One of the many challenges of running your own business is knowing how and when to change one’s strategy in order to make the best of present circumstances.
To help illustrate this thought, I will tell you about these flowers.
One day, Andrea was doing her homework as usual, but for some reason (tiredness? frustration?) she was sobbing incessantly. I tried asking what was bothering her but she couldn’t give any reason. She was determined to finish all her work and yet she was so visibly upset.
Mummy’s intuition kicked in, and instead of rallying her on to just focus on finishing her homework, I told her to go out into the garden and pick me some flowers. Any kind that she liked. She could take as long as she wanted to find those flowers.
Her sobbing fit vanished immediately the moment she put down her pencil and pottered around the garden. I walked with her, looking for her favourite blooms (bougainvillea, for now), pointing out the bugs that were also hiding among the leaves as she went perusing. Eventually we came back indoors with a handful of flowers, and I arranged them in a small cup, placed on her desk.
She finished her homework within 15 minutes while chatting away to herself.
A few observations I made from this episode:
1. If you feel that you’re stuck with a task, perhaps it would be helpful to allow yourself to decompress by walking away from it for a while. Give yourself a little bit of breathing space.
2. Sometimes one has to go against conventional wisdom (in this case, the notion of just plodding on with her homework in order to finish it) and explore other means (collecting flowers) of arriving at the same destination (successfully completing her homework for the day).
3. Fix a hurting heart, and a person will be free to accomplishÂ anything from a place of power instead of helplessness.
Personally I feel that these observations are also applicable to a business owner. 2013 sales was down from the previous year and I need to revisit our strategy to grow our sales for 2014, while still providing excellent service and utility to our customers.
Then there’s also the issue of getting funding for expansion – I’ve always shied away from the thought of sourcing for money, but now I’ve reached a stage where it must be seriously considered. I encountered a surprising source recently (for which I am most grateful), and I have a lot of homework to do in order to even be considered deserving of the funds.
April will also be an interesting month for sure, because our servant will be going home to Cambodia for a good 3 weeks. Between chauffeuring the kids to and fro school, cooking, cleaning, keeping everyone happy AND still doing behind-the-scenes work for Kinder Soaps, I reckon this will be one of the most intense periods of learning about time management for me (and I will have you know that I’m not the most organised of people).
So IÂ will find a way to ensure that my heart is happy and ready to carry on serving – even if it means putting aside my work to gather some flowers from the garden for a while.