navigate by and know where to go. That is why having a clear vison, identified values and specific goals is so helpful. As business coaches we expand the scope beyond numbers, short term goals and quarterly reports knowing that it is the entrepreneurial power within you and clarity around values and visions that will get you further.
The hard decision of letting go
Clarity on goals and values also helps you see when people around you are not the win-win situation you thought they would be. This can be quite a hurtful insight. Maybe you have developed in different directions, maybe you misjudged them form the start. Realizing when people are holding you back and allowing yourself to act on that insight is a skill hard to master.
There can also be customers who are not beneficial to your business in the long run. Maybe you are spending too much time serving them getting too little in return. Maybe they are a small segment forcing you to spread resources when you need to focus on core business. Quite often we hold on to customers we should let go because we have built good relations over time.
Ending busness relations or employments is in it's core a diplomatic task. You want to let them go in a way that doesn’t hurt you or your business in the long run. If it is a friend you want to keep but keep out of your business you want to detach him/her from business in a way that optional feels like a step forward, or at least as an acceptable step back. But you may also have situations where you need to set your business first and disappoint people. In a small business relations get close in a way that affects you and the others personally, still it is your responsibility to manage the internal conflict and do what your business needs.
There are all kinds of tools and methods for doing it but at the core there is the matter of you being grounded in your idea and having the courage to go through. Letting go of people can be hurtful but done with clarity and respect you can both move on with integrity and good learning. Giving yourself time to work the process through in coaching before stepping to action can be one way of moving forward without burning bridges.
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