I'm on my third life as an entrepreneur. No, make that fourth. I've had very similar businesses over the years - graphic design, marketing, web design - but I'm on the fourth entity.
At each point, what fueled me to continue the business was both economic reality (we all have to put food on the table!) but also a renewed passion for the business. The same business! Each shift usually involved some sort of deep soul searching, followed by elation at having found new passion and then unbridled enthusiasm for the work ahead.
As entrepreneurs, do we need to end something in order to begin anew? I'll bet that you go through periods of time where you are a slave to your business - not particularly happy about it, but it takes work and you do the work. But I'll also guarantee that when you see a new opportunity to change, if you're ready for it, you dive in with that same startup enthusiasm.
How can we cultivate that without starting over? Some entrepreneurs get a coach. Some get a group together of noncompetitive entrepreneurs to gain some perspective. I've helped clients make this "I'm quitting or I'm retooling" simply by helping them craft new marketing strategies and tactical plans.
For us, it's usually marketing-centric change. An entrepreneur is finally tired of not accelerating their business, feels like they're at a dead end and all their usual bag of tricks doesn't yield any new customers or much in the way of new sales. Sound familiar?
What if I told you that one of our clients came within weeks of closing her business. We turned that around for her in 45 days.
Marketing puts you back in the driver's seat. It forces you to take a look at why you're in business (positioning) where you want to go (strategy) and for whom you're working (target market identification). It also, by the very nature of having a plan to follow when done - reinvigorates you as a business owner.
I also suggest vacation as a good place to start the reclaiming the passion process. Then, when you come back, schedule a meeting to look seriously at your business' marketing. Yes, you could do this while ON vacation, but I invite you to immerse yourself in something completely different - whether a good book at the beach, or a trip to a distant city - and come back with a new perspective that has nothing to do with your business. Then, that's the time to look with those refreshed eyes, at what your business is all about.
It's actually a lot of fun! Entrepreneurs enjoy getting 'outside' their companies, and they feel powerful that they, themselves, through their own actions, can change their economic realities. We'll even commisserate with you about all the things that frustrate you about business. You won't be alone, but you will have a plan to change where you are going.
If you're looking to brainstorm a refresh, request our DesignStorm guide. This process works best offline, with a pen and paper, so click here to fill out our contact form and we'll send you a copy in the mail.