Most of us have experienced the euphoria of falling in love, and the grief of falling out of love.
Common advice to those trying to save an important relationship is “fake it until you make it” – in other words, act as loving and as thoughtful as you can (without expectation) and in time it is likely the other person will reciprocate so the relationship blossoms once again.
Does that strategy work when we fall out of love with our business?
Consider what it is you no longer love about your business
If your business is a start-up are you finding it harder or lonelier than you anticipated? Perhaps you underestimated the drive, enthusiasm, and capital needed to launch a successful business?
Established business owners may encounter owner fatigue and boredom… the business no longer feels exciting, or you have achieved your goals.
Both start-up and established business owners may feel resentment about the time and money the business constantly demands.
Try to clarify why you no longer love your business :
- Are you spending too much time on roles or tasks you don’t enjoy or are not your core strengths?
- The business no longer justifies your investment of time, effort and money?
- Another opportunity seems more exciting with better potential?
- You’re tired and fatigued?
- Covid has created financial hardship and you see no way out?
- You’ve achieved what you set out to do, and now long for another adventure?
If your loss of love is temporarily caused by a particularly rough patch, personal fatigue, or other challenges then the appropriate response may include:
- Get help and support (hire staff, outsource some functions, or get a coach)
- Take better care of yourself so you have more energy,
- Set boundaries for yourself and the business, or
- Just buckle down and do it.
If your loss of love is more permanent then hiring someone to run the business while you retain an ownership stake, selling the business outright, or even closing it down could be options to consider.
Just hanging in there
A human phenomenon is hating to lose more than loving to win. Are you unwilling to sell, close, or restructure the business because of loss aversion or being seen as unsuccessful? Throwing good money and effort after bad is not a winning strategy.
“We only get one life to live”.
If you are just hanging in there and no longer in love, then take action to avoid becoming another failed business statistic.
Finding love again by ‘Faking it until you make it”
Creating and executing a business plan could be a way of rekindling your love again. Focusing on the business and planning to proactively improve it or deal with the challenges, especially with an independent coach such as Q2, may help you find the love again. Alternatively, developing a plan to groom and exit/sell the business may be appropriate.
“Business is like riding a bicycle.
Either you keep moving or you fall down.”
Frank Lloyd Wright