When Entrepreneurs Lose Their Sizzle

January 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

Are you an entrepreneur with your finger in too many different pots? Are you having trouble sustaining interest in the business you’ve started? Are you feeling restless and ready for a change?

The same restlessness that caused you to become your own boss in the first place can easily come upon you again. Just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean the craving for something new and different ceases. Three to four years is a normal amount of time for anyone to reposition himself in a career, self-employed or not. Perhaps you’ve reached that stage too.

Employees come and go, change companies and roles but when the business is your own, moving on can be a little more complicated. If you’re an entrepreneur that’s lost your sizzle, what can you do?

Well, rather than panicking and bailing out, you might want to consider a few options that are more palatable:

1. Your restlessness might be an indication that it’s time to revise, edit, or grow your current business in a new way. This might mean making a change in your business plan and overall direction – one that will be more inspiring to you.

2. You might choose to put someone else in charge so that you can step out of the business. You might want to stay in as an advisor, while moving on to something new for yourself.

3. Selling may be the answer, especially if you are losing money and motivation, or it’s prime time to sell.

4. You might decide a classic fold-up is in order. Cut your losses early.

Addressing Restlessness

Itching for change might actually be part of your DNA. There’s a term loosely referred to as the serial entrepreneur. This type of person thrives on seeing ideas come to fruition. The serial entrepreneur likes taking risks and is often motivated to start one project after another.

Serial entrepreneurs aren’t in it for the long haul, generally (although they may not realise it at the start-up). The trouble is that the company needs the ongoing time and attention from the idea-maker himself. In many cases, he is the brand. The business can become at risk if the owner cease to participate in the day-to-day operations, as needed.

Curbing Restlessness

What drives most entrepreneurs is seeing something they’ve built earn money and credibility. When things plateau out, boredom can set in. Adding an exciting new component to the existing business may be all that’s needed to re-motivate the sizzled-out entrepreneur. Its important to stay competitive, and adding products, services, or changing direction makes sense from time to time. To make significant changes for change itself, however, might backfire. All changes should be goal oriented and well thought-out.

A sizzled-out entrepreneur might benefit from building or rebuilding his support network. There are a number of business coaches and associations an entrepreneur can partner with in order to gain clarity and motivation.

Some entrepreneurs lose their sizzle because too much of their time is spent on routine-management or administrative tasks, not where their headspace works best. Stuck in a dead-end leads to stagnation and frustration. Outsourcing or hiring help for those mundane jobs may be the answer.

Evaluating Honestly

Of course, it’s always important to step back and evaluate how your business is doing. Ask yourself if there is still potential for growth or if you’re maintaining a sinking ship. If the idea of selling-out looks more and more appealing every day, admitting it’s time to let go might be the kind of relief you need. Do your homework and find the statistics that give you permission to get out and start over elsewhere.

Of course, you might merely be caught in an economic slump. If you’re willing to ride the wave, you might consider diversifying or downsizing. If statistics show you should pack it in, but something in you keeps you hanging on, riding the wave of economics might be the best thing to do. Many times, it pays to hold on to what you’ve developed rather than starting fresh.

Multiplying Yourself

In order to keep your gusto going, you might want to become a founder of several companies. Dabbling might be highly suited to your personality. Overdoing it, though, might become your downfall. Don’t create a headache for yourself. Before spreading yourself and your finances too thin, checkout what’s at stake. Being a good spouse means being married to your spouse, not to your business. Integrity means doing what you say you will do. Being a good business owner means seeing your promises through. Make sure you can complete what you promise.

It’s ok to admit when your relationship with your start-up has reached a turning point. If a vacation away doesn’t ease the problem and motivation fails to return, it might be time for a change. Making changes doesn’t mean you will necessarily loose stature. Selling out or closing up doesn’t mean your a failure. Recognising what’s happening, what’s at stake and choosing to act at the right time is what will make you a success.

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