CEO Prosperwell Financial, Wealth Advisor RJFS
Being a business owner can be awful and horrible sometimes.
You may feel like you are on a roller coaster, one day feeling the rush of climbing high and the next day (or hour) feeling like you are free-falling, completely scared. Business ownership is a roller coaster of highs and lows. Other days you feel like you are on an island—that you have no one to talk to or no one who can relate to your daily life.
Many days can be simply amazing, and others can be the worst and overwhelming. Balance doesn’t exist.
I was in Arizona and went to this local restaurant for breakfast. We got there a few minutes before 9 a.m. The woman inside apologized and said they opened at 9 a.m. and that we could wait. We did. There were two cooks and this one woman up front. She was taking orders. We ordered. She kept taking orders. We kept waiting. She kept taking order after order after order and not making any drinks. The line kept getting longer and longer of people now waiting for drinks and food. It was a hot mess. The woman left the counter to walk around to the kitchen. The lobby was completely full of people.
Then the owner of the restaurant walked in. You could read the shock on his face.
He walked into a room of waiting customers and no one at the counter and no one making drinks.
I could relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed. In shock. In desperation. He hit a button on his phone and called someone and said: “You need to get here now. There is a line out the door and no one at the counter.”
He asked his employee to start making drinks and to stop taking orders. She kept taking orders. He asked her again to start making drinks. It was painful to watch him get his feet on the ground and get this situation under control.
After 30 minutes of waiting, we finally had our food and drinks to go. The owner gave us a gift card. We gave it back. He was doing his best. We could relate. Sometimes all you can do is just simply the best you can in the situation you are in. It’s all about making choices and following through. It’s all about keeping your customer in mind.
So, what can you do today to transform your business to the next level? What can you do to give a better customer experience? Here are a few ideas for your business to give your best:
1. Form a client advisory board. This was one of the things I was most scared to do but it has been the most rewarding. Once a year we gather our board together for advice, ideas, feedback and more from our clients and centers of influence.
2. Read. I love to read. The book Traction by Gino Wickman was transformational. At my company, we now have daily huddles, weekly meetings and monthly development days. To me, it felt counterintuitive to take time away from the business, but I learned the importance of working on the business as a team so you can work harder in the business. I also recently read Chief Inspiration Officer: How to Lead the Team Everyone Wants to Be On from Val Ries. Owning a business is all about learning by making mistakes and learning by reading and then applying what you read.
3. Give yourself grace. Owning a business is difficult. From the outside, it sure can look glamorous. But as I witnessed in Arizona, many days are not. It can be beyond overwhelming. You can feel like you are isolated. You are responsible for everything. So it is important to give yourself grace—to cherish the great times and learn from the mistakes.
By the way, the croissant breakfast sandwich was the best I have ever had!