Discover how embracing innovation, adapting to change, and committing to growth can redefine your entrepreneurial journey for lasting success.
Resolutions, especially those committed to at the beginning of January, carry tremendous importance and urgency. As year-end tends to be a time of reflection and course correction when needed, the desire to enter a new calendar year with a renewed focus and a sense of purpose is universal in its appeal and its preponderance to fall by the wayside as the days and weeks elapse.
It all sounds so good, but the harsh reality is that attempting to make changes to long-standing behaviors can be daunting at best. Understanding the necessity of addressing items causing less than satisfactory outcomes is one thing, but having the resolve, tenacity, and perseverance to implement meaningful change can be challenging. As a result, human nature inevitably kicks in, and the likely outcome is that all intentions of self-improvement and growth are compromised to the point of futility. And then, a year later, the cycle is likely put into motion again, usually with the same disappointing results.
It's bad enough if it's us trying to shed a few pounds or start exercising, but what about when we exhibit that kind of behavior as it pertains to our businesses?
Small businesses, especially, are highly susceptible to the ill effects of failing to adapt and commit to renovating their operations' broken pieces. Lofty goals end up being put in the "Wouldn't it be great if…" folder, maybe to be reviewed at the start of the following calendar or fiscal year, but more likely than not simply allowed to fade from memory into the obscurity of neglect. This can happen so insidiously that the entrepreneur doesn't even perceive how damaging that type of attitude can be to the business's overall health. The consolation usually includes embracing how things were already done with the disclaimer, "Well, it hasn't been all that bad."
But any business, large or small, that fails to evolve into something new and innovative is already on the pathway to deterioration and possibly eventual closure. "Business as usual" can be like a safe bet, but nothing should ever really be "usual" in business. We establish professional reputations and, hopefully, foster some client or customer loyalty, but the goods or services we provide need to be malleable, adjusting to the needs of the people we serve so that we can guarantee our relevance and necessity in the marketplace. The mindset of "good enough" is neither good nor enough – it's us settling for a watered-down version of who we as a business, we somehow convince ourselves that doing the bare minimum is actually providing value to our clients or customers.
Part of the self-delusion of doing business this way is entangled in the misbegotten belief that we're OK as long as our company has been established for a few years. After all, the real danger to a business is in that fledgling startup time of the first year or so. There is a certain degree of truth to the fact that extreme diligence and focus are necessary if you want to prevent your enterprise from crashing and burning right out of the gate, but even having several years under your belt is no safeguard against problems. According to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Small Business Administration, 50% of small businesses fail in their 5th year, and 70% fail in their 10th year.
It can be daunting and sobering to realize that 7 out of every 10 small businesses will only survive a decade. But the focus needs to be on what you can do to avoid being part of the statistic rather than the worry of watching your company unravel before your helpless eyes. Prudence and watchfulness are valuable tools to the entrepreneur, but fixating on what could go wrong can sometimes open the door for things to do just that. When worry is the underlying driver for the decisions you make in your business, it's virtually impossible to maintain a clear perspective, and, as a result, everything you see can start to look like a problem.
The good news is that there is a healthy middle ground, a happy medium where you can exercise discretion regarding how you manage your business and yet have a realistic view of your challenges. It's also critical to remember that difficulties are often the most powerful catalysts for positive change within our enterprises. When something goes horribly awry, it can be tempting to go careening into panic mode, but there's much value in stepping back and pondering things for a moment. Whatever difficulty you're facing is only temporary, and the attitude and perspective you maintain can play a crucial role in determining the duration of the challenge.
Even more positive is the realization that you can use the situation you currently find yourself mired in to get a deeper perspective on your business operations than you ever thought possible. Positivity and the determination to use everything your business faces as a growth opportunity can open doors you might not have been knocking on. Adaptability and the willingness to innovate are often born out of the necessity of no longer being able to settle for business as usual. If you can approach whatever's before you with intentionality and purpose, you may find your business suddenly growing unexpectedly.
Resiliency is one of those facets of life that can only come about in the face of opposition. Any fount of wisdom promising the keys to business success needs to contain the recognition of just how many obstacles are likely to fall into your path. Everyone loves to hear an "overnight success" story, but those are so few and far between that they are meaningless. It can also be deceptive to read an entrepreneur's book and be under the impression that the efforts they're describing are directly transferrable to your own situation. Personal experience is the great qualifier of true business success, and your personality, emotions, and work history will never precisely match anyone else's.
Whether you find yourself in early January, contemplating where to take your business endeavors in the coming months, or winding down your fiscal year in the middle of summer, it's always a good time to reappraise how you're doing things. Mileposts – whether they're annual, monthly, or on any other cycle – can be incredibly beneficial for spurring us into action. Simply sitting back and waiting for things to happen will likely lead to nothing happening or to undesirable events beginning to unfold. The only way to avoid becoming a negative business statistic is to commit to not being the same business that you were last year.
The enterprises that suddenly fail in their 10th year could find themselves unraveling due to various factors, but there's plausibility in speculating that complacency could be a contributor. There really is no status quo when it comes to doing business – you'll never "arrive', because there's always more to learn. Focusing firmly on your customers or clients can help keep you forward-looking. When your first order of business is to provide everything possible to the people you serve, you'll be much less apt to rest on your laurels and try to let everything continue on autopilot.
Consistency is often touted as a hallmark of excellence, but it's a more nuanced reality in business. Staying exactly the same year after year and hoping that people will still find you relevant is a recipe for disaster. Keep a tight grasp on the core values and mission goals that caused your business to come into being in the first place, but be determined to never remain the same. Make it a standing goal to look different next year than you do today, and you'll be well-positioned to truly thrive and become a business success in the best possible way.
🚀 Ready to transform your business and break free from the chains of complacency? Connect with ValorExcel today, and let's embark on a journey of innovation, adaptability, and sustainable growth. Elevate your business to new heights in the coming year. Contact us now to redefine your path to success. Visit www.valorexcel.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 240-329-9387. Then, don't forget to check our recent videos on YouTube by clicking HERE. 🌟#BusinessGrowth #InnovationJourney #AdaptAndThrive #EntrepreneurialSuccess #TransformYourBusiness #ComplacencyBreak #YearOfInnovation #BusinessEvolution