Business is all about momentum. Jim Collins talks about building a flywheel.
Momentum builds. Take an Action. Get a Result. Take an Action. Get a Result. Rinse. Repeat.
Creating and maintaining momentum is about flow, in the business sense. When things are going well, its fantastic. When its not going well, its horrible. As Michael Dell says “when things are really bad you can’t walk away. when things are really good you don’t want to walk away”.
And the thing to consider is that if we are the person who is in the middle of the process, because we are still critical to the functioning of the business, then our own mood, our own personal circumstances and feeling can have a real impact on the business momentum. Our personal flow impacts business flow. It would be nice to say it doesn’t but it does. I used to have a manager that said to me “Chris, when you are down, the whole floor is down”. So I’ve always tried to put on a brave face, put on a smile, even when I am churning inside and ready to curl up in the corner.
As a Founder we start out the business running at a million miles. We do everything. We do what it takes and we play “out of position”. It works for a time, but as the years drag on and we operate in roles far away from what makes us happy and what we are good at, it impacts our own personal flow. It brings stresses and strains that don’t serve us, don’t serve our families, and impact our health. We are out of flow. The longer it goes on the more negative impact it can have. And it happens slowly and insidiously.
If we follow the usual Founder path and end up as the person who runs everything then we, almost by definition, end up doing things that aren’t natural and not in support of our personal flow. And it impacts business flow. I’ve written previously about transitioning from Founder to Owner through F2O and it is certainly something that has moved me back to my happy place. I’m a creator. I love thinking up new concepts and seeing opportunity in a conversation (my wife reckons I use the word ‘opportunity’ in every second sentence!). But that is what I love. What I don’t love is all the administration and necessary detail. Others do, and so they should do it. That’s their flow, it’s not mine.
So how do you know what your personal flow is? Well you can take a myriad of pscychometric tests that will help, but there is one that has helped me over the years called the Genius Test (which leads to a profile called Wealth Dynamics). It’s helped me understand my ‘stake in the ground’ of my flow. I know that if I operate in my life close to that stake I remain happy. If I move too far away from that stake my tension rises. I made the transition from Founder to Owner a few years back. Now my day to day engagement with the business (which doesn’t have an operational dependency on me) is about doing the things that keep me in flow. It’s actually made me more effective and valuable to the business. I’m not in the way, but the best version of me can show up.
So where’s your flow? Take the free Genius test here and get a feel for yourself.