The Secret to Staying the Course with Your Business
As a small business owner seeking to grow revenue and profit, are there some days where you feel like “the little engine that could” from the children’s story? You keep chugging up the steep hill struggling to get to the top, all the while hearing an inner voice chant: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can …” When you need that extra push upward, where is your personal horsepower coming from? What fuels your engine and motivates you to stay the course? Perhaps you need to revisit the stay the course meaning? What does it mean for you?
Here’s the secret: passion. Without that motivation and spark, the slightest headwind would likely cause your “little engine” to roll backward down the hill ten times faster than when you went up.
But after years of grinding, scratching, and clawing to grow your business, you sometimes find it hard to keep that passion tank full—especially when everything seems to go awry at the same time. And, if you don’t have passion in your tank, how do you expect your team will have enough enthusiasm and energy to achieve extraordinary results?
PASSION BRINGS THE CASH IN
Money—or the drive to obtain it—won’t be enough to get you up your hill. At most, it’s only 50% of the equation. It’s the work, the people, and the experiences along the way that give purpose and meaning to what you are doing.
If your business is only about money, you are going to give up. You must have a passion deep inside you. Whereas others might give up at the slightest challenge, you are ready for anything because your passion for what you do is driving you forward.
In order for an activity or goal to sustain itself long enough to be successful through life’s inevitable ups and downs, there must be substantial passion behind it. It is imperative that you love what you do. Passion is what enables you to cherish your wins and lifts you right back on your feet when you face setbacks and losses. Without passion, business becomes a grind, a job. When an activity or goal has meaning for you, you’re more likely to give your heart and soul to this cause, making sure that you stay focused, labor over every detail, and absorb yourself in every moment.
When you spend time on efforts that really matter to you, it’s far more likely that you’ll make the commitment that’s necessary in order to build an entity capable of sustaining, thriving, and scaling. Reflect on the stay the course meaning and the passion that drives you.
I have found that the most successful business founders and owners all have this in common: They love their business. They love what it stands for, the people in it, and the impact they are making. They rise above the chaos, they grow through the ups and downs, and they revel in the wins. They are in total alignment with the company vision and everything the company stands for. Their passion is contagious and translates outward to their employees, customers, and partners. People seek to work for these companies because they want to experience this passion firsthand.
Find the stay the course meaning and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you love your business?
- Is your passion visible to your team?
- Do your team members seem passionate about what they do?
- Does the shared passion provide staff members with the opportunity to shine?
- Do you have core company values?
- Are your company values shared by the team?
If the answer is “No” to any of these questions, take some time away from the office to do some reflecting and deep thinking. Write down all the things that drove you to start your business in the first place. Reflect on the stay the course meaning and what it means for your business.
If you find you are breathing in your own exhaust as you chug up your hill, chances are the items on the passion list from when you first started have dissipated. Imagine yourself back in those early days of starting out and rekindle those feelings and emotions. What fired you up back then will no doubt recharge you now.
Before long, you will rediscover your passion and make it to the top of that hill. As you race back down, your inner voice will be saying: “I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could….”
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Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.
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