As you might have noticed recently, our entire office was recently challenged by our blogging queen to write a blog series on stability. All of us were assigned a specific topic; mine was stability when opening a new business. At first, I giggled, because at that moment I felt anything but stable. I felt overwhelmed, out of control, and anxious. I was not even sure where to even begin because the to do list was too long. So, what did I do? I put it off, really expecting it to never see daylight, ignoring in a big way.
However, today I received a reminder email along with the rest of the group that needed to complete theirs by Monday. It became clear that I was going to have to step up, and start doing what I expect from everyone else in the office, once again. In the busyness of opening a new business I had gotten away from this. Not very stable, huh?
I felt I needed to dig deeper than the thoughts in my head for this project. So I started with a quick google search. Stability means, “the state of people being stable.” Really!?!? That helps me… Not! Doing what any person should have done to start with, I went to Mirriam- Webster (finally catching on, LOL)! I have now found a definition I can understand.
Stability is: 1. “The quality, state, or degree of being stable, such as: a) the strength to stand or endure, b) the property of a body that causes it when disturbed from a condition of equilibrium or steady motion to develop forces or moments that restore the original condition, c) resistance to chemical change or to physical disintegration.” 2. “Residence for life in one monastery”
Let’s go backwards in using these definitions to describe stability when opening a business. Why? Simply because it seems easier. Residence for life in one monastery – all this did was made me laugh. I am far, far from being a monk. Monks are ranked up there with someone like Mother Teresa, almost perfect. I am a long way from perfect and will never be that stable, even on my best days. Let’s consider definition two ruled out for this project.
Strength to Stand or Endure
Having strength seems so simple. Business owners are labeled as having a strong personality. I don’t think that’s what this part of the definition means. Stability in this sense is the strength to know when to say no or to take the break when overwhelmed. These two things are difficult for me, but necessary. This is especially true when you are leading other people. I firmly believe in leading by example. That means being real and knowing that it is okay for everyone to see you take a break and be overwhelmed. Take your break, then get back to it. Also, I want to hire people around me that can provide support and manage things that I cannot. I don’t have the endurance to do it alone, nor do I want to. Admitting that I need other’s help is another sign of strength in running a stable business.
Condition of Equilibrium
There is constant movement when opening a business; it can be all consuming. After all, there is always something to think about and do. The ever growing to do list can use up all the resources you have in your tank and lead you on a path of instability, fast. You have to learn to think outside the box, or my favorite, think like there is no box. When creating a stable business, there is always something to do, and always something that can’t get done. Use whatever system works best but keep it fluid, in a steady motion. Mine changes daily and there are things on it from 6 months ago, but priorities and needs change quickly in a new environment.
Perhaps, look at it like a growth chart of where you were to now, what have you learned, and what do you need to look at again. Delegating tasks can also increase a business’ equilibrium. By allowing other’s to take over different tasks that you cannot get to, you are consequently increasing productivity and taking a load off yourself.
Resistant to Physical Disintegration
I am often told that nobody could keep up with the number of tasks I juggle in one day, that I move faster in daily life than others can even begin to think about. It makes be giggle because I don’t feel like such a powerhouse. I have come close to physical disintegration more times than I can count. I think there is strength in admitting this to myself and others around me. I have to engage in the practice of self-care. It is vital to my being that I withdraw myself into solitude from time to time. It is about knowing who I am and what I need to restore, revitalize, and go again.
When I set out to write this piece, I was going to talk about stability in tasks, employees, finances, and leadership. However, I can be a bit rebellious. Those traditional parts of opening a stable business seemed to not be as important. Don’t get me wrong, they are vital to opening a business, but don’t you know a lot about them already? So, my defiant side said, “Maybe someone out there will be receptive of this twist.” I challenge you to let go of the traditional thoughts and buck the system for a day. You just might find something that makes your business soar.