I’ve always been very open about my business, sharing personal experiences with Her Corner members and telling it like it is. As I think back to some of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, I realize that many of them won’t be a surprise to you. But all of them have gotten me to where I am today, and now I’m facing my next big decision point.
Over the last several years, the hardest decisions I’ve had to make included:
1. Taking the plunge and putting together a team.
It is so difficult at first to get over the idea that you can’t do everything by yourself. But eventually someone tells you, it’s time (in my case, it was our rock star facilitator Melanie Spring).
Hire some help. Just do it. It’s frightening, and you don’t know how you’re going to grow into those expenses, but eventually you do. And then you realize that without a team you simply could not have moved the business forward.
2. Knowing that you can’t please everyone, and sometimes you have to let the bad clients go.
While I cannot remember all the wonderful people out there who have thanked me and told me how grateful they have been for Her Corner, I can definitely tell you who the handful of unhappy and grumpy members were – the ones I had to kindly ask to leave because their energy and comments were affecting other members and sometimes even my team.
When you’re a pleaser, which I am, it can be agony to make (and act on) those difficult decisions – especially when your business involves so much personal interaction.
3. And perhaps the hardest decision, and the most recent one, was when we decided to pull back on our national expansion plans.
Instead, we decided to re-trench and rethink our growth strategy. So much time and energy and money went into that plan, and while the decision was a business one, this decision involved people, people with whom I had relationships and cared about. Knowing that I had to change course and plot expansion again literally took the wind right out of my sails.
Which leads me to the decision I am facing now. On the last day of August, we marked our third year in business. I kept it under wraps because I didn’t really feel like celebrating (see number 3 above).
For some reason, I had always told myself that after three years I would come to a go / no-go decision. I had planned to build a national brand within three years, and if I couldn’t achieve that, then there didn’t seem to be any point in growing just a nice little local business. (I know that may seem crazy, but that’s what my ambition and my brain had settled on.)
Given what happened (again, see number 3) I’m now sitting in front of an inflection point. In June, I clearly changed my mind and decided not to expand nationally, and now I have to decide what this business will look like.
Do I stick to my original promise to myself and say that if it’s just a local business it may not be worth running? Or do I set a new goal? And can a leader change a vision and set new goals that quickly? Already it’s been two months, and while I have a few good ideas for a vision, I’m not ready to implement anything quite yet.
There’s no shortage of work to be done around Her Corner. And lord knows we continue to add members every week. But the real question now is, to what end? How does this business continue to make an impact? And is it enough?
Frederique is passionate about helping women take their businesses to the next level of growth and success. As founder and CEO of Her Corner, she applies her entrepreneurial spirit & management consulting background and business operations expertise to give women the springboard they need to move forward.