In a world where our smartphone is our third hand and the grind is religiously praised, it can sometimes be extremely difficult for one to breathe or better yet, reflect. Listen, I am pro technology and pro work/life integration, however I am also pro human. Let me explain in the words of Jeff Bezos:
Sometimes it’s important to step back and reflect on the meaning & beauty of what you’re doing.
And I agree. I think it’s super important in business and in general to ensure that you have a constant reminder about why you do what you do and know what your purpose is. For me, what I do is fuelled by two goals:
1) I want to create a valuable business that outlasts me. A business people love to work for and customers love to use.
2) I want to give my family the life my parents gave me.
And every time things get hard or don’t go as expected, I step back, reflect and show gratitude knowing that my purpose is deeply rooted by two unwavering goals. This keeps me driven and allows me to relentlessly and decisively move forward in anything I do.
So, how can you step back and reflect as a business owner? I’m not sure. Ways of reflection are different for everyone; however, here are 3 ways that work for me:
I work on my business, not always in it.
As you enter the grind every day, growing your business requires you to step back and look at it from a different perspective. This is how innovation happens. This sounds easy, but many successful businesses and entrepreneurs get infected with the ‘comfy chair syndrome’ – meaning that if things are going well they see no need to change. Therefore, they never step back to reflect, which forces them to remain status quo. We know avoiding change is not the right approach. As a business you need to be constantly looking forward and growing in the right direction at the right time, because if you don’t, the end result is fatal (think Blockbuster & the cab industry).
Working in the business is fun, but as a business owner working on the business is critical. You need to ensure you set the tone and manage your team not for today or tomorrow, but for 10 years from now. Doing this isn’t easy and requires discipline, patience and deep reflection. It is important to step away from the micro view of the business in order to deep dive on the macro view of the business. I like to do this using my S.E.T model. I dive deep on Social trends, Economic trends and Technology trends in order to identify new opportunities and layout a plan for where I believe my business should be heading. This reflection is needed no matter how big or small your business is. The key is to add value to your customers and inspire your team with an exciting and vivid vision. Nobody wants to do meaningless work.
Gratitude starts with self-gratitude. You have to respect yourself and be grateful for the smallest things in life. You need to show gratitude to your customers and employees. Without them, your business is just an idea. Customers and employees are the engine keeping your idea/dream/vision alive. Some ways of showing gratitude to customers or employees would be: offering perks; making it personal with a card or a call; giving a shout-out on social media; or celebrating those who helped make the year a success. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude increases self-esteem and resilience. It also increases determination and energy. People who express gratitude have fewer aches and pains, fewer psychological problems and get better rest. All of these factors help them to be more productive – as a person and a business.
Communication cures all. I think the best way to reflect on the meaning and beauty of what you’re doing is to talk about it. Whatever your medium is, the key is to bring attention and acknowledge the things you and your business are doing. Whether it is through blogging, vlogging, Snapchat or IGTV, document it and distribute it. As you do this for reflection, you may very well be inspiring and guiding others.
Myself and my team have worked tremendously hard at stepping back and reflecting on the beauty and meaning of what we are doing. We all know we may not be sending people to space like Jeff Bezos, but we truly believe we are helping people wake up and love what they do. This is very important to us and we reflect on it constantly.
When’s the last time your stepped back to reflect on the meaning & beauty of what you’re doing as a business? Share, like, comment and inspire us all!