Luke Skywalker. Katniss Everdeen. Frodo. Erin Brokovich.
Each one a hero.
Each one conquering their foes in epic battles.
Each one successful because of their mentors.
Business ownership is its own hero’s journey, filled with trials and tribulations which either make you or break you.
Unlike the heroes in movies, however, the challenges you face as a business owner are not always so obvious – nor as glamourous – as a face-to-face showdown with your arch nemesis.
No, your challenges are created over time by the decisions you made, or didn’t make, and the actions you took, or didn’t take.
Little by little, what began as minor frustrations, compound over time to become seemingly insurmountable behemoths.
In life, as in the movies, the hero (you) must overcome these challenges if you are to be “victorious”. However, in our culture which glorifies the ideal of the ‘self-made person’, most people miss how the hero never succeeds entirely on their own.
Along the way these heroes had mentors to guide them, support them and even challenge them. The mentor is critical to the hero’s success because the mentor knows what lies ahead. The mentor has already walked the path the hero’s about to undertake. The mentor knows that in order for the hero to succeed, they must unlearn much of what they think they know and be willing to uncover and develop new skills and perspectives.
“I was disillusioned with the business.”
“I couldn’t escape it. I could never leave work at work.”
“I was trying lots of different things, but getting nowhere.”
“Dealing with staff was tiring and stressful. Managing them took up too much of my time.”
“Why don’t my staff work as hard as I do? Why am I doing this when I have a team to do this?”
“I’m always thinking about the business – not necessarily consciously, but it’s always there in the back of my mind. Things I have to do, or more often, the things I haven’t done. It’s what wakes me up at 3:30am most mornings.”
Maybe you recognise yourself in some of these battles.
These quotes are from clients describing the challenges they faced as business owners when they first joined Kaibizzen.
As you can see, there’s no obvious villain to fight. No easily-identified rogue to call out and defeat. None-the-less, each of these clients were locked in battle with an enemy they couldn’t clearly identify and weren’t sure how to defeat.
In every hero’s journey, the hero must quickly find something within themselves which allows them to overcome the obstacle.
Typically, it is through contact with their mentor that they are able to shift their perspective enough to see what’s possible.
The function of the mentor is to prepare the hero to face the unknown and to accept the adventure.
As a business coach and mentor for over 17 years now, helping my clients see the potential within themselves and their business is at the heart of what I do.
“The feeling I had was RELIEF. Literally like someone was taking a corner of the heavy thing I was carrying. The more (Faye) spoke, the more I thought I can trust her with this weight.”
“Having Rob and Faye on our team – I feel relieved and encouraged. I know I’ve got someone I can turn to, I can trust, to have honest conversations with.”
“Rob and Faye have got my back. They make sure I’m clear about what I’m doing and that I know what the outcome I’m expecting is.”
Whilst it’s not my role to fight my clients’ battles for them, I am there to support them, encourage them, guide them, challenge them and hold them accountable to achieving the life they want for themselves and their family.
When choosing your mentor, it pays to be sceptical. There are false mentors out there who’ll send you in the wrong direction.
Business coaches who’ve never owned a business outside of their coaching business. Leadership coaches who’ve never actually lead a team of people.
One of the aspects of our coaching Rob and I are most proud of is that we coach from our own experiences. Yes, we both have qualifications, but more importantly, we’ve also been through the ‘school of hard knocks’. I don’t think there’s one challenge of business ownership that we haven’t had to work through ourselves.
From starting, growing and successfully exiting businesses, to a horrendous partnership split, to having an employee white-ant our business while both Rob and I were out for months dealing with personal tragedies, to cashflow challenges so severe I thought we were going to lose everything. We’ve experienced it all, but more importantly worked our way out of it too.
All of that to say, choose your mentors carefully. They can’t advise you on the path ahead if they’ve never walked it themselves.
As a business owner, the times have never been more challenging – nor have they been more ripe with opportunity.
Engaging a mentor, like Rob and myself, will ensure you’re well equipped for your epic battles and become the hero for yourself and your family we know you can be.
If you’d like to know more about how we could work together, reach out. We’d love to help you achieve the business and lifestyle you deserve for you and your family.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.