I have great admiration for small business owners. I love their entrepreneurial spirit, pioneering attitude, perseverance and strength. I am lucky enough to work with them daily as their business coach.

Through my role as coach, I am honored to witness courage in so many ways. The courage to expand and grow, the courage to ask for money, the courage to go after the big account, the courage to hire and fire when needed.

If you have never been an entrepreneur or known one, these activities might not seem like a big deal. In the beginning stages, small business owners are grappling with what they feel they can do or not do. Their businesses are literally limited by their own self perception. For example: an owner who wants to double their revenue might have to learn how to let go and leverage themselves through others. So it makes sense that most entrepreneurs have to personally grow and develop themselves to move their businesses forward. Enter the business coach versus a consultant. A consultant is the expert and they advise.

So “What’s a business coach?” you ask? A business coach engages and facilitates focused dialogue. We challenge, inquire, provoke, cajole, inspire, offer support and collaborate with our clients on their business issues. Occasionally we give advice and consult a client when it is an area of expertise. Most of the time however, it is not about my wisdom. It is about the client’s wisdom. Coaches believe that the client has the answer.

Back to my point, in most cases the entrepreneur’s limiting beliefs are what is stopping the business from expanding. As limiting beliefs are identified the small business owner can see and be aware of new possibilities allowing for more awareness and choice. Finally this brings me to the title of the article. Are you “open for business”?

When we are “closed for business”, we already know how the business is, how our industry is and how our customers are, leaving no possibility or room for something else. Where there is certainty there is no possibility. We become frustrated and stuck.

Being “open for business” is about being aware of what your biases, limitations and limiting beliefs (filters) are and not letting that mindset run your business. When we are “open for business” we find opportunities and solve problems easily. ”Okay, how do I do that” you say?

First get clear about your own filters by talking to a coach, asking your staff, interviewing your spouse or working with a mentor and then write them all down.

The next step is to identify how these filters have you stuck or stopped in your business. How do your limiting beliefs impact your business and its employees?

Then, make sure that you stay “open for business” by being engaged in conversations about your business with someone who knows what your filters are and is willing to say something when they come up. This could be an employee, partner, spouse, friend, mentor or coach.

You will be amazed at the difference this one shift from closed to open can make for your profitability and your sense of well being.


Author's Bio: 

Alicia Marie brings a wide range of experience to coaching. For more than 10 years Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales people in how to build a business truly worth having!

She has been instrumental in the success of other business coaches through her relentless focus on mastering the basics of coaching and business.

Alicia Marie enjoys dispelling the myths about misunderstanding about coaching. “It is not training and it is not consulting,” she says. “In a coaching relationship the client is the expert.”

Alicia Marie applies almost two decades of business ownership experience, a background in organizational development as well as a wealth of sales and marketing knowledge, to help her clients tackle the business challenges they face.