01291 622598 / 07880 794127 william@williambuist.com
It’s your business.

It’s your business.

It should stay that way.

When someone starts a business, they usually have a clear idea about what that business will do. They understand who it will serve and the products and offers it will make. It’s an exciting time and a stressful one.

For most business owners, there’s a period of learning, what works in their market, and what doesn’t. We hear what clients like and what they find frustrating. Those insights lead to change, and the business shifts evolves, and changes. The business gradually becomes different from its initial design.

For many years, I’ve seen small businesses shift and change through myriad little changes. The client asks whether you can also do this or provide that. Opportunities for sure, but not entirely on mission, but you can make some money and deliver a service. Then another step away from where you want to be, and another, and another Before you realise it, the business has evolved into something that no longer works. Every decision seemed small, a reasonable opportunity along the way. You set out to work in one market, your market, in one way, your way, but find yourself known for working in other markets, attracting the business you didn’t want and delivering it in ways you didn’t expect.

You are no longer doing work that brings you joy, no longer doing work that makes your mastery stand out. You remain just one of a crowd of others who do something that you know about but which you cannot yet do exceptionally well.

Yet some businesses thrive and grow and stay absolutely on mission. They do what they are best at and continue to master as each day goes by. They are known only for their specialism, and their mastery of it attracts only great clients at premium prices.

What’s the difference?

Actually not much. I see some traits consistently in these two types of business when looking from the outside. There is very little difference in the effort that’s put in. Both work hard, and both commit to learning and evolution. Both seek supportive friends and colleagues, and both take advice.

Advice – served with a pinch of realism.

There is one key difference, though. Over the 19 years I have been advising small business owners, I’ve seen the difference in how those businesses take decisions. Thriving businesses make better choices about change. They are intentional and choose the direction of their mastery. Those who prefer short-term opportunities and seek and take advice from those who do, remain mired in mediocrity.

The difference comes from the type of advice they seek and the people they seek it from.

Masterful businesses remain open to learning every day. They don’t just pay lip service to the principle of lifelong learning but live it and think about it daily. They know that providing critique, feedback, and advice is a skill, and they seek out advisors they trust who are masterful in that skill.

They seek advisors who understand the journey and have walked a similar path, probably in different sectors or markets. These people can see the wood and the trees, the big picture and the fine detail.

Advice is taken and considered but only sometimes followed because they know their business, mission, values and strengths. They know that while learning never stops, there are times when one has to trust instincts.

The real difference

The difference between thriving businesses and mediocre ones is intentionality. The businesses that stay focused on their ‘why’, committed to their core values and devoted to mastering what they do know – are the ones that grow and prosper. While they adapt and evolve, they do so from a place of strength and clarity, not reactivity or fear. They know their business inside and out, their strengths and weaknesses, their key metrics and most importantly, know themselves.

They don’t seek advice to please, or because they feel they should; they seek advice to expand their perspective and consider other angles. But ultimately, they trust in themselves and their team to determine the right path for their business. They challenge their assumptions, and they remain aligned with the principles and vision that are important to them. They stay focused on doing work that energises and fulfils rather than work that merely pays the bills. Intentionality is the difference between surviving and truly thriving. It’s the difference between your business becoming what others want it to be and what you want it to be.

Your choice, your decision.

Which route will you choose? Will you let your business evolve wherever others take it, or will you be intentional? Will you seek and accept good advice, acting on it only when it serves you? It’s a commitment and a discipline, and it is yours to decide.

Why I won’t work with just anyone.

Why I won’t work with just anyone.

I’m often approached for mentoring support. It’s not always the right approach for the prospective client; if it isn’t, I will say no. Mentoring is a special relationship. I described what mentoring is in this post.

I wrote “Intentional Mastery” to provide ambitious and successful business leaders with the clarity they need to stretch themselves even further; to become the master of their market.

If you only started in business recently, then you may not have enough experience in running a business to benefit from my work. Unless you gained relevant experience in an earlier career, I recommend finding a start-up coach to support you as you develop the business skills you’ll need in addition to your specialism.

Even if you have relevant experience or have an established business, you’ll have to be ready to make changes, sometimes difficult ones. I won’t work with people who waste their money on advice they aren’t prepared to implement.

To ensure that we will have a productive and valuable working relationship, I’ll ask you about your business before we agree to work together. Your intentions for your business and yourself are vital; we will explore those in detail. I’ll also expect similar detailed questioning from you (I’ve suggested some questions you might ask if you seek a mentor below). We both need to be sure that your desire to become a master and my skills as a mentor are well suited.

I work with experts in their field, seeking to do the hard work to become the master of their market. You will make a significant investment of both time and money.

Questions to ask before working with a mentor?

Here are some questions you might ask of a prospective mentor:

  1. In what ways will this mentor challenge your thinking?
  2. How will this mentor leave you feeling after each session?
  3. What specific knowledge, skills and experience does this mentor bring?
  4. How will this mentor hold you accountable?

Once you have the answers to these questions, ask yourself:

  • Will this prospective mentor support me in reaching the full extent of my mastery?

What next?

If you are an established expert, willing to make the changes to become the master of your market, and know that you need a mentor to make that happen, then book a call here.

Why participating in a recession will kill your business.

Why participating in a recession will kill your business.

There’s a lot in the news right now about the ‘cost of living’, inflation, and other vague but economically threatening stories. There is some truth in them, but the sense of proportion and perspective has been lost in the noise.

A realistic perspective.

The UK economy is currently just 0.5% smaller than it was a year ago, That’s 50p in every £100 of economic activity. That after being adjusted for inflation too. In other words everything is to all intents and purposes identical to where we were a year ago.

Those who are experts or masters in their business look at this sort of thing and take, basically, no notice whatsoever. Those who run a strong business, based on well researched knowledge, honed skills and deep experience take a different approach. I’ll return to that in a moment.

Recessions are granular, with some sectors badly affected, others which continue to thrive. Within each sectors there are variations too. How your clients are affected is something that only you can judge. How you react will determine your businesses success.

Inflation does affect us all and means almost every business will need to raise prices, and, in general, clients expect that, and they are probably doing the same. An action for each of us is to review our client roster and plan when to have the conversation about a price increase. It’s worth looking at your own costs and how they are changing as, whilst inflation affects us all, our own inflation rate will not be the same as the government’s headline figures.

Business Mastery.

Masterful businesses look at their markets, they are curious about how their clients are faring and how the economy is affecting them. They help their clients understand their own context so that they make informed decisions. Curious too about how they can adapt their services and products to provide additional value. The masterful will thrive, and they thrive because they focus on their clients (and prospects), and the value they bring to them. If you sense that your clients are becoming wary of the economic impacts of what is happening, then be curious about their understanding, their experience, and their plans. Ask them for a discussion, and listen carefully to their assumptions. In that curiosity lies opportunity.

2023 beckons and for many it will be a superb year. Are you ready to be one of those businesses, or one that participates in recession?

Global Mastery

Global Mastery

I’m just back from a four-day Global Speakers Summit (GSS), which took place in Dublin, Ireland. I’m on the Professional Speaking Association (PSA) board, the U.K.’s membership body for speakers. So it was the PSA’s turn to host the GSS, and it was a success.

Of course, there were fantastic talks. Talks that challenged us in so many ways. There were also workshops that made people think hard about their business, and breakout sessions. Socially, there was networking, lunches, a gala dinner, a comedy night and other fringe events.

Most of all, though, we were back together. Seeing each other in three dimensions for the first time in a long time and seeing people and connecting and laughing. It felt like it had been too long, mainly, I suspect, because it had been. I met many impressive people whom I know will continue to impress. Some already masters of their art: Tim Gard and his humour; David Avrin and his thoughts on running a professional speaking business; Steve Bustin and his mastery at compèring tough crowds; Hillary Briggs, the winner of the emerging speaker competition ‘Speaker Factor’; and many others.

There is something quite special about such gatherings. Not least because there are moments when a few are taken entirely by surprise. The PSA awards the PSAE (The Professional Speaking Award of Excellence) to someone who demonstrates mastery of their profession and contribution to the industry and the association. This year the recipient was my good friend and mastermind buddy, Lee Warren. The image above shows how surprised he was, and how delighted those who know him were.

As an aside, you may think there can’t be many gay, left-handed magicians and entertainers called Lee. Yet there is a small community of such people. There are not, however, any other left-handed magicians called Lee that can command a stage so professionally. Lee Warren can consistently inform, educate, entertain, and support business people. He’s a down-to-earth, intelligent and well-read man who leaves one feeling energised and joyful after every encounter. An exemplar of Mastery.

In section three of my book Intentional Mastery, I explore the importance of Mastering Joy. I often saw joy on the faces of the delegates at this conference. Yet at the dinner on that day, at the moment, you can see it at its best, captured in the image. For me, that was a joy too!

Take the next turn…

Take the next turn…

In an earlier blog I wrote about the woman behind so many of the signs that we see everyday on our roads and railways – Margaret Calvert. I discussed how the important thing to be sure that signs provide is just the right information at just the right time. Information on the road that answers the questions that drivers need, a confirmation that they are on the right road, going in the right direction. At the right moment you get the additional information that is needed to turn off, and the closer you get to the destination, the more local the detail that is needed: the town, then the district, then the road, then the house.

In business too, our prospects need to understand where, and when, they are being asked to turn off the road they have been on and to turn on to ours.

When we’re going to turn off the road, we need to be clear of our intentions to do so. That’s why we signal using our indicators to alert those around us of the decision we’re about to take. That allows others on the road to be ready. In business too, we need to be alert to the signals that those in our markets are giving us. If we make the opportunities clear, then we can expect to see some prospective clients signalling their interest. It won’t be a flashing light, but if you are alert you’ll be able to identify what those signals are. It could be downloading a white paper, or booking an appointment.

Are they indicating that they are about to buy our product or are they simply indicating a glance as they pass us by?

In my opinion, we should get the information to people at the right time and in the right way to meet their (informational) needs, and allow them the space and time to consider the information. When we do that well, we will be able to see whether they signal their intention to turn. Yet just like on the roads, if the signs are too early, or too late, it’s easy for people to miss the turning. We should give them the right warnings that they are coming to a decision quite soon. Timing is important in all our communications.

What happens if they miss your turning?

Yet we all know that on occasions we misread a sign, or perhaps miss it altogether. Perhaps because something else is happening that demands our attention. If we missed the turning, our signpost needs to also tell people that they have still got an opportunity to take a different route. Just like any satellite navigation system when we miss a turning, or turn to the wrong road, they will seamlessly recalculate the route to bring us back on track. We should treat our prospects in the same way. Too often I’ve seen businesses conclude when a prospect doesn’t take the turning that they have decided, forever, not to buy from us. It’s simply not the case. It’s possible our sign was not clear, or they saw it at the wrong time for them; in essence, they may well just be slightly lost. What we can do is reach out and help them. Show them the route back to where we would like them to travel and give them the choice again.

How do I make sure my sales are on course?

When Margaret Calvert was working on the road signs for the M1 she wasn’t just deciding what to put on the signs, but where to put them, how far away from the decision point, and so on. She used experiments, and trail and error, and that continued after the motorway was opened. Even today the signage on the M1 is updated based on experience. Your sales process too should be constantly evaluated. Are your prospects getting the information they need, when they need it? Is it in a form they can easily use?

One of the things that I’ve learned when working with clients is to have clarity around where they are on this journey. I classify potential clients by thinking of them as travelling towards my business. How far out are they? What level of information and data does a client that far away from you need? Probably not much more than the direction an idea that your product exists, that your marketing for those people should focus on keeping them informed of where you are and what direction is best to approach you. For others who are much closer to a decision, you may need to provide much greater information, more frequently and in more detail.

When do you stop giving directions?

On the road, the signposts stop when you reach your destination, but in business I’m not sure anyone ever stops travelling. We always have to communicate about what we are delivering, about what we could deliver, and continue to build the relationships that are needed for business to thrive. 

Are You Getting Your Message Across

Are You Getting Your Message Across

Margaret Calvert is one of Britain’s unsung heroes, a British typographer (born in South Africa) and graphic designer. She designed many of the road signs used throughout the UK’s crown dependencies and in British Overseas Territories. She was also responsible for designing the transport font used on roadsigns, and the rail alphabet font that’s used on the British railway system.

The transport font was further developed by both Kinnear and Calvert into what became called New Transport, and that font is still used today, not just on road signs but also online for the government website – gov.uk.

Whilst at the Chelsea College of Art she was tutored by Jock Kinnear who later asked her to help him design the signs for Gatwick Airport. By 1957 road transport was growing quickly. The plethora of different signs and different fonts and colours was creating confusion for drivers and failing to communicate to them the necessary information.

Kinnear was appointed head of science for British roads, and he hired Calvert to help him redesign the whole system. It was Calvert that came up with the idea of pictograms including the recognisable ‘man struggling with umbrella’ indicating roadworks. I understand that the farm animals sign is based on a cow called Patience that lived near Calvert as she grew up.

Calvert worked on the development of motorway signs before the first section of the M1 was due to open. She ran numerous tests to understand the impact of passing information to drivers travelling at speed.

How much time do you have to get the message across?

Since cars would be travelling fast on the new motorways the road signs had to get the information to the driver in a succinct way. It was important to consider not just the colours of the background and of the type, as well as the font that was used. She also had to think about what words were on the signs. Thinking about the message as well as the messenger. She undertook a lot of work to understand what the drivers would need to know at each point on the road.

In business too, our prospects have little time, progressively less and less, to assimilate the barrage of information being presented to them every day. If our products and services are to stand the chance, we need to give them just the right information at the best moment for them to know it. We, as business people, also need to do so in a succinct way. It is for this reason that I consider ‘signposting’ one of the key strategies of any business.

What will make your message effective?

Calvert also worked with Kinnear to understand content. In that work, she identified that travellers on fast roads were generally travelling longer distances, their ultimate destination was most likely some distance away. What they needed was reassurance that they were on the right road, and that they hadn’t gone too far. Signposts communicate both a general direction, and the next large town. With those two pieces of information, a driver can tell that they’re driving in the right direction and have not yet reached their destination.

When we think about our prospects in business, they too are not always ready to jump straight to the destination of buying our product or service. They want to explore it first. They want to understand the options, the alternatives, and so on. So, we need to signpost to them where they are on the buying journey and reassure them that with us they’re on the right road.

We might do this with a short video, we might do it with a PDF or a landing page that allows them to know that they are indeed looking at something that might add value to them.

How should you present the detail?

Calvert’s work showed that drivers often only have fractions of a second, a glance, to gather information. The shorter they could make the transition of information from the signs to the drivers mind the more attention the driver could place on the road itself and therefore improve safety.

In business too we could seek to provide the information in similar bite sized chunks. If our information requires our prospects a long time to absorb, many will turn away. When they get the key information quickly, those whom we can work with effectively will be reassured that they are looking at something relevant. Then they will move on to the next part of their journey.

There are also small signs on our roads, markers of distance, or locations, for a particular point for example. These tend not to be visible as you travel quickly, yet if you break down and have to stop on the hard shoulder, they allow you to give the recovery services precise information about your location. In business too, we need to be able to give our clients and our prospects, the means of understanding our offer, if they stop and spend time examining it. Designing your signposts to address these different needs isn’t easy, it needs thinking through and designing with care. Done well it can transform the sales journey.

Does colour matter?

Finally, Calvert spent a long period testing and designing the choice of colours for the signs. The blue background for motorways and green for A-Roads is no accident. Again, in a glance it helps communicate specific information. 

In our businesses to we need to think about the presentation of information. How to use colour and typeface to help highlight the key points and to present data in ways that’s easy to understand. My good friend, Paul Laughlin, works with data analytics teams in larger organisations. He is an expert in both the analysis of data, but, importantly of the ways of presenting data to unlock comprehension.

He knows that when you present information you may only have a few seconds to catch attention. The presentation of data visually is a science in its own right. Margaret Calvert moved that science forwards by leaps and bounds through her work. As business people, we may not be designing road signs, but we have the same challenges. Our prospects and our clients deserve the same attention to detail that has kept many of us safe on British roads, without us even knowing about the work and effort that made us safe.

Look at your marketing. Consider whether the information you’re providing at the point you provided it is sufficient or overbearing. Do your website headlines allow a reader to know that they’re in the right place? Can they scan the imagery, the fonts, the colours and get a clear message rapidly that enables them to choose to travel further with you?

What signposts are you laying down for your prospects and clients to enable them to choose you for their next project?

If you would like a discussion about how, with better signposts you could be Building Better Business, let’s have a chat.

Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

A Focus on Forever

A Focus on Forever

I am keen that every business should be seeking to improve every day. Learning from what works well, listening to customers, looking for innovations, testing new products and services, finding new partners and employing the right people to be the best that it can be. Exceptional performance today differentiates businesses, it gives them an edge over their competitors and they thrive, for now. Yet what they do that makes them successful is copied, improved, enhanced and before you you know it, it is just an everyday expectation. 

For a long time perishable foods have been give a ‘Best Before’ or ‘Use by’ date. ‘Best before’ dates are about quality, food which is beyond its best before date may have lost some texture or taste, but will generally be safe to eat. ‘Use by’ is about safety, not quality. It’s generally only used on very short shelf life products and those for which bacteria that cause food poisoning may not be apparent from the smell or look of the product. 

In general, a business which works today, will still work tomorrow, but just like long shelf life food the world is changing all the time and your system may gradually stop meeting customer needs. Imagine a business in the 1970’s developing a system for communicating with customers. It gave staff dictaphones, and had a typing pool of experienced and accurate transcribers. Each letter would then be checked and signed in ink, put in an envelope and sent to the post room to be sent to the customer. Accuracy, brevity, relevance, and speed may all have been measures of that system. It cannot deliver in today’s internet connected world.

Building Better Business isn’t for the short term. If we focus on permanence (as far as anything is) then we have to also focus on designing a business that evolves as the world changes. 

The world changes as we walk in it
Robert Oppenheimer

If we are to have a long term view of our businesses then to make sure that we are always Building Better Business we also have to have effective systems. Part of the strategy has to include a system for reviewing what is changing. Then using those insights as a framework to guide our choices about how to adapt the business. When a business is listening to its market, and understanding the changes around it, it will know what customers will want soon, as well as what they do want now, and be ready.

Better Business produces consistent, reliable results that endure even in times of significant change.

Regardless of what you define as ‘better’ it’s obvious that an improvement you make to your business doesn’t really make it better if it only changes things for a few days or months.

Innovative use

Part of the challenge for any business is that our customers don’t know, in detail, how to make best use of the product or service we are offering. They have a hard to open paint can, and a screwdriver to hand, so use the screwdriver to lift the lid. It works, but it may damage both the lid and the screwdriver.  Better would be to use a lever designed for the job and with the strength needed. That’s true of any product or service too, a customer may look at what they need, and what is to hand and use one to support the other, even when the fit is imperfect. 

I’ve seen people applying something they have had sold to them in an unintended way, all the time. Sometimes it is a compromise, but sometimes it has an unexpected benefit that changes the product beyond all recognition. Not a bad thing necessarily, after all that is how low-tack peelable glue created the post-it note. 

A business can’t control how customers will use or apply the product or service. 
However, they can learn from those unexpected uses to improve.

Sometimes it is important to be clear about how the product or service you are selling is intended to be used. That may be because of safety (the quick stop on a chain saw should never be disabled for example) or because the value won’t be realised if you don’t follow a particular use case. Taking time to understand how customers approach using your product can help it to evolve a better design. Over many years the tendency has been to move away from detailed manuals to making the use case obvious. Whole industries have developed around customer experience and design around digital products. The aim for them is to make the value truly clear so that most customers get exactly what they expect most of the time.  The clearer that usage is made by design the more likely it is that customers will get the value you provide and return many times.

Making the value clear ensures that the value remains.

Our role as business owners in this evolving world where we are on a journey of Building Better Business is to focus on the processes we need to apply to stay ahead. I think these boil down to three key things. 

  • Be as clear as we can be when we communicate;
  • Listen well when others use, or talk about using, our products and services; and
  • Reflect on what we learn and redesign.

I often see business owners becoming defensive when their customers don’t use their products in the “right” way or who seem to have misunderstood. When a business has a focus on forever then it knows that it will have to keep changing. The insights it can get from misunderstandings and misuse of its products and services provide valuable information that highlight where we have not been clear, or where the customer needs are different, and then making change happen and reviewing its effectiveness. It takes endurance, persistence, and commitment.

When you focus on forever, your endurance is your business’ strength.

Focusing on forever means reflecting regularly and being willing to change and adapt and improve and, perhaps every, aspect of your business. The Model T Ford would not meet today’s customers needs but Ford’s focus on forever means it remains one of the worlds largest mass producers of personal transport. They have a focus on forever, endurance, and a willingness to change. You should too.

Image by: William Buist © 2020

Who are you Building Better Business for anyway?

Who are you Building Better Business for anyway?

What is better?

No two businesses were identical, and often, far more often than not, what’s ‘better’ for the business is ‘better’ for the business owner too.

Over many years I’ve discussed what would be “better” with many business owners. For some it has meant greater revenues, perhaps for personal financial reasons or as part of a larger growth strategy. Related to that for some “better” is about employing more people or having a better ‘presence’ in their market. “Better” might be about reputation, particularly if a historic incident has dented the view people have of the business. For some, it was more about gathering some time back for other activities in their life, a “better” business was one that still did everything it was doing but needed less ‘owner-time’. For many the key driver of “better” was the impact the business was having on their levels of stress, their emotions , feelings, relationships and family. “Better” meant something to do with control.

Better is a personal decision:
Understanding and visualising what would be “better” for you provides insights into your intentions for the business.

Rebuilding stronger

If you look at your business and identify things that need to change, then change them with an intention to make them more reliable, consistent, and repeatable. Be bold and take those parts of your business that no longer support you apart, and rebuild them. Design them differently, intentionally, with care and precision and strategy at the heart of what you do.

There’s something else here too, which I’d like to illustrate with a story. Our garden wall, more than 100 years old, was falling down and I have been rebuilding it. I wrote about that in more detail here… If I’d got to work on improving the wall too early, I wouldn’t have seen the weak spots that had not yet broken. Too late and I would have been firefighting and taken too long to fix some aspects that were beyond the pale. The ideal is to be making change when the weaknesses are seen, but before they are critical. When that is done well, the changes take little time, but have a big impact and endure for a long time.

When I started the work, and as it has progressed the designs have changed slightly, and sometimes significantly. Since the family moved to this house we have terraced the garden and we decided to mirror that garden terracing in the shape of the wall, We’ve also added a garden gate, not there in the original as we realised how useful the gaps I had created were.

In your business too, you can evolve what you are working on as new information becomes available. Better isn’t a static thing, but a (very) dynamic one, and as you continue to do the work it becomes impossible not to change if you see something even better.

Better can change (for the better)
As you work the information on which you based your original decisions will be changing, and what you do should adapt when it needs to.

Boundaries, constraints, and freedom

There are risks with an approach that encourages evolutionary change as you go. If you constantly change direction it’s confusing both for you as the business owner, and for your clients, and suppliers, who also get confused. My garden wall continues to follow the old foundations, and stays at the boundary. I know what the limitations are as well as the freedoms to work in a different style, or with a subtle change in the shape.

This is true in business too. We aren’t constrained by changing details that improve the outcome, but we should be much more cautious about changing elements that change the outcome. Building Better Business is a strategic approach to running your business. The strategy is visualised by defining what better means. For those changes we need to think strategically.

Thinking strategically can sound grand, but really it just means only reacting to the current situation by considering the future situation you are aiming for, and not (just) the immediate impact of what is happening now. Your earlier visualisation of what “better” meant to you provide the insights to do that well. The first step is to check that your original intention remains valid, the second step is to determine if what you are doing, or thinking of doing, moves you towards that or not. For the garden wall the change to add a gateway didn’t change the longer term ambition of a “better” boundary running along the existing foundations, in fact it enhanced it.

There’s something more powerful here though. By creating boundaries, effectively decision constraints, we actually create a freedom to express ourselves better within them. That means, perhaps, that we can focus our best work on the clients who need and want it, and avoid attracting clients where we are not a good fit. Perhaps it means we know how to choose where to invest in our personal development, or in better infrastructure for the business going forward.

The most important aspect of this is to be clear about your boundaries, and one way to identify them is to think about what cannot change, or what, if it did change, would make things worse. Creating a written or visual description of the business not just of what you want it to be, but also what you don’t want it to become can help guide your decision making in the immediate future too.

You decide on the boundaries.
Boundaries give you freedom within them. You will make choices you know for sure will make the business better.

Sharpening the saw

In all of this work our experience continues to grow, and the wise, the Masters (see The Journey to Mastery), use that experience to uncover insight, and to reflect, review, and redefine what they are doing. What they also do is look forward to the vision of the Better Business that they want to build. They hone the skills they need over time thinking strategically about the intention of a “Better Business”.

There’s something else too, this isn’t just about a focus on the business, it’s important also to consider yourself. Spending time to make sure that you do, as Stephen Covey reminds us in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People1 how important it is to ‘sharpen the saw’ and when it comes to being a business owner, you are the saw.

Learning, building experience, and honing skills builds expertise into your business. In itself that’s not enough, because it remains dependent on the people, and in your business, you. Working out what is important for your business has to include what is important for you from a health point of view. Your emotional awareness, mental resilience and physical wellbeing are perhaps the most important considerations.

Building better Business means Building Better You.
Taking the time to keep fit, to eat well and have enough sleep are vital strategies for Building Better Business – For you.


1 Covey, Stephen R. 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People. Export edition. New York: Simon & Schuster UK, 2004.

Image by: William Buist © 2020