What to Do When You Don’t LOVE Your Business Anymore

tech manufacturing industry

Has that light bulb gone out for you? When you first had your business idea, you were excited by the prospect of being your own boss, of reaping the benefits from all your hard work. You nurtured, gestated, and ultimately unveiled your new business. And, while you didn’t believe things would be all rainbows and kittens, you never imagined the daily grind would wear you down the way it has. As the endless days drag on and you struggle to keep both body and mind together while keeping your business afloat, it’s normal to question whether you made the right decision. It’s not uncommon to feel down when dealing with all the stress of owning your own business. Owning your own business is a slog that many business owners never expected it to be so hard to take so long to see any kind of success. So, what can you do when you don’t love your business anymore? Let’s chat.

As you can see in the graphic below, most startups fail and there are common reasons for failure you should avoid through careful planning and attention to detail. For instance, the top reason for failure is that your idea doesn’t have a market either because it lacks uniqueness over existing products or because not enough people suffer from the problem your product tries to solve. While devastating, this is a problem you can solve by researching your target market, your competition, and other elements in the external environment to ensure enough demand exists for your product. When I used to attend pitch events frequently, I was shocked at how many entrepreneurs planned or developed a meal delivery app. That space just didn’t have enough opportunity when you had competitors like GrubHub, Uber, and Doordash that already captured a big portion of the market. Sure, maybe you offered an easy way to split the cost among friends when ordering food, but that isn’t enough distinction to ensure success. So, before you go any further in this post, please check out some resources to ensure you have a thorough business plan to guide you, such as this one.

startup failure rates
Image courtesy of Profit from Tech

Don’t love your business anymore?

If you don’t love your business anymore, there are things you can do to help find your love and drive the success of your business. Here are a few.

Look to your passions

You may find your life changed or maybe it’s something in the economy or with consumers that makes your business life so challenging you don’t love your business anymore. Sometimes your lack of motivation is a temporary thing because of external circumstances such as illness or stress that make it harder to love your business, but if your passions changed, you might find this the best time to look at the notion of pivoting your original idea. Or maybe you just need to give your project a little more time before pulling the plug for your success to reawaken your passion. If your passion did a complete 180 and you feel that you need to go back to something that really resonates with you, you now have the opportunity to start digging for those business ideas that you discarded earlier as a new direction for your business.

If you were interested in running a wedding venue, now is the perfect time to learn more from potential competitors on how to run the business in a way that works for you. However, it is common for some sense of passion to dissipate under the day-to-day pressures of running your business, so don’t throw out a perfectly good idea too fast. We can rekindle your passion by taking a different perspective or sometimes by addressing underlying causes that underpin your frustrations. For instance, maybe hiring a manager or worker to take some of the stress off your shoulders will bring back your passion. Or, you might consider scaling back your business to something a little more manageable.

Are you just overwhelmed?

New business owners have a vision of what they want their business to become. Sometimes, we’re frustrated when reality doesn’t live up to our expectations.

If you’re overwhelmed, it’s time to take a step back to re-evaluate the situation.

  • Were your expectations unrealistic? If so, it’s time to bring some realism to your projections based on past experience.
  • Did you not live up to your goals? For instance, I work with clients who use digital marketing all the time to help them do a better job of marketing their brands. I set out expectations for publishing content on social media, blogs, and email broadcasts that match best practices for those companies that can’t afford to have my staff create content for them. In many cases, they don’t meet these expectations so I suggest tools to help them stick to a schedule such as marketing automation and content calendars.
  • Is your target market not enthusiastic about your product? Maybe you didn’t position it well or your marketing doesn’t present the brand in the right light. That may take some time to fix but it’s definitely doable with extended effort.

Ask for feedback

Sometimes discussing our feelings with mentors or fellow entrepreneurs can offer valuable insights that you cannot see. There could be parts of your business idea that still appeal to you and therefore you could benefit from modifying your idea to reflect your current interests.

When we’ve spent a lot of time working on an idea it can easily evolve to meet the needs of the current market and if you feel that disconnect you may benefit from simple advice as to whether your idea really links with you. For instance, Adobe formed and raised money based on the notion of selling a bundle of hardware and software for desktop publishing. Once launched, the company found it difficult to market the bundle with potential partners more interested in the software than the hardware. Luckily, the mentor assigned by their funders suggested pivoting from the original idea and we all know the result of that great advice.

Is it time for new opportunities?

Many people change careers in their lives and it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to step away from running a business completely and to look at the things that do make them feel a sense of excitement. But sometimes we don’t give ourselves permission to change.

A change is as good as a rest and maybe you’ve run your course, therefore, if your business idea doesn’t thrill you anymore you need to wrap up existing commitments gradually and make a careful transition into your new life.

Conclusion

It’s not the end of the world to find you don’t love your business anymore. There are easy fixes if you’re willing to dedicate the time and effort to making your product a success.

Need marketing help to support business growth?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.