Learning to Trust Your Instincts as a Small Business Owner
I still can’t believe I have already reached my 6th year anniversary at EBS Executive Suites. I started this business in 2012 out of necessity, and have learned quite a few lessons along the way that have helped me grow as a person and as a business owner. I would say the most important lesson I have learned is to trust my instincts.
When I started my business, my dad gave me one piece of advice. “Watch out for the wolf in sheep’s clothing”. And, dad was right on point, as usual!
I’m in a unique position, connecting with so many entrepreneurs in this city in my day to day activities. I have met some amazing, hard working business owners who ended up losing their businesses due to issues with a partner, former employees intentionally causing problems with their customers, or potential “investors” going in a different direction. I’ve even seen competitors boldly attempting to steal customers …my customers, as a matter of fact…but we won’t “go there” :)
I think a lot of us have encountered the occasional “frienemy”. You know, that person who wants what you have? That person who tries to recruit your employees, or learn as much about your business as they possibly can, then attempts to duplicate your product or services? And that’s a painful pill to swallow, but honestly, here’s how I see it now…
People of substance, don’t behave this way. They have the skills and confidence they need and they just know what it takes to grow their business without resorting to playing games.
And, honestly, from where I’m standing, most of the “game players” end up failing in their business anyway. You can only burn so many bridges before becoming landlocked, especially if you live in a small town.
So, I’ve learned not to be “reactive” to these situations. I’ve learned that taking your eye off the ball because someone else is chasing you will just put you in a “tailspin”, which will prevent you from nurturing your business. And, allowing them to distract you will serve no purpose other than giving your competitors an opportunity to gain ground.
While it’s a good idea to keep a safe distance from anyone you are unsure about, we also need to recognize that they wouldn’t be after our business or customers if we weren’t on the right track in the first place And, generally, customers won’t leave if they are happy with the products and services they are receiving. (I know there are some exceptions, but customer loyalty is earned over time and how we treat our customers goes a long way.)
I’ve also learned to pay close attention to what people say, and use these experiences as fuel to keep pushing forward and work harder, smarter and hustle even more!
So, here’s to a productive Thursday and a great weekend!
Sandy Meeks, Owner
EBS Executive Suites