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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 5
Issue 5

Stretch Your Business Muscles

"Growth begins when we begin to accept our own weakness".
Jean Vanier

As an active person, I enjoy bike-riding and power walking. Unfortunately, those activities do nothing for my upper body, so I began weight training with former client Beverley Ikier, owner of The Ikier Wellness Center. Beverley’s background as a neurological nurse, massage therapist and personal trainer assure me that I am in good hands.

During my first session, I found some of the exercises painful. Beverley discovered that I have tendonitis, a muscle strain and limited range of motion all roadblocks to developing healthy muscles. Though I entered the first session feeling good, I left feeling decrepit. In addition, while using three pound weights Beverley reminded me one of her clients, who happens to be my 82 year old mother, uses ten pound weights. Now I have to stretch for twenty minutes before I even pick up the weights. Obviously, I have a lot of work to do to get my upper body in shape.

Business owners also tend to develop some muscles more than others. Like most people, you probably enjoy and excel in the core parts of your business. Those muscles are in good shape, but do you avoid other areas because you’re less skilled or less thrilled with them? You have to work those, too.

Nobody is proficient at everything. To continually grow your business, you need to stretch and work your unused muscles. Like me with my weights, you may find some barriers in the way. You may have a fear of failure. Perhaps you worry that your employees and customers will learn of your weakness. Maybe you just really have an aversion to sales and marketing, finance or some other integral part of running a successful business.

Don’t despair. Here are some ways you can stretch your business muscles.

  • Find out what you don’t know. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know, and blind spots can be very dangerous. You may need an outside pair of eyes to look at your business. Consider using a consultant, coach or advisor to assess what’s missing.
  • Interact with other business owners. Owners are busy people, but you can learn from colleagues and peers. Take time away from your business and mingle with others facing similar challenges. Utilize CEO groups and association meetings.
  • Take classes in your deficient areas. You don’t need to be an expert in everything, but some knowledge in all areas of business contributes to its success.
  • Hire people whose strengths fill your gaps. Successful leaders know their limitations and hire strong people to complement their own skill set. Identifying and empowering key personnel is essential for business growth.
  • Attack your fears. We all avoid things that we fear or dislike, but avoidance is a known business killer. Face your fears head on and work through them.
Just as training our bodies improves our well-being; training our business muscles gives us a business that will be sturdier, healthier and enduring. Once you know what muscles need to be stretched, work them slowly and consistently. Make new skills a habit by including them in your everyday activities. Constant use will eventually make your weaker muscles as strong as your well-developed ones.

Yes, you can be a business Adonis. Reach for the sky ten times and repeat doctor’s orders.

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