Today I went on a beautiful morning bike ride down to Coolum Beach. My ride started out perfectly, it was a fine, warm morning, the sky was blue and I could see the ocean every now and then, when there was a break in the bushes.
When I changed pathways over to the other side of the road, the path became very uncomfortable and jarring. It was hurting my arms and my back as it was a poorly laid path, very narrow and uneven. I persevered for a while until I realised that I was no longer enjoying what started out to be a perfectly good ride.
I made a decision to change!
I made the decision to change paths and instead ride on the roadway. It may seem like a small decision to make while on an enjoyable bike ride, but for me, riding on the road brings some fear, and in the past I have avoided it at all costs.
Interestingly, once I shifted to the roadway, my ride became enjoyable again. It was smooth, fast and the cars whizzing by me were not even a bother. After some time I became aware of other bike riders, a couple rode opposite me on the other side of the road, they smiled and nodded to me in what seemed like a knowing way. It made me feel like I was a part of some special group of people, sounds weird I know.
Further along, other riders whizzed past me with friendly calls of good morning and hello, once again giving me the feeling of belonging to some special secret group. As I came into town, I got a wave and some more friendly hello’s from the council workers setting up for their day's work.
I was again having a totally enjoyable time and I reflected as I rode how different this path was compared to the one I started out on. In fact I was enjoying myself so much that I stopped focusing on the road ahead. I had come to a steep hill, and the riders’ path had narrowed considerably. In hindsight, had I noticed, I should of switched paths again at the base of the hill and gone on to the wide pathway up the hill that was suitable for walkers and riders.
Pay more attention!
Because I wasn't paying much attention, there was very little room to ride; this part of the journey became a little scary, as I was now actually riding on the road, with no bike lane, with nowhere to go and it was a busy road. On top of this, in my dilemma, I didn't pay attention to my gear changing, and I stalled halfway up the hill. I managed to walk and push my bike a short distance to a gap where I could now walk over pushing my bike through the bushes onto the path, feeling much safer now.
Afterwards as I was reflecting on my bike ride, it made me think about life, business and the paths we choose and the direction we go in. How bumpy is your path in life and business at present? It is worthwhile considering this.
In order to survive, we need to show strength.
As small business owners and in life, in order to survive, we need to show strength, tenacity and courage to keep going at times. It is also important to stop and consider the path. Do you need to change in order to create a smoother ride? Sometimes just a slight alteration of our path or ourselves may bring us the desired results that we wish.
Other times it may well be a complete change, in a completely different direction that is needed. If you draw on your courage and tenacity to make some hard decisions, if this is what you need, be honest with yourself and the answers you seek will come.
It could be that you need to reflect on your products and services, examine the return on investment on each and every product and service that you offer. Focus mostly on the ones that give you the greatest return, not just financial return, but also reflect on the time spent delivering that product or service. It may be that one delivers more profit, but how much of your time is spent delivering it?
Other areas in your business that may need a path change could be your business structure, who are you in partnership with? Is this relationship serving you and the business? It may be time to cut your losses and move on.
I had a similar decision to make a couple of years ago working in the small business with my husband, the business relationship was not serving my emotional needs and my desires to grow, expand and create my own business. The decision I made took me quite some time, with many small and large adjustments by both parties on the way to make the partnership work within the context of business and personal harmony.
What areas in your life are uncomfortable?
My suggestion to you today is to consider what areas if any are just too uncomfortable in their current form, and what can you do to change it so that you can move your business and life forward at a faster rate, therefore achieving your goals and dreams that you so desire. It is not about just jumping ship because something is not working, it's about being truly honest and making a sensible decision.
When you change direction and pathways you also create many new wonderful opportunities to connect with new people, expand your vision and create the potential to earn more money. You are in business to earn money, aren't you?
Don't forget to look ahead.
Don't forget to look ahead as you're going, hopefully you will see the changes coming before they hit you over the head, somewhat like what happened to me riding up that hill. Business is changing fast, and as a small business owner we have to constantly be looking forward so that we can act on the opportunities as they arise.
Whatever path and direction you take, I wish you to have a clear vision, a smooth ride, an abundance of riches and don't forget to celebrate along the way and especially when you get to your destination. Happy riding!