He loved his innovation and knew it would make office workers more productive. Much more productive! His exciting idea had become a start-up and the first feedback from friends and acquaintances provided feedback for improvement and, more importantly, feedback validating his excitement. He wasn’t much of a salesman but he found a partner who was and who saw the potential of the office product innovation. For two and half years there had a rapid cycle of challenge, change and carry-on-charge repeated more times than he could count. Now, three years after his innovation, he was dizzy with excitement, fatigue and uncertainty about the business direction. It was time to bring the topic to his life coach.
As always, the life coach listened attentively. There were questions that helped the business owner get deeper into his uncertainty and clearer about his situation. There were words where previously there had been only strong feelings. There were insights that created platforms from which additional questions could be formulated. He was more energized after 45 minutes than he remembered being in the last six months. He knew that he had made progress but he knew that there was work to be done before he could proceed. His homework was to decide which kind of business he wanted. He had three options from which to choose:
A business that focuses on fixing problems.
A business that aspires to fulfill a vision.
A business that is going out of business.
The business owner thought he knew which of these options would be the easiest to deal with. There was no way that a business of his was going to be down the drain. But just before he moved on to one of the other options to consider, another perspective occurred to him. (It was his coach’s fault – always “on the other hand” thinking!) Rather than down the drain, what if the business was sold? After all, he had proven that his original idea was both doable and profitable. While the business wasn’t as great as it could be, there was a lot in place for someone else to realize a nice profit. The business owner began to think of his price. Everyone has a price; the offer that can’t be refused! And he identified partners in this endeavor; people who had experience in the buying and selling of businesses, which would help him to be realistic in terms of the marketplace. He was intrigued with this possibility and knew how to develop it further.
With the action plan formulated for a business going out of business, the formerly frustrated business owner turned his attention to the life coach’s second thought teaser. If he were to own a business that focuses on fixing problems, what would that mean for him, and his customers and his employees?