Going the Distance

Going the Distance

Most of us in the USA have heard this phrase, “to boldly go where no man…etc.” in reference to just about any adventure. Starting a business is not like going into the unknown and yet “unknowns happen.”

I’ve started several businesses over the years and I can assure you that there are always challenges you don’t expect. Aside from natural disasters, the most challenges new businesses have either are with cash flow or personnel issues and sometimes both at once.  In former blogs we have gone over how to approach some of the issues and no matter how much you plan still you will be surprised.

So how to handle ‘surprises’ that are not wanted or expected can be a useful skill. If your business is maintaining good or even Okay cash flow then the issues one needs to handle will be the ones created by those that work for you or with you or those whom outside your business you depend on in one way or another. Sometimes, more than you might want to recognize the “issue” you are troubled by may be a problem not created by someone else but by you.

Take a breath and take this in, we often create our own challenges and sometimes others help us do that or maybe simply throw fuel on the fire for whatever reason. It can be hard to see our part in a situation when the heat is turned up and time is an issue. But this is what we need to do. Stay calm. Stay centered. Stay ready to be flexible while working out a resolution that is fair to all. Of course, sometimes an employee will break the rules and or not learn from their mistakes. It is difficult to let some go once you have gone to all the trouble to vet them in the first place. But this should be the last resort in most cases of incompetency. Sometimes things just don’t work out, and relationships are one of the hardest things to ‘work out’.

In business there can be a middle ground where everyone is OK and ‘wins’ in one way or another. This should be the goal. Giving people a way to “save face” as my Japanese friends use to advise, is a good strategy.  But sometimes confrontations will need to be resolved by letting someone go. If at all possible always let someone go with some from of Grace. What is Grace? Well how would you like to be told you are not going to make the team? Be gracious and yet firm. Have specific reasons and give constructive feedback. No matter how upset the other person may be you can afford to be gracious even if you are terribly disappointed.

Keep on keeping.