6 reasons why SME owners must take time to reflect
Updated: Jul 1
Taking time to pause and reflect offers perspective, understanding and new insight. It can be the difference between acting like a hamster in the wheel running constantly and getting nowhere and smashing the competition like the best Olympic athlete. As an SME owner, time to self-reflect within the context of the business and your leadership is essential to success.
Let’s take a look at just 6 reasons why you need to take time to reflect.
1. It brings clarity
A whole lot goes on day-in-day-out within a business. As owner you probably spin plates and have your finger in a dozen different pies. This means that there’s a lot of doing and not a lot of truly considering why you are. Reflection is a time to figure out why you are doing what you are doing, and understand what works and what doesn’t. It’s about challenging yourself and knowing why you do what you do.
2. You discover the golden nuggets
Not everything that you do as a business owner brings equal rewards. Some things take inordinate amounts of time, money and energy for little reward. Others are the golden nuggets: minimal input for maximum gain. Your energy needs to be focused on the golden nuggets. But first you need to stand back far enough to see them.
3. You fix the problems
Business problems take a range of forms and there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all approach to fixing them. Before you get stuck in with what you think the solution is, it’s important to stand back and consider all the options. This ensures that you create fixes that are most effective.
4. It highlights progress
As a SME owner, it’s very difficult to define success. When have you succeeded? There’s always the next goal, the next ambition. But it’s important to take time to appreciate success as it is forming and this helps build future growth. Reflection helps you to see where you’ve come from, where you are now, and where you want to get to. It identifies progress which both spurs you on and shapes your future aspirations.
5. You uncover your strengths and weaknesses
Yes, as an SME owner, it’s tempting to do it all but this doesn’t work in the long term. You are the best asset for your business when you can identify how to use your strengths more and get others involved to take over your areas of weakness. For example, if your strength is bringing in new business, why are you the individual chasing invoices? It takes reflection to build the self-awareness needed to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
6. Build the business with intention
SMEs often fall foul of taking the path of least resistance. However, this means that your business isn’t developing with intention. It may not be in line with your values, aspirations or dreams. Reflection is a chance to stand back and consider if the business is growing as you want it to grow. It’s ok for values and aspirations to change over time, but make sure they are intentional.
There’s a funny thing about self-reflection. It’s nearly impossible to do alone. For the SME owner, there will always be something else to do, another person demanding your attention, and self-reflection ends up at the bottom of the pile. Self-reflection is one of the top benefits of business coaching. Structured time is set aside, with the guidance of an experienced coach, to bring about all of the advantages above.
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