As an entrepreneur, people often give you advice…whether you want it or not.
One thing no one ever told me is that you can feel trapped by your business and what to do if you are in that spot.
It is very possible to feel trapped by what you have built and it can be very stigmatizing. Being an owner is pretty lonely to start with and not being in love with your “baby” is a fairly taboo thing to admit.
Today, I want to talk about what it’s like to feel trapped by your business. This is something that isn’t sexy, and people don’t talk about it because it’s embarrassing, and there’s a lot of shame wrapped around it.
It’s just something that’s really private if you’re an entrepreneur.
I can attest to that because I felt really trapped by my first business. It looked great on the outside, and inside, it was sort of miserable. I was working a lot – my low weeks were about 70 hours a week.
I just was trapped by it, and that sucked, right?
But, I didn’t see a way out because I had personally guaranteed everything. We had tons of business debt. I had tons of employees who were relying on me to pay their mortgage.
I built it. Clearly, I should have known what I was doing.
How do you build a business then not like it? That’s crazy, right?
Except that’s what happened to me. In my case, the housing market crashed, and everything fell around my ears rather rapidly.
But I hope that doesn’t happen to you. I hope that you can get out of business you’ve created a trap for yourself in without having to go bankrupt, because frankly, that’s a step we would all like to avoid if possible.
If you feel trapped by your business, I want you to take an afternoon… I know you’re thinking “I can’t possibly take an afternoon away. The whole world will collapse.” No. Imagine that you had the flu and you were super sick. It would go on, right? Nothing terrible is going to happen, and in this case, you can actually schedule it for a day that’s convenient. Or if you really are legitimately crazy busy, do it on a Saturday or a Sunday.
Anyway, block some time off and really think about, “Okay, what have I created that is sucking me dry that I can kill off?” This might be service lines you’ve added because a customer requested them, or it might be that you’re trying to break into new markets, and it’s not going very well, and it’s a huge cash drain.
Whatever it is, look at your business and look at what’s not working, because there are going to be some things that aren’t working, and those are the things that you need to look at “Can I get out of this, because this is not worth the trouble?”
That is something that takes a harsh look because you’re like, “Oh my God, we put eight months into this market, and if I pull the plug now, we might be three weeks from everything bearing fruit and coming to fruition.”
You know what? Probably not. But you would know. You would have a pipeline full of things, you would have stuff going on. Part of that is it doesn’t mean you’re never going to be in that market; it just means it’s not right, right now.
I want you to really do a systematic look at your whole business to see where you’ve created some time drains, money drains, energy drains, whatever it is where you are getting the life force sucked out of you by these things.
And they’re not serving your business because – you know what – if you have one core business that is rocking and rolling, and you’ve added six different ancillary businesses because you have so many ideas and you love it and you’re multi-passionate, and it’s bleeding you dry energetically and financially, you have to kill them off. I’m not saying you would have to kill them all off, but focus on one or two things.
We all know we can’t do 17 things well.
That’s the reality of it. If you feel trapped by your business, I want you to look at those things.
But I also want you to look at your team.
A lot of times, you might feel trapped because there is bad energy or you’re not supported by your team and they’re not doing what you need them to, so you’re paying them but you’re still ending up doing it, and that can make you feel really trapped.
If that’s the case, I want you to take a hard look at it. “Is it better to have them suck me dry or to have the difficult conversation and to set some expectations and hold them to it and start hiring again?” Or just fire them.
If they’re really terrible, and they’re sucking everybody dry, get them off your team. Your team is too small to have that kind of toxic influence in it.
If you do have a toxic employee, check out my free training on how to deal with a toxic employee, and that will give you some language on how to approach the situation.
These are just a couple of tips.
If you feel trapped by your business and you really feel like it’s not fun anymore, these are ways that you can lighten your load and make your business fun again.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic bullet to wipe out all those personal guarantees and all that debt, but I do know that focusing on your profitable lines is a good way to eradicate debt and to quit throwing good money after bad is another excellent way to eradicate debt.|
I hope this helps!
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