Whatever you do, don’t mention business stress & problems!
Business Bravado – the stance that lots of business owners adopt, so they look positive & up beat and show no cracks in the facade of confidence to competitors, colleagues & customers.
After all, saying “Great!” in reply to the question “How’s business?” and bluffing your way through, is only doing what everyone does isn’t it? It’s just a game. What can be the harm in that? Well, read on! (or skip to the end for the sane solution)
It Depends How You Play The Game – and on the rules you’re playing to and the size of the stake. There are after all several versions of Business Bravado and each one has it’s own set of very different consequences. The trick is to be honest with yourself, so you know exactly which set of rules you’re adopting.
- Oblivion – even though everything is falling apart, you just completely ignore it and pretend it’s all an enormous shock when you have to call in the receivers and go bankrupt
- Head in the Sand – when you’re aware that things are pretty bad, but not wanting to take a look at the details just in case it is as horrendous as you think it is
- Catching Balls as They Drop – a last minute game of denial, nerve, agility and dexterity that requires a steady hand and good health as you juggle relentless stress and anxiety
- Rabbit in Headlights – when you’re aware things aren’t right, but you haven’t a clue what to do about it, or where to get help and advice and you do nothing but remain transfixed with fear
- Aware, Tired & Nervous – often adopted by new business owners, you are delighted to have survived the early stages of setting up, but then run out of energy and start to have doubts
- Hanging on by a Thread – when everything you’re doing seems to be working, but it’s touch and go each month and you have a strong hunch it will get better and each week that seems to be the case. Also known as ‘Wing and a Prayer’
- On Top of My Game – for when you’re confidently and successfully working the business, getting external help and advice, learning new skills – and suddenly you’re not playing Business Bravado!
The Toll on Your Business, Sanity, Family & Health – Difficult to hear though it might be, as a business owner it’s entirely up to you how hard you work, how successful you are and how much it takes out of you and your family getting there. You are in control – or at least, that’s the idea.
Build Care Into Your Business Plan – Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a smooth ride. ‘The economy’, market trends, fickle customers and a myriad of other conditions buffet you all the time. How you take care of yourself through those storms is what makes the difference and unless you plan for the long term, your health and quality of life will inevitably suffer. Build care for yourself into your business plan.
Professional Supervision / Mentoring – Having a safe and confidential place where you can regularly go to say whatever you want, complain about customers, talk about staff, confess concerns and anxieties and maybe just let off steam, can be transformational for both you and your business.
De-stressing in a neutral setting with a professional confidante can help you get things back into perspective and reset the dials. You make better and more considered decisions. Joan Collins’ football diva in the Snickers adverts, isn’t that far from reality.
Not to be confused with Counselling, Therapy, or Life Coaching – there is, however, structure and purpose to the conversation and every one of the men and women I talk with from across a whole spectrum of professions, takes away some key understanding, or action from every visit they make.