The Business Plan vs Personal Strategy
The business plan is a template. It’s a wonderful tool that ensures you have covered the regular aspects of doing business such as insurance, Instagram marketing and tax accountant fees. Until recently, we considered the way of operating a business to be generic. A business mentor from behind the desk of an accounting office was considered highly skilled in helping to run a business. And when matched to the business template, it worked. However they offered no insight into how your business can help bring out the best in you (and those you worked with), how to overcome burn out, and how to enhance your relationships and not abuse them in the quest for success.
You could be wealthy, but possibly not feel complete.
The new business climate is about philosophies that tackle business as a body-mind-spirit journey – they include Maslow’s penultimate self-actualisation as a motivating factor of why we do business in the first place. They are flagging the joy in purpose more than simply compensation. It is an extremely motivating time to live your dream. We dangled on the bridge for a time considering the maxim ‘work/life balance’ as the answer to better wellbeing (suffer the work, but get the good times to balance it out) but with the new age of location-flexible workspaces we are able to create a unique lifestyle in how we work to encompass ‘living the dream.’
I propose to add to the movement of the new business paradigm tools for reflection of personal wellbeing. It ties in with the ancient philosophy of Ayurveda which sees each person as having a unique constitution and thriving when following their prescribed diet and lifestyle. Lifestyle has not previously included the ‘work environment’ and I propose that it should. If you are a business owner you will spend the majority of the day at work and it will feed into how you feel. Your personal life and relationships will be affected if there is stress. No business idea should have a consistent reliance on medication as a hitch to make it work, in my opinion. It signifies success as an external validation and the stakes need to keep rising to get the hit.
A body of work that represents you as the middle woman between the external manifestation of your work and tapping into source energy to regenerate you and provide a limitless opportunity for joy and vibrancy well into old age - that is the context for deconstructing the industrial age robotic health depleting system we created to make more widgets we don't need.
I say there's a better way.
Here are some areas to consider when devising your personal strategy. This is the strategy of dream management and it requires serious consideration.
We have industrialised meal times and rest times. There is an assumption that we all need the same amounts of meals, the same amount of sleep and peak at the same times in a day. We all look different but, until recently, there has been a generalised view on how all humans must create and it’s called 9-5, or rather, 8-6 or later. And society’s subliminal messaging that ‘hates Mondays’ and ‘thanks god it’s Friday’ rings through the office as a greeting call. Wednesday is called ‘hump day’ dividing two sides of a week we have to get through to do the things we really want to do. And then we begin the rigmarole again.
Enter the small and micro business changing the climate. The old ways of doing business will no longer work when passion is at stake. There is no weekend cut off - you are this business. The best you can do is figure out how to be well in it.
Reflection point - are you aware of the variables that you require for optimum energy?
The constitutional analysis available through the Ayurvedic philosophy provides clear instructions for each body type to enhance their production of energy - each person is encouraged to develop their own daily rhythm. If a business is structured towards results rather than the 9-5 shackles, the conscious hiring of natural ability for the role as well as the qualities in character that aligns with the business vision, well being meetings as part of an employee review, and the promotion of negative space to let ideas bubble and come to the surface, then we can promote the work place as a place where we thrive in all aspects of our being.
I encourage the owner of a small business to find their own well being system and through the process understand how the natural rhythms work for others as well. Creating an objective that embodies a natural framework within its mission statement will attract employees/contractors with an attitude in self- improvement.
In Ayurveda we understand that not all body types eat at the same time. Vata prefers 4 smaller meals/day, Pitta 3 standard meals/day and for Kapha 1 large meal late morning and a smaller meal later in the day usually suffices. Establish what meal time you prefer (and employees) and keep to the rhythm of the day. We are still used to the socially acceptable ‘lunch times’ and consider everything outside these times to be for snacks. A flexible work arrangement should have flexible meal arrangements and the support of a company structure (and education around eating peacefully to digest well) in order to help workers establish consistency in their chosen meal time.
Personal connection is important in establishing and holding onto relationships. Such things as conflict resolution, employee career opportunities, a conscious supply chain, finding your tribe, listening to customers' needs regularly and creating a structure that adapts as needed. The more distant our logistics become the more we want to feel that we are understood.
The personal story of the owner is now a marketing tool. This poses the question of your value system and whether it is embedded in the type of relationships you go into business with. Business relationships can become a great collaboration or be cause for distress. From partnerships to giving trade credit, we are regularly confronted with people we would otherwise not spend time with personally. It brings up the issue of investment versus short term gain.
Reflection point - do you, as a business owner, have a check-in system that qualifies the core values of the relationships you form – from employee to supplier?
Marketing, as an example, likes to work in the same vein as production. There is a standard system of what sells to the masses and the average marketer has aimed to conform the visionary into the mainstream. It is important to know where you stand on the bell curve. Leading edge ideas require leading edge marketers also looking to stretch their boundaries. It takes belief in yourself to choose the right services for your intended message. Dilution is castration.
Write a statement of your value system – say your top 5 – and write examples next to them of times in your life where it might have been a sticking point and/or a triumph.
Personal strategy involves being part of the social infrastructure. It incorporates the use of design to know whether your business fits the model of the town or area of the city. Spaces have agendas and businesses that fit and being in alignment with the ethos of the area is important for your overall well-being.
What must be taken into account is how much support is personally needed. Those that have created enough goodwill (business immunity) will be the ones that affect others. If you are new to business or the area then your business immunity might be just starting to build and if you don’t have the support of customers or friends and family, then seeking the support of like-minded individuals may be of benefit.
Personal immunity also comes into play. Walking into your office space each day will set the tone for what your nervous system needs – whether it’s stimulation, open spaces, or comfortable and cosy. If you work from home, it might also be important to create a sense of clarity as to what you need to feel motivated to be consistent in your work schedule- looking at the dishes from your office desk may not be the ideal vista.
Reflection point - as a business owner, is your environment reflective in your vision statement? How do you/others move in this space?
Write down your ideal space for creativity versus administration. Consider the right environment for problem solving.