It’s not uncommon for business owners to feel like they’re falling out of love with their business. Here’s why it happens and what you can do about it.
The reason we fall out of love with our businesses is often down to frustrations and lost of purpose.We lose touch with our Why, our values and purpose. When we lose touch with this our lack of clarity and confidence in our mission, vision, or values statement falters. We may also become fearful of failure, Empty instead of fulfilled, or constantly compare ourselves to others who seem to be more successful than us.
Just because you’ve lost that spark for your business, does not mean you cannot get it back. A third of UK entrepreneurs have fallen out of love with their businesses at times. (Is there a name of research that shows this?)
Whatever reason is behind falling out of love with your business, it’s time to take action.
The ‘why’ is lost
You’ve been working hard for years, pouring your heart and soul into this business. The ‘why’ is the reason you started it in the first place, and it’s what keeps you going even when times are tough.
The problem is that somewhere along the way, we lose sight of our ‘why’. When this happens, things can take a turn for the worse, and fast.
Your original motivation may have been something like: “I want more freedom” or “I want to reach financial freedom by 55.” When times get tough, we lose touch with our ‘why’ or even begin to feel it is impossible to achieve. Or even, our ‘why’ may not have been big enough in the first place.
A good question to ask yourself – What does success look like for you?
The important factor is to get back in touch with the burning desire you had to to start, what was the mission and what change did you want to create? Unless there is a driving force behind all of those hours spent working on projects at home after everyone else has gone to bed or during lunch breaks at work and missing out on vacations, those good intentions start slipping away pretty quickly.
What is the purpose behind the business and why does it exist?
You need to reconnect with your ‘why’.
Examine your life at the moment
What do you really want? Life circumstances evolve with time, as they do for your business. What you wanted when you first started might not be relevant to you now.
Think hard about what you really want from life. Do you want to retire early? Aspire to send your kids to a good school? Change other people lives with the impact of what you do? Whatever your answer is – this is your ‘why’. This is the reason you run your business.
Figuring out your ‘why’ again will help you resume your passion for it.
You’re not confident about your mission, vision, and values
If you’re not confident about your mission and vision statements, it’s time to get serious about figuring out what they are. They’re not just buzzwords; they’re the things that will keep you and your team going when things get tough.
What is the purpose behind the business and why does it exist?
What difference do we create?
Who do we create the difference for?
If you’re falling out of love with your business, it may be due to a lack of mission, vision, and value statements. Therefore, your team may not be inspired, and you yourself may feel your sailing a ship with no crew and no compass.
express to your employees and the outside world why your business exists and what it does right now and how it serves and changes lives.
explain what your business wants to be in the future.
list the guiding principles at the heart of your business.
As your company grows, these statements may evolve, and that’s ok. But it’s essential that you are 100% sure on them before you release them. This is because they will reflect the company’s culture, morals, what it stands for, and are a public declaration of what you are, what you’re achieving, and what you aim for.
These statements are the foundation of your company. They guide your decisions, standards you hold yourself to, and principles that shape what your business stands for.
Mission, vision and value statements may also act as a starting point to setting KPIs for your team.
You fear failure
You have been through a lot and have worked hard to get where you are, so when things don’t go according to plan, it can be difficult not to feel like you are losing control. This fear is natural, but it can also be paralysing if left unchecked.
You may not realise that you have a fear of failure though. Spotting the signs is vital as this may be a big contributing factor as to why you’re falling out of love with your business. Here are some of the signs:
- Tasks that aren’t essential take priority as you find ways to procrastinate the difficult or most challenging ones.
- You make excuses as to why you couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t
- The expectations you set for yourself are too low or too high
- How others perceive you bothers you a great deal
- Jealousy takes hold when others succeed
- You judge others
You need to understand that failure is a part of learning and growth. Every business owner who has succeeded has failed at some point along the way. It’s ok!
Failure doesn’t mean that everything was for nothing or that you weren’t cut out for entrepreneurship. It just means there were some things about your business model or approach that didn’t work out as well as they could have.
You’ve become Lazy
This is a big one! Would you consider yourself lazy? It might be that you’re being too hard on yourself here. Rather than being lazy, you could actually be:
- Lacking motivation
- Suffering from depression
If you’re not feeling inspired, driven and motivated, then your business will stagnate. Once you figure out what the real issue is behind your ‘laziness’ or detachment you will be empowered to take action.
A lack of inspiration and motivation could be what’s festering behind laziness. Maybe there are aspects of your business that need tweaking so they align better with who you are as an entrepreneur (rather than just focusing on making sales).
Diarise time to list what your business gives you. Freedom? Inspiration? Energy? Allow yourself to feel good about its positives, and create a plan to work on each positive.
If you are experiencing symptoms linked with depression, maybe external help and advice is needed to give you that additional support.
Your mindset needs fixing
This one extends from the point above. If you’re worried you’re falling out of love with your business, it may be due to a pessimistic mindset.
Your mindset is the way you think about yourself and your business. If your mindset is negative, it will be reflected in your actions and ultimately lead to disappointment.
A positive mindset is essential for success because it enables you to see opportunities where others see problems, gives you the strength to overcome challenges, and keeps you motivated when things get tough.
A negative mindset stops people from achieving their goals by making them focus on what they cannot do rather than what they can do. This leads them down a path of self-doubt which makes success seem impossible.
Practice affirmations and check in with yourself when you notice negative thoughts. Try to flip these thoughts into positive ones.
You’re constantly comparing yourself to others
If you compare yourself to others to the point where you find it difficult to focus on what you and your company are doing, then it may be a problem.
Comparing yourself to other businesses or entrepreneurs is a sure fire way to feel less than great about your own business. It’s also pointless. You can’t control what other people do or think, so don’t waste your time on it. Instead, focus on what you can do and be happy with that.
You never know what someone has been through to get to where they are today – or what they’re still going through. As we’re on the outside of this person’s success, we only see the tip of the iceberg. What we don’t see is the heartache, disappointments, health problems, failures, money worries, and family issues that are going on beneath the surface.
If someone else has more success than you in some area (and there will always be someone who does), let them have their moment in the spotlight. During this time, remind yourself that you are doing just fine too.
And then get back to work!
You have trouble letting go
When business owners start their company from the ground up and have grown beyond being a one-man band, they may start to take on a team. What’s the number one reason to take on a team? So you can delegate, they can take some of those tasks off your shoulders and let you get on with doing what you do best.
But are you letting your employees do their job? If you don’t trust or train them to do the job you hired them for then chances are, you are micromanaging and running the risk of burnout.
This is a slippery slow that leads to burn out, resentment, and dissatisfaction, not only for you but for your team too.
No entrepreneur can do it all. Let go of the tasks that your team can manage. It’s a stereotypically difficulty task for a business owner to do, but you must do it.
If a team member can do your financials while you go to meet business leaders, let them. Not great at marketing or HR, let someone else do it.
You need to be at your best, and operating in your genius zone for you to be able to continue loving your work and your business.
Sure you’re falling out of love with your business?
When you fall out of love with your business, it’s time to make a change. But first, sit with that feeling. And know that it’s ok to feel this way.
It’s easy to get distracted by all of the day-to-day tasks that come along with running a business and forget why we started doing it in the first place. But if we don’t remind ourselves of what drives us, then our passion will die out over time and our businesses will suffer as a result.
Go over the seven points again and notice which ones resonate with you. They might just be the reason why you feel you’re falling out of love with your business.