How to ensure self-identity when building a business

Holding on to your identity as a business owner can feel like a challenge in itself. It’s far too easy to put all your time into running the business, leaving no time to do the things that make you, you.

There’s no better time than now to tackle that balance between work and life. As a business owner, it can feel impossible to switch off from work to enjoy all that life has to offer. But for the sake of your health and the long-term outlook of your business, you need to.

In a recent piece for Forbes, Chris Myers, Co-Founder & CEO of US small business financing firm BodeTree, wrote about how he regained a sense of identity. He admits that he can be guilty of getting “wrapped up” in the business – but these three deliberate steps help to bring him back round:

1. Perfect the art of introspection

Business owners today are ‘always on’. Smartphones play a big part in this, refusing to let us switch off by continuously sending us email and text alerts. It’s difficult to see a message that requires action and do nothing about it, leaving no time for introspection.

But, self-reflection is essential for bringing about some clarity. “Deep, authentic introspection allows us to differentiate between passion and obsession and identify the flaws in our behaviours,” Myers says.

To achieve those moments of reflection, you may need to switch your phone to airplane mode – or just switch it off completely – to give your thoughts some space to breathe.

2. Reconnect with reality

Business can provide you with lots of things – but it isn’t a source of love, purpose, and self-actualisation. In fact, it can end up costing you those things if you leave no time for relationships outside of work.

“Fame means nothing if it costs you the love of your family, and money is ultimately unsatisfying if you compromise your values to achieve it,” Meyers writes.

But it’s easy to forget that sometimes. Reconnecting with reality will help put things into perspective.

3. Retain your purpose

When you first started out in business, you will have had a definite purpose, whether it was to build a comfortable life for family, make waves in an industry, etc. Over time, you might lose sight of that purpose, leaving the hard work, risk and sacrifice to be somewhat futile.

As a way of retaining your purpose, Meyers says to remember that “nothing lasts forever” – only the reasons behind why you built the business will live on.

Meyers offers some great advice – but it’s not always easy to put it into practice. Ensure that you are setting some time aside for you – clear space in your diary for exactly that and reach out those who have been there, done it for advice.

By | 2017-09-07T09:45:49+00:00 September 7th, 2017|0 Comments

About the Author:

Alan Beesley

Alan Beesley is an Agnentis Partner. He has been a senior executive, consultant and business owner for the last twenty years. He’s had fun, learned a lot and picked up the odd battle scar – now he helps others avoid them. He writes the odd blog too.

Contact Alan directly on +44 (0) 20 3196 3502 for a one-to-one conversation.

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