Owning a business is not a smooth ride for most people, myself included. You set yourself on a certain path and a hurricane of changes completely derails you.
You write down specific goals and they get shaken up by an earthquake of revisions. Being flexible is probably one of the most important skills you can hone as a business owner or entrepreneur, and it’s a skill that nobody can teach you.
Growing up I learned a lot about flexibility.
Moving to different cities and states. Changing schools often. I had multiple crappy jobs, all of which required incredibly different skill sets to keep me employed and sane. All of that life experience gave me a Bachelor’s Degree in Flexibility.
Nothing teaches you how to be flexible like owning your own business
I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes I feel like a sumo wrestler in a yoga class (read: not very flexible at all).
During my time starting, running, building, and managing people for IWearYourShirt, I was put in some of the most uncomfortable business-yoga poses I had ever been in. But as awful as some of those experiences were at the time, they’ve made me incredibly more flexible today. The tough decisions I had to make a few years ago, don’t feel anywhere near as tough today. When something doesn’t go as planned, I’m much quicker to adapt and make changes. I feel like I have a Master’s Degree in Flexibility now.
When I was writing my book Creativity For Sale, I had to bust out my degree in flexibility. I set a book release date of May 15 (my 32nd birthday). I set this specific date because I wanted to make sure I didn’t drag this project out for an extended period of time.
With the help of the awesome back cover sponsor of my book (RTC) I was able to write the first draft of my book, get a second draft done, then a third, then a final, then edits, then proofing, and formatting all in about two months. Never writing a book before, even I know that’s a crazy-fast timeline for getting a book done. The folks at RTC became very flexible for me and I can’t thank them enough for that.
But even with all that hard work, the actual printing of the book and getting it up on Amazon.com was something completely out of my control.
So here’s where my flexibility skills come in.
I didn’t make the May 15 book release date. Even with an amazingly hardworking book printer and calls to Amazon.com, it just didn’t happen.
A few years ago this may have ruined my day/week/month. But the situation was completely out of my control and there was nothing I could do about it. There were too many items outside of my control and I understood that.
Instead of getting upset and angry, I made the best of it. I used the extra time to add a couple more items to my book launch marketing plan.
With every project I work on I find new obstacles to overcome
Previous obstacles seem mundane and trivial. It’s a learning and growing process to increase business flexibility.
If you own a business, I’m sure you’ve experienced similar feelings. At times you’ve felt like you’re being bent and twisted in directions you never thought imaginable. You had a plan and it was completely shattered. But you picked up the pieces and you moved forward. You’ve undoubtably become incredibly more flexible since you started your company.