Nutrition is often top of the list for a healthy mind and body. Don’t forget that if you run a business, it is also organic, growing, and in need of nutrition. Check to see if your business is getting its “5-a-Day”: Authenticity – Be yourself If you are anybody else as you are pitching for contracts, selling your wares, communicating a message, or asking to be paid, then you are not yourself! The only person that has control over how you portray yourself and your business is you. Originality, authenticity, individuality is the one thing that can separate you from your competitors, so why try and BE like someone else, or another business? The business world doesn’t need a clone of companies to choose from, they need that something special that only the business owner can provide. It’s difficult to decide who you are and what you represent as you launch your business, so give it time, let it develop and reflect you and the other people that drive the company. Your Business Plan can be helpful in defining what is your USP (unique selling point) and how you will drive the business forward. Information – Be informed The ostrich didn’t learn much as he suffocated in the sand. He was also blind to what was happening above ground. It’s bliss to be ignorant but that is not taking responsibility for the success of your business. It’s effectively “passing the buck” so that if things don’t work out, it can be blamed on external factors, and of course “not my fault”. We see a lot of businesses folding because of the “recession”, however, a percentage of these fold because their owners expect them to. They don’t diversify, change their outlook to suit the environment, and are mis-informed about the realities of downturns. They have already decided their business has no chance, and it’s difficult to turn around a decision like that, so the business ultimately folds. I am generalising here, and not all business owners buy into the limited decisions that go with trends. So what type are you? Are you keeping up to date with reality, and keeping yourself and your business informed so you can make educated decisions on how to move your business forward? Support – Ask for Help Apparently the most difficult thing for business owners to do, is ask for help, assistance or support. Often, by the time they do, it is too late. Is pride worth all that hard work spent building a business? When you recognise that you need help of some kind, go out and seek it, before you decide you have to “do it all by yourself”. Is it worth trading your business for your ego? Empowerment – Support Others So you are successful. You have worked hard and the business is doing well. You have kept sight of where you want to go, and nourished your business. You have used resources and help when required and are now reaping the benefits. Just as it is important to seek help, it is equally important you give back, thus empowering another business owner, which will significantly empower you further. There are always others in a position you were yesterday, last week or last year. You always have knowledge and experience useful to others. Share it and watch others grow like you did. It’s rewarding, and gives you the opportunity to “give back” to the business community. “What comes around goes around” Honesty – Don’t Lie A white lie leads to another. It takes much effort to support a “tale”. So stop before you start. Never offer services you know you cannot provide. There is a saying “under promise and over deliver”. I would suggest if you decide to go with this win/win concept, don’t do it to the extreme. However, it can be used to increase confidence in your clients if they know you can go that extra mile (but not a marathon). And just like any close relationship, you need time away from your business. Make sure you recharge the batteries with a well-earned break.