Why the Heck Am I doing This?

Many people have asked themselves this question in the course of their quest to operate a business. Just like this fellow, you can find yourself on your a_ _ trying to figure out what’s going on and why you are caught in this mess – going downhill fast.

There are two typical reasons to ask this question. One is due simply to the frustration that is felt while going through the process. It may not be due to lack of management skills as in the case where one does not know what to do. No, it may just be that the entire doing is overwhelming.

The other reason is that the business person is overwhelmed in ignorance. They may just have gone beyond the start-up stage when issues are about the paperwork for setting up, the start of some kind
of production and the application for, or receipt of some loan funds. Beyond that, the business person is about to
see cash flow getting tighter, promised orders and contracts not materializing and overall doubts
and apprehension starting to set in. He or she just does not know what to do!

Then, as the uncertainties increase, the person asks himself or herself,
“why the heck am I doing this?”
Is this a question that can be answered? Failure or success in business is not guaranteed. Some
businesses have good chances and some have been given better prospects for success by
the way they were formed, the personalities and characters of the founders and the strategic base
on which they have been conceptualized and built.

So, when posed, the question does not have to make an entrepreneur uncomfortable.
He or she can say that the business has been laid on a strategic base. What makes
the business person comfortable is being able to answer the question within this framework.

- A clear vision
- A strategic objective
- An organizational strategy
- A management strategy
- A people strategy
- A marketing strategy, and
- A systems strategy,

all of which emanate from clear insights gained from a process that connects them with an
opportunity that justifies the investment. Then, when the question is asked, it is not by someone
second-guessing himself or herself. It is more likely to be asked by an onlooker who is curious
about the reasons behind the confidence in the investment, say a banker, and the entrepreneur
can calmly explain the strategic basis for confidence in the prospects for success.

Briefly, they will explain what is the product, why it will sell, who will form the ideal prospects,
how will the firm go about marketing, what will be the approach to the firm’s organizational
design and management and what systems will help to make it happen.

The answers come from a practical approach and it is the basis for strategy. This approach
is not usual but if done diligently, it can stop an (unwarranted) investment decision or create opportunities
for innovation.

This process can be assisted by mentoring and coaching. It is not for “big business”, it is the
reason small businesses become big!

A natural question arise…what if the business now comprises
only one, two or three persons? No problem, let me show you what to do.