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Running a Business is like a Walk in the Mountains

Author: Ian Mealey, TAB Facilitator in Reading

What do you think of when you hear ‘LinkedIn?’

A strange question for the start of an article with this title, but bear with me. There’s a point. When most people think of LinkedIn, they think of the “go to” place in the business world for connection and information. There’s a lot on there - with so many people talking about things they are experiencing, want to sell or even having a rant. Depending on your age, perspective or mood (select as appropriate), it can make you feel variously inspired, cynical, enlightened, amused or irritated (again, select as appropriate).

Then, a couple of weeks ago my LinkedIn feed presented me with a particular article that really made me think.

It written by a founder of a business who was personally commenting on the emotional rollercoaster that business owners can go through on their journey. The writer described how they coped with the highs and lows. and it created quite a bit of discussion. You can read the post of the emotional rollercoaster of a business owner here.

As I read the post, the picture that came to my mind very quickly was that of a map (I’m traditional in these matters, so it was an Ordnance Survey map). I’ll explain why in a moment.

In the article and the discussion that followed several things really resonated with me.

It is very clear that everyone deals with swings in fortune in different ways and it affect those trying to steer a steady course and on those around them. Finally, everyone needs to find the best way of celebrating the highs and tackling the lows for them.

Now I love walking, so when I read about the emotional rollercoaster that we as business owners can experience, it made me think of walking in hilly or mountainous country. We’ve got to the article’s title!

When you are in the dips of a mountain, you cannot see over the hill or around the next corner.

When you are on the top of the mountain, you can’t see all the dips or valleys you will have to go through – in fact you’re probably ignoring the one right in front of you, focusing on the next peak.

And it can be hard work going through the ups and downs of that journey.

The thing that really makes a difference on that journey is using the map. Why?

  1. You know your destination on that map.
  2. You have defined your route, so you know how you’re going to get there and what it is likely to be like along the way.
  3. If the route you chose before setting out is blocked for some reason, you will be able to work out an alternative mid-journey.

Having the destination marked on your business map is just as important as on a challenging hike.

As a TAB Member, you can get access to tools that will help you define your personal and business targets and the route you will take to get there.

Your Board and Facilitator will help you on that journey, especially with keeping your eyes on the target in the difficult times. Just like having someone with you on the journey who’s a whizz at reading a map!

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