December 14, 2014

How's YOUR business?

How’s your business doing?

Simple question, right?

Have you ever had a friend, or family member ask you this loaded question?

I bet you have.

At this time of year, with holiday season upon us, it is inevitable that our friends and family members will broach the topic, most likely over dinner or drinks.

I often question what ‘THE’ appropriate answer is to this question.

For example, if your business is tanking, you may not want to open up an all-out whine fest, and be the downer of the party.

However, if your business is taking off, you probably don't want to sound like a total braggart.


My Typical Answer to this Question

I seriously get the question, "How's your business doing?" at least once a week.

Even more so recently when I left my corporate management consulting job to work on Retail Bliss and Encircled full-time.

I usually let my answer fall somewhere in the middle.

If my business is doing well, I’ll often cop out and say, “Encircled is growing.” and throw in a heavy 'but...'.

For example, “Encircled is growing triple digits, but I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do in the business”.


Why this is a tough question

As entrepreneurs and in particular female entrepreneurs, I find we have the tendency to play down our successes, and highlight our challenges.

I think it's partially due to the fact that we are our own bosses, so we lack the ability to get a truly objective view on our businesses' performance, even if the books are saying it's doing well.

But I also feel like I am continuously trying to avoid coming across as arrogant, or over the top, so I tend to downplay the good, and temper it with a measure of challenge.


Why my answer to this question sucks

By not celebrating our successes, and sharing our truth with the person asking that fated question, we are not being our authentic selves. 

As entrepreneurs, we are gifted with the opportunity to follow our hearts and make our passion our life's work, so downplaying it or up-playing it (whatever the case) does not do anyone else a service either.

Whether you know it or not, most of those people at that holiday dinner party envy you.

You're not the 9 to 5er.

You took a risk. 

A risk that the majority of people will never take in the lifetime.

This in itself, needs to be celebrated.


How to change the message

I've decided when asked this question this year to just be real.

As 2014 slowly comes to a close, no matter what these last few weeks hold for Encircled, I'm proud of the achievements this year, and no one can take that away from me.

So, I'm going to celebrate it. 

Sometimes a goal that we thought was insurmountable twelve months ago, now because we've achieved it, it seems so insignificant.

I find this is common with sales targets. We always feel the need to push for more. more. more.

So instead, I encourage you, wherever you're at in your business, take a moment to celebrate how far you've come in any way shape or form since the beginning of January.

And next time someone asks you how your business is doing, you can say.

Just fabulous.


What’s your go to answer to the “How’s your business doing?” question?

Post it in the comments below!

Would love to hear your strategy for dealing with this tricky question!



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Celebrate your success / Be your authentic self via @retailbilss #retail #smallbiz #entrepreneurs


Principal Retail Consultant/Founder