SBDC – Keeping It Balanced

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Have you ever experienced the feeling that you really love owning and running a business, regardless of what it does? I hope so, and this is one of the important aspects of business ownership that I wish remains top of mind with you in your daily work. If it has faded over time, stop and reflect on the times when you started and were fresh and starry-eyed, looking with anticipation towards the future and for what would be in store for you. Remember how great that felt? Take a moment to visualize that moment or time period and reflect on the changes that have happened since.

Since that time, have you focused on building, acquiring, making, promoting analyzing and a hundred other verbs that describe activities you have engaged in to keep your business running? Have you forgotten what your dreams were and how you were going to realize the joy your business was going to provide? I certainly hope not.

Whether you have or have not forgotten how it was, are you taking the time to remember the best parts of business ownership and take satisfaction with what you have conceived and built? Experiencing the best parts of business ownership is part of keeping your balance. Maintaining perspective and balance is fundamental to your ability to experience joy in the creative aspects and success your business can provide you. Having these aspects integrated into the culture you cultivate in your business is very effective in employee retention, in acquiring top talent, in performing above industry standards, and for creating the wealth you desire as an owner. It has everything to do with maintaining market share and for staging your business for sale at the end of your intended stewardship of your company.

I have had the good fortune recently to participate in various discussions of not only how consuming businesses are, but also how that dynamic can be managed with the help of peers. In this case, peers are mentors who have reminded me of the value we provide, of the service we deliver, and they provide useful information I can use to make improvements in our performance. In short, the feedback I receive from mentors, whether they be the top or bottom of businesses and other organizations, is helpful, actionable and appreciated. Even the times I hear something I don’t necessarily want to hear I find that feedback can oftentimes be the most useful for making corrections to our pathway.

In short, maintaining perspective leads to keeping one’s balance which translates into performance excellence both inside and for outside of a business. It is my hope you have built a peer support structure or mentor group to help you keep perspective and balance. Contact the SOU Small Business Development Center to add your name to a list of like-minded businesspeople who want to mentor and be mentored in a relaxing atmosphere.

From this start, let’s all make it a point in 2023 to experience the joy and prosperity we can have in our chosen businesses.

Marshall Doak is the Director of the Southern Oregon University Small Business Development Center and a huge supporter of innovation and the community that forms around innovation in the economy. In private practice, he works with businesses that plan to transition to new ownership within the next five years, assisting them to build value that can be converted to retirement income when the business sells. He can be reached through: or 541-646-4126.

By Marshall Doak, SOU SBDC Director

By Marshall Doak, SOU SBDC Director

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