Are you “comfortable” in your business?

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Are you comfortable in your business, or do you suffer from fear and uncertainty about where your business is heading and the progress you’re making towards its goals?

If you’re happy with the current state of your business, i.e., you’re not actively looking to make it significantly grow, it may be OK to be comfortable.  For example, a solopreneur who is making the money they want to make, from a business they are happy doing, with no goals/plans to expand beyond their personal capacity is probably OK being comfortable – but still runs the risk of stagnating and being left behind by the market if they are too comfortable.

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security” – Gail Sheehy

If, on the other hand, you are trying to grow your business, you have to live with a level of fear and uncertainty about what the future holds.  After all, none of us know for certain what will happen later today, tomorrow, next week or next year.  You can, however, control how you address what you believe needs to be done.  Partly this is mindset and attitude (there are plenty of coaches out there who can help you if you need help with that), and partly it is about increasing the probabilities of success.

As some of you know I actively trade stock options.  Trading has helped me get better about doing what I can to ensure that the probabilities are on my side AND then being comfortable with the risks I am taking – in all aspects of my life. In options trading, I use charts and indicators to help me identify high probability set ups; and then I size the position based on what risk I’m willing to take – with risk defined as how much money I’m willing to lose if I am wrong … and yes, I’m going to be wrong on a good percentage of the positions I take. Being wrong about a trade doesn’t mean I need to take a full loss of the monies I risked, because I can measure what is happening and react as I feel appropriate. After all, in options trading it’s not about being right, it’s about consistently, over time, increasing the value of your portfolio.

If you’re growing a business, you THINK to get CLARITY about where you want to go, and you PLAN to put STRUCTURE around how to get there. You do these things not to be right, but to increase your probabilities of success – of increasing the value of your business.  In taking these steps you will be making assumptions about what you believe will happen – you will be wrong about a percentage of those assumptions; just accept that and move forwards.

Understanding your goals and how you plan to achieve them, gives you something to measure your progress against, and something to manage against – in the same way I can measure and manage specific stock option positions.  And while it doesn’t eliminate the fear and uncertainty, it gives you an edge so you can live with the uncertainty and manage your response when something doesn’t go as expected.

If you want to grow your business, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and plan so you can measure and manage your way to the success you desire and deserve.

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