It’s coming up on a year since I began my startup and it’s been one hell of a learning experience. I’ve had hopes dashed, been staring at my smartphone banking app with a balance teetering on zero whilst waiting for that crucial invoice to be paid and finance deals evaporate in to thin air just when I thought it was all hunky dory and closed off. However, I’ve also had exhilarating highs of new partnerships & friendships, having nobody to answer to but myself and the thrill of helping business owners secure finance where they’ve had the banks’ doors slammed in their faces time after time.
One thing that’s kept me on track is engaging with business coaching. I had been reading books and resources online about running my business in between all the immediate tasks day-to-day. However, I had to admit I was so overwhelmed that I was losing the battle of vision & strategic planning to extinguishing one “fire” to the next in my daily business life. I was connected with PJ Timmins on LinkedIn and we got talking. He is an experienced business person who runs a strategy consulting practice, a chain of opticians, is a member of numerous boards and spent many years as CEO of Clerys iconic retail store on O’Connell Street. I was having some growing pains with the business and we discussed them. I learned he is part of The Alternative Board (TAB). It supports business owners who are trying to grow their business, through strategic coaching & local advisory boards made up of fellow business owners who meet up and use their collective minds to overcome individual challenges. After a free initial consultation with a local mentor I had my mind made up. It was just the support I needed. It’s been over half a year now since I’ve engaged TAB and it’s been a huge help. Here are the 3 mistakes it’s made me avoid:
It’s helped me realise my strengths and play to them. When I engaged with TAB I took a talent insights assessment, which is very much a personality test with easily digestible feedback. It was a humbling but necessary experience at the end of which I realised I needed to bring in people to my business with strengths I lack. For me I needed assistance with administration and I brought in and trained up someone in the business to take care of these tasks. In doing so I freed up more of my time to focus on what I love. I can engage with more people, attend more events and create more business.
It’s helped me avoid making key business decisions on my own. Like a lot of business owners I spend a lot of time on my own working in my business. I’ve very little time to work on my business and when it comes to making big calls on strategy, even just how to implement my marketing and not waste my limited resources, I can ask TAB. I have a mentor who can work through the problem and an online portal with thousands of other engaged business owners who’ve been there and done that. This has helped me improve my decision making.
It’s helped me stop putting out “fires” and given me a clear strategic plan. Every day I used to wake up, stare at the To Do list and tackle what I could. This list was always long and as the phone started ringing the least important tasks got pushed out until the next day. I wasn’t really thinking further than a few days ahead. Now I have access to TAB Boards online portal along with my mentoring to keep me on track. I work on strategic goals, they’re scrutinised with my mentor, entered in to my area of the TAB portal, then tasks are reviewed regularly to keep myself accountable along with KPI data. I’m now clearly focused on what’s important, and I have support when I need it; sometimes plans are fluid and can be adapted as I go on, and time to review what’s been achieved and how it’s helped towards my overall goals.
If you think that TAB could help you, ask me now? You can get me on 01 55 636 55