"I want to take my business to the next level".
This is a common aspiration among the founders and owners of well-established small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
Their desire is nuanced—wanting to step back from the day-to-day operations, work strategically on the business, and achieve a more balanced life. Yet, this pursuit often proves elusive despite numerous attempts.
Stepping back can often bring doubts, fears and unique concerns that can unconsciously sabotage efforts to transform their businesses.
These range from:
Doubts over the team being able to step up and fear that the wheels will fall off
Doubt about having the skills to lead more strategically
Concern to be seen as losing interest in the business
Fear of losing touch with the business and customers
Fear of not feeling important to the team
Fear of the free time and space - who am I without the DOING!
And of course, there are many more – what’s important is uncovering the unique blend of concerns for each business owner.
The Startup Mindset
A common hurdle identified in this coaching journey is the persistence of a startup mindset among founders. Beliefs like "I have to be involved in everything" or "I cannot delegate critical tasks" become ingrained stories that not only shield against doubts and fears but also hinder progress toward broader business goals. Deciding what is critical and what to let go of is part of a sometimes challenging process.
The Rewriting Process
Coaching serves as a catalyst for transformative 'Aha' moments by guiding business owners in rewriting limiting stories and beliefs.
To do this, we delve into understanding how these narratives have impacted them and their businesses. Uncovering beliefs such as "giving over knowledge risks losing influence", "I have to closely monitor my team to stay on track" or "constant busyness equals success" initiates the development of new stories and practices to catch and rewrite old narratives.
The Broader Organizational System
Uncovering and observing these stories in real-time usually marks the shift into broader organizational system topics. This involves exploring team dynamics, expanding perspectives, and leading differently to foster trust, enablement, and collaboration. Sometimes, goals expand or transform through this process.
Why a Coaching Journey for SME Owners?
The power of coaching lies in allowing business owners to be vulnerable, step back, and partner with their thinking and behaviour. This approach unlocks their potential and enables them to pursue what they truly desire, alongside their business goals. It is a journey that goes beyond individual limitations and fosters lasting change.
The aim of sharing this as a common scenario (and Coaching Journey for SME Owners) is to normalize the feeling of being stuck and underscores that creating lasting change is indeed possible with the right support. For those resonating with the idea of taking their business to the next level by first focusing on their stories and beliefs, I invite you to a free Discovery session: online or face-to-face in Munich.
Thanks for tuning in
The irony is, business owners are often too busy to seek out such a blog post!
This is not lost on me :) If you know someone who would benefit from reading this post, please share with your best words of encouragement ;) Thank you.