Most of us start our businesses very passion-fueled, running on a deep love for what we do and a desire to make a big impact, while working for ourselves and having control over our own schedule and financial freedom.
But over time, we can start to fall out of love with the business we built.
While there are many reasons that this can happen, there are 4 major categories that I find to be the biggest drivers:
- Lack of Clarity
- Burn Out
On one hand you have too much - too much complexity, too much overwork, overwhelm and exhaustion. And on the other hand, you have not enough - not enough clarity, not enough alignment, not enough of the things you actually love to do.
Tune into Episode 61 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast or keep reading below.
Let's break down each one.
If you aren't very intentional in how you grow our business and if you don't remain relentlessly committed to leaning out as you grow, business can quickly become overly complicated.
You can find yourself trying to do all the things, in all the places, and in all the ways.
This can look like:
- Posting on every social media channel and cranking out content like a machine
- Having more offers than you can count, with so many moving parts when you try to market and sell those offers
- Having too broad a niche which decreases the effectiveness of your efforts
- Leveraging and paying for lots of different tools and services (and never fully utilizing or fully understanding the capabilities of any one of them)
- Joining so many different programs and groups that your heads spin with the overload of information and often conflicting ideas
The list goes on and on and your business can start to feel heavy and sometimes even unmanageable, leading to losing the love for what you do.
There are typically 2 major causes of misalignment.
The first happens when you take advice from people who may not be a great fit for you or if you follow or plug into someone else's business model only to realize it isn't what you want. It happens as a result of following the 'musts' and 'shoulds' of others.
The second happens naturally over time as you level up your business. As you achieve new levels of growth and scale in your business, your offers and your business model need to evolve at the same time. The things you were doing yesterday fall out of alignment with your next level and require an uplevel of their own.
The challenge is that you can often feel trapped by what you've always done which can cause you to no longer love what you do and not be able to see a path of change.
Why We Can Fall Out of Love With Our Business. Crista Grasso. Click To Tweet.
Lack of Clarity
The root cause of complexity and misalignment typically lead back to lack of clarity. When you aren't clear on where you are going long term and the best way to get there, it's easy to say yes to all the things because everything feels important, and it's hard to stop doing any of them for fear that things will stop working.
It's important to get really clear on your values and the long-term vision you have for your business, so you can make the right decisions around what to invest your time, money, and energy into and how to structure your offers and business model.
Without that clarity, things can quickly become complex and end up out of alignment, and ultimately lead to burn out.
Burn out is typically a result of working too much or too hard and sacrificing self-care and the things that are important to you outside of your business.
Sometimes it is a "little 'b' burnout" where we lose our motivation, feel exhausted, and might get sick often. This is that pivotal time when we need to pay attention and change things up before it gets more serious. If it persists, it can become "big 'B' Burnout" and have major impacts to your health and wellness.
If you are in any state of burnout, it is really hard to love what you do when you are just so exhausted that all you want is a break.
It doesn't matter if you have got an aligned business model, it doesn't matter if you're crystal clear on where you're going long-term and know what to be focused on short-term. If you are working too hard, if you are working too much, and if you are consistently sacrificing self-care, your personal lifestyle goals, and those things that are important to you outside of your business to the point that you feel burnt out in any way, shape, or form, it is really hard to be excited about what you're doing, even if it's something you would have been excited by without the burnout.
So what do you do if you've fallen out of love with your business?
It all starts with leaning out your business - eliminating everything that is overly complex, out of alignment, and causing massive overwork and overwhelm.
As you're growing your business, you need to be relentlessly committed to leaning out as you grow, or you're never going to get to a place where you can scale sustainably, without all the overwork and overwhelm so many entrepreneurs experience.
When you're in periods of growth, especially accelerated growth, things can get really complex and fall out of alignment quickly. It's when a lot of people hit burnout, especially if you weren't fully prepared for the rate of growth and feel like you're playing catch up to keep up with it.
If you try to scale your business from that point, which is a mistake I see a lot of people make, that is when you scale all of the noise and complexity in your business and can ultimately burn yourself out.
This is a recipe for not loving your business. So, to turn that around you want to simplify first - you want to lean things out.
This helps ensure you are laser focused on the things that matter most and you can eliminate everything else that keeps you from loving your business.
If you haven't experienced a period of massive growth yet, you can lean out as you grow so that you minimize the risk of falling out of love with your business.
But if you are already at that point where things have gotten overly complex and out of alignment, the most effective way to reimagine your business to be one you absolutely love again is by following the 4 stages of the Lean Out Method - Context, Clarity, Commitment, and Kaizen.
Everything starts with Context and taking the time to get crystal clear on what your next level vision is, plus getting clear on your near-term goals related to your vision. The other critical piece of the context pillar is your business model.
You want to assess if you have your business structured in such a way that you actually feel excited about it because if you don't love the business you have right now, you get to reimagine your business model. No matter what your industry is, no matter what stage of business you are at, you get to define who you work with and how you work with them, who you hire, what you invest your time, money, and energy into, and how you price, package and position your offers.
A shift in your business model is what is typically needed to fall back in love with your business again, and many entrepreneurs are surprised to see just how out of alignment their current business model is with their next level vision and goals.
The context pillar helps you get clear on:
- If you are working on the right things right now
- If your business model is structured to support your next level of growth, in alignment with your values and the work you love and people you love to work with most (clients and team)
- Where there are variances from what you have today and what you actually want
Once your Context is established, you can gain clarity on what to be doing and when to be doing it.
Once you've made the decision to make changes in your business, you will want them in place right away, but the reality is that most things require a transition period so you can continue to deliver on client commitments and minimize risk. That's why it's so important to plan out what that transition will look like, including communications.
As you build out your roadmap, create your 90-day plan, and get clear on your weekly and daily activities, include transitioning away from those things you don't love while putting in place the things that you do.
Planning for change is the easy part. Then you need to commit to the transition which means pushing through when mindset blocks come up, which they absolutely will.
It is natural to resist change and hard to stop doing something you've been doing for a while, especially if it previously generated great results. It is very common for what I call the "yeah but's" to come up and for you to try to talk yourself out of making the transition.
You may find yourself thinking things like:
- "Yeah but... can I really make this change right now?"
- "Yeah, but... what if people are disappointed if I stop selling this offer?"
- "Yeah but... what if my clients are upset that they'll get less access to me?"
- "Yeah, but... what if the new thing doesn't work?"
You need to fully commit and unapologetically say no to those things that are not in alignment with your next level.
Kaizen is a lean concept that means making small continuous improvements and changes for the better. This starts with regularly reflecting on what's working and what isn't and looking at both quantitative and qualitative measures so you can see what you want to change.
This ensures that you are continuously shaping a business you love that generates the impact and profit that you want for your next level, and that you do not fall out of alignment, into unnecessary complexity, or ever reach the state of burnout.
If you find yourself at a place where you do not feel the same passion you once felt for your business, identify which of the 4 major drivers are causing you to no longer love your business - complexity, misalignment, lack of clarity, burn out, or all of the above.
Then leverage the 4 pillars of the Lean Out Method to reimagine your business to one that you love and that allows you to make the big impact you want to make, while working for yourself and having control over your own schedule and financial freedom.
First set context by getting clear on your vision, goals, and business model. Then gain clarity on the right things to be doing right now by developing your roadmap and plans, incorporating what you will be doing to transition. Make a commitment to stick with the transition even when you start to have doubts and mindset challenges. And practice kaizen to reflect on how well things are working and make continuous small improvements to remain in alignment and to scale a business you absolutely love.
Ready to simplify and streamline how you scale your business?
- We are now accepting Visionary CEOs and their right-hand Ops Leads into our signature Simplify to Scale mentorship program. Learn more and join us at leanoutmethod.com/scale.
- Join us for our transformational in-person business retreats and masterminds each Spring and Fall at leanoutmethod.com/retreats.
- Have questions? Want to explore partnering together to scale your business? Book a FREE strategy call to explore working together.
by Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale. Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast.