There are some things we don’t talk about in business, such as how hard it can be, not everyone will love us, everything is not always as it seems and sometimes, the support you thought you had is just not there…just a little like high school. I tend not to talk about high school either, but in this post I wanted to do both.
For me, high school was a mix of good and bad, just like business. I grew up in a town where I am not sure I really fitted and each and every day I would stress about whether or not the “in crew” would like me or be nice to me. And, in business there are moments that I feel the same way.
My years at high school saw doors slammed in my face, rumors and teasing because I didn’t have the right clothes and was often sitting alone…and I don’t want business to be like that for anyone.
Eventually I found the right fit in my friends and my community and I am grateful for them every day of my life. They know when my smile is not real, they know when I need space and when I need them to just be there with me.
Ok, back to the point – why business feels like high school for me:
It really comes down to two things: Things are not always as they seem, and people are often quick to judge on what they think they see.
We run a big Facebook group and yes, our community is growing rapidly. Earlier this month someone thought we were too big and should give the ‘little guys’ a break…but guess what?
Clive and I may run 5 businesses but we are still one of the little guys too.
Our main focus has always been to put back into the community and help the businesses to grow. There are many businesses just like us out there that seem big, but with growth comes even more costs and worry for your staff etc too.
The group we run costs us money, but we do it because we believe businesses need support and encouragement…just like we all did in high school.
It is easy to pick at someone’s faults, think they are silly because they ask advice on something which to another appears ‘dumb’, or post a derogatory comment or fall for the ‘Tall Poppy’ syndrome .. but remember, they are people and have emotions just like you. And it is those it just a joke comments or they are big enough to take it comments that often do the most damage to a business owner. (even the biggest businesses are not immune from this)
As much as Business is Business we are the people behind the business, and it is very easy to forget – we are seeing the “brand” of the person and business especially online.
For some people they will appear bright & happy people, for others it is I can take it approach to feedback but what we don’t see is the worry and stress that comes with being in business, because no one tells you about that bit…
Most business owners enter into business because they are good at what they do, or they have an idea to make the market better, or simply a passion for a particular area. Learning is part of business life just like it was in high school, which means you will mix with people you like and don’t like.
And, just like high school we need to find the community that is right for us and think of others along the way. The thing is though in business there are no teachers or support people to turn to when things get bad. That comment you thought was a joke could be taken the wrong way and get out of hand…in business it not only affects the person, it also impacts on their business and quite often their families as well.
No one knows it all in business – we are all learning and that means we will make mistakes, and we have no idea what is happening in someone else’s world.
This is one of the reasons we created BBB. The other reason is simple: I am Mum and I hope my daughter never has to experience moments like I did, So I created a space of support and encouragement for my fellow business owners, as I get it. I truly do.
Sometimes you don’t get it right, sometimes you don’t have enough money, sometimes you stuff up and then there are the moments where you will WIN and you need a space to share that in, safely and with support.
So there you go! Business is not always good, it is not always as it seems… but in the end we are all doing the best we can and supporting each other is better than taking each other apart.
Sitting here at almost 3pm I think wow I have achieved a lot today as I cross another thing off my board feeling chuffed with myself but not all days are the same because some days I make unreasonable to-do lists. Today is not one of those days so what were the keys...