There is a wonderful book that enables entrepreneurs to take an analogical look at how they react to challenge and change. To begin the story, which item best represents how you are currently feeling about your business: carrot, egg, or coffee bean? Why did you choose that one?
Next, consider what happens when each one is immersed in boiling water.
The next step in the analogy is to see how the boiling water represents the churn, uncertainty, and challenging environment that you are facing, and have been facing, for the past two years. How you chose, and continue to choose, to handle these challenges, could be represented by the carrot (soft, mushy, perhaps feeling defeated), the egg (outside becomes hard, shell is hard to penetrate, perhaps feeling resentful), and the coffee bean (which impacts its environment with wonderful taste and aroma, perhaps using its strengths to boost and influence to have an impact on the environment). What are you thinking now? So what?
From this analogy, your next question may be: "How do I determine where I am right now, and how do I know I am progressing from carrot to egg to coffee bean?" Two possible responses come to mind:
1) Find your support groups and growth partners
Take advantage of classes, webinars, and presentations from local organizations, such as the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Loudoun Small Business (LSBDC) and Mason Enterprise Center - Fairfax. Become engaged with groups and organizations that can support your entrepreneurial and leadership efforts on a timetable that meets your schedule and with your budget in mind.
2) Find ways to measure your progress
Data does not have to be the ogre that is usually envisioned. Collecting data from sales, conversations, etc., helps you grow, make adjustments, and try new things. Join Natalie Critchley and Carol C. Robinson as they facilitate virtual sessions regarding use of 360 and survey methods to measure growth and innovation. Zoom links for “360 Entrepreneur Review: How Do You Measure Up with Clients” (May 19) and “SurveyMonkey: Promotion and Feedback for You” (May 27) are available by sponsor CC Robinson & Associates, LLC, at https://www.ccrobinsonassociates.com.
- Okay, one more thought: Are you having fun?
While some may think hustle and all-nighters is the badge of honor for successful entrepreneurs and leaders, it may actually be your level of fun that adds to your bottom line. Find ways to make that water boil just a little bit less virgously!
CC Robinson & Associates, LLC. Monthly presentations for entrepreneurs and leaders in all stages of development. https://www.ccrobinsonassociates.com
Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce. Check out calendar of events for free webinars, leadshare meetings, and events. https://www.dulleschamber.org/
Gordon, Jon, & West, Damon (2019). The coffee bean: A simple lesson to create positive change. NJ: Wiley & Sons.
Loudoun Small Business DC. Check out free one-to-one business coaching. https://loudounsbdc.com/get-started/
Mason Enterprise Center, MEC-Fairfax. Learn more about webinars and other services. https://www.mec-fairfax.org/
Price, Catherine (2021). The power of fun: How to feel alive again. NY: The Dial Press.
Carol C. Robinson, Ed.D, PCC, is founder of CC Robinson & Associates, LLC. Following a fulfilling career in education, she followed her entrepreneurial spirit to launch an organization that supports up and coming entrepreneurs and thought leaders. She strives to be a "coffee bean". To conact Carol: [email protected], 1-703-830-1780.