February 24, 2015 1:29 pm

Are you running your business like a whirling dervish?

I must be as I was going to write this blog at the beginning of the year, a good time for any business owner to reflect on what they want to achieve for the year ahead, and what’s happened?  Like many of us I’ve got sucked into the day to day and it’s mid February already.

And what is a whirling dervish? I was lucky enough to see the whirling dervishes when they were in Sydney late last year.  They call it physically active meditation – a dance performed by spinning your body in repetitive circles – the Amazing Race contestants tried it once!  But seriously, it was absolutely amazing to see and made me think a lot of business owners, and recruiters, do the same thing. To an extent I’m no exception.  I think if you, or your business, is spinning in a circle, and that circle’s parameter in reality is actually getting smaller and smaller, it’s actually building a comfort zone and almost wall around you or your business. So why do some of us do this?

  • Comfort. In your own business often you are the only driving force, it gets very easy to allow each day to be the same. You start to get comfortable doing things, sometimes including dropping your activity levels.
  • Lack of stimulation. Again being “Lisa no friends” in my instance from time to time, you can get sick of discussing your ideas with yourself.
  • Lack of scalability. In a small business it is very hard, believe me, to execute all the amazing ideas you have as they need funding or “person” bandwidth to achieve them, both can be limited.
  • Boredom. In a small business the timeframes to achieve various milestones can often get pushed out, not by a week or month, but by a year depending on the results of a small team of billers, the economy, even a non-paying client (I am so tempted to name them!), and it can become a little bit like groundhog day in-between.
  • Frustration. Some small businesses will always be just that, small businesses and it can be frustrating. In some instances business owners build up a resentment to their own business and the restrictions it imposes.

So how do you get out of it – you have to recognise it and be prepared to change or actually get out – is this you?  I hate that old adage, but it is so true, that if you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result, then you’re kidding yourself.  Look at your business now and ask yourself:

  • Why do you run your own business differently to how you ran, or worked in, someone elses? I had to ask myself this recently.  Compared to how I run my own business, I was relatively ruthless in other peoples.  You would think as it’s your own money you would be more decisive or cautious with it, but for some reason the emotional connection to your own business can be so strong it can really taint our decision making more so than you/I realised.
  • The recruitment market is really changing, are you? No matter what sector we are in, of my 24 years in recruitment, it has changed more in the last 5 years than in the 20 prior.  How are you learning and keeping yourself abreast of these changes? Are you LISTENING?  Are you able to adapt? Do you want to?  Many businesses are stuck as management and/or the owner is not prepared to change.
  • Are you over engineered – I was. I came from big businesses and felt I could build a relatively big rec2rec so I started where I was going to end – WRONG.  Many of my clients when they start out say the same thing “we have the infrastructure in place to pay 1,000 contractors” – you may not survive long enough to get to that number, start with the end in mind but be in the PRESENT.
  • Should you be making decisions that you are not prepared to make?  A client of mine last week said to me “don’t be afraid to say what you’re not afraid to think”.  If you are prepared to think and get stressed about areas of weakness in your business, then do something about it.

As always this is just my observation and there are a million reasons you could be spinning in circles but one of the things I’ve realised is it doesn’t take much to stop – just recognition and change. I’d love to hear your thoughts and remember, please Like us on Facebook and Follow Us on LinkedIn so we can keep communicating and sharing experiences.


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