A tangle difficult to unravel
Corona should get business owners thinking …
We first created the image above for a webinar about “selling your company”. Selling a company, of course, is a crucial moment in the life of a business owner. Before taking an irreversible decision like that, it is wise to think about the actual state and the potential future of the company, and about what it means for you to be the owner. Selling, however, is not the only crucial moment in the lifetime of a company. In these covid times, for many owners, it is more important than ever to reflect about the future of the business.
And that is not easy.
Why thinking about your own company is difficult
Reflecting about your own business is like trying to untangle a complex knot, in which, with every piece of the knot untangled, the complexity of the knot seems to even increase. Many topics of such a reflection interact. Many aspects get only visible when certain aspects seem to be solved. All of that has to take place in the busy mind of an entrepreneur who is already overloaded with challenges, and who might be blind for certain aspects of this thinking process.
You need to find the answer to some very fundamental questions. Why are you doing what you and your team are doing? How are you doing it, and why is that the way it is? For whom are you doing it, and is that worth it? Even the rational parts of the answers to these questions, are often raising more questions than they solve. Moreover, there is a huge emotional aspect involved in this thinking, because thinking about the business is not only about the business. It’s also about what person you are, as a business owner — or what person you would like to be. Top this complex meal with the delicious sauce of “Thinking, fast and slow” from Daniel Kahneman, and let’s not forget the classic “Seven Sins”, of which pride might be the least harmful.
Do you already get some feeling what this does to the mind of a normal human being?
External viewpoint needed here
An external viewpoint really helps to unravel the tangle, and to straighten the thinking. Other people can see what you don’t see about yourself. Other people see errors in your reflection process, that are difficult to discover about one’s self. Others might be able to challenge you, and confront you with your own reasoning.
I often compare the internal reflection process with playing chess against yourself. An adversary is needed to make it interesting, and raise the level of the game.
Moreover, if those ‘other people’ are also experts in the field of business and entrepreneurship, they can detect your reflection errors more easily, because they know more about the consequences of decisions that might seem rationally logic in the first place, but lack the actual reality of the business logic. And, if those ‘other people’ are outsiders, who are not involved in the family life and have no interest in the business, they will remain neutral and focused on your decision process, rather than starting to mingle that process with a hidden agenda.
By the way, that’s why business owners in general, prefer to ask an external advisor to be their sparring partner during such a difficult thinking process.
How to straighten the thinking
Even with a sparring partner, the reflection might loose track at certain occasions, and hence take much more time than strictly needed. The thinking process can be straightened with a reflection support tool that helps you broaden your perspective, and that helps to keep a broader view on the total reflection during the entire process.
ImpactBuilders has created such a reflection tool — we called it the Business Ownership Reflection Canvas, or short the Reflection Canvas. The Reflection Canvas is used by the business owner to put the reflection on paper, while keeping the overview. It is also used by the sparring partner, to broaden the perspective of the business owner, help unwind the knots, and confront the owner with contradictions in their reflection.
Using such a tool helps to straighten the reflection process and gain a lot of time, while climbing the stairs to enlightenment ;-).
We are here to help you
In order to help your thinking process, ImpactBuilders has this to offer you:
- a free business ownership reflection canvas to structure the thinking process and keep the overview on all aspects that determine your existence as an entrepreneur and business owner.
- a sparring partner that helps you understand your real reasons for selling, and ensures that you will be selling for the right reasons, to the right buyer, for the right price – and you will be happy with the consequences.