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The emotional business owner

5 September 2018 / By Isaac Gommers

Small business owners generally do not spend enough time on reflection. They spend a lot of time on doing the doing, fighting the fires, making the plans, managing the people, keeping the customers happy etc. 

But only a fraction of small business owners do enough reflecting.

Reflecting takes quiet time and an open mind, both of which are arguably uncommon these days.

If you can get far enough from your own personal bias, reflecting can get quite uncomfortable. It doesn’t always feel good going over what has worked well, what didn’t work well, reviewing your actions and whether they are pushing the business forward or holding it back.

And although I have no data to back this up aside from my own interactions with small businesses, I doubt a large portion of business owners take the time to reflect on their emotional self and how it interacts with the business.

But the reality is that emotions are with the business owner every step of the way.  Good or bad. Sometimes resulting from what is going on in the business, and other times just due to life outside of the business.

And further, whether we like it or not, emotions affect all business decision making - just to varying degrees. Some business owners are very good at separating their emotional wants vs. the best decision for the business. Others, let their personal wants dictate the course of the business. 

I have seen business owners continue to blindly flog a much-loved dead horse, simply because their emotional identity was dependent on the idea of how their business should be.

Business owners emotional reactions can destroy relationships with staff and customers. While emotions are an important part of being human, they shouldn't be in the business driver's seat.

Every small business owner should at least ask themselves these two questions. 

  1. What am I feeling?
    and
  2. How are my emotions impacting my business decision making?

Doing this once is not enough. But asking those questions regularly and being honest with the answers leads to better business decision making.

If you want help to make good business decisions, contact us today for a free coffee chat with one of our Business Partner advisors.

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