In a world that’s ever-changing, change is the only constant. As entrepreneurs, change that compliments growth is not an option – it is a necessity. For those of us who fear change or ambiguity about the future this can be unsettling at best. There’s a popular rule of thumb in entrepreneurship – every single day, if you don’t encounter a single moment of doubt, uncertainty or confusion, you’re definitely doing entrepreneurship wrong. We accept this because it makes perfect sense, yet internally we struggle.
For entrepreneurs, it is extremely necessary to be able to look at the smaller details while being equally comfortable with zooming out and looking at the bigger picture. This complex challenge gives rise to a lot of ambiguity. As a recovering CPA, I often find myself creating action plans for every possible scenario. Besides the time suck that results from such approach, it can lead to increased angst and a sore jaw from clenching my teeth. One can lose their way obsessing with the finer details. On the other hand, it is equally easy to be led astray by focusing too much on the larger picture. Dealing with ambiguity can be nerve-wracking especially considering that there is no one solution fits all kind of approach.
Learn to draw a fine line between micro and management
This helps you deal with perspective; it helps to disassociate from things in your control and things not in your control. Allowing things over which you have no control to dictate your sense of well-being is a receipt for frustration. Yes. Your ultimate goal is to engage more clients and increase revenue. But the performance indicators that you track should be for actions that are under your control. Things such as reaching out to potential clients, attending networking event, asking advocates for referrals etc.
Relax, stand back and take a look
This one goes without saying. Sleep on it, take a vacation, go on a walk and do something you love if you’re stuck with ambiguity. As a task-oriented person, this is something I must continually work on. Often thinking about the problem obsessively only multiplies the problem, standing back and taking a breather allows for your brain to protect itself from saturation.
Listen to your people
If and when you’re in a place where you don’t get to see much of on-ground reality, listen to feedback, problems and questions that’s put forth by the people who are at the receiving end. Make sure to hire and surround yourself with people who have the right balance of aptitude and attitude, for that could be instrumental in shaping your entrepreneurial journey. While It’s tempting to hire people who thinks the way you do, the most valuable employee will actually be the person who thinks differently and is not afraid to bring assenting viewpoints to the table.
Often, there will be a pattern when it comes to decision-making, if a certain kind of decisions make you nervous or if certain functional decisions make you unsure, keep track. If financial and marketing decisions make you feel unclear, dig deeper and see what about the ambiguity makes you uncomfortable so that you can counter it better in the future. Perhaps this reflection will lead to making a wise hire of someone who excels in the area where you don’t feel secure.
Don’t be afraid of contingencies
Not everything goes according to the plan, there will be times where one needs to adapt, improvise and overcome. Bracing yourself and staying open for plan B helps deal with unexpected outcomes better. Being able to bounce back and get up fast makes or breaks an entrepreneurial journey. There is a delicate balance between having a plan B so that you can sleep at night and engaging in analysis paralysis.
Master the process of unlearning and relearning
We live in an era where nothing stays constant for too long. I once worked for a company who seemed to change their policies by the day. I felt myself getting frustrated until I shifted my mind set. I decided that my job was to know the latest policy – similar to how financial advisors keep track of the S & P on a daily basis. This helped me greatly with the angst I had been feeling. Prepare to grasp the cycle of learning by understanding when you have to unlearn to stay relevant. On the other hand, it is also extremely important to be able to relearn and constantly move towards self-betterment as often as possible.
Learn to embrace the grey!
More than anything, as an entrepreneur- it is important to view things while understanding the grey area. There is no black and white, right or wrong, it is imperative to acknowledge that not everything has a right or wrong answer. The ability to accept ambiguity is probably the most underrated trait of an entrepreneur. Think of it as an adventure. Wake up anticipating a dynamic day with endless possibilities. As an entrepreneur, it is a 24*7 firefighting job that comes with its own set of quirks, surprises and challenges. Make ambiguity your friend and embrace it, for change is the only constant in the entrepreneurial world.
We are here to help.
Rektio Accounting knows that there is more to your business than your bottom line. Yes, we do provide services performed by credentialed accounting professionals. But we provide so much more. We come from a long line of business owners. We know what that means for you and your family.
If you are needing CFO services, but not a fulltime CFO, let us help. We are passionate about the story of every business we serve. Nothing galvanizes us more than knowing: Why you do what you do? What client has made the greatest impact on you? What keeps you up at night? and What are your dreams for the future of your business, your employees, your community, and your family?
Let us take the accounting and CFO piece from you. The piece that is so very necessary, but perhaps not your strong suit. It’s our pleasure to take these things off your plate so that you can serve your clients, employees, community and family by doing the things that you do best.
It takes a special brand of person to go out on their own and to build something from nothing. We know that. And it is our honored to partner with every client we serve.
Mari Sandifer | Director of Marketing & Business Development
Mari joined Rektio as Director of Marketing and Business Development in 2020 after spending over 25 years in corporate finance and 3 years as a business owner. She holds a BS degree in Marketing and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Her CPA license is inactive (and morbidly obese).
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