Do you ever find yourself stuck in a rut?
Last week we met with a friend we've known for some years, Richard, in regards to providing us with a little ongoing impartial guidance as a business consultant.
Richard is new to this and we're his first client - something of a guinea pig - but it's Richard's story of how he came to become a consultant that I think you'll find interesting.
And one you may recognise in yourself.
The rot sets in
Richard worked for a big telecommunications company in the city, helping businesses plan and install cable and wireless networks, as well as train the client side teams.
But after more than 21 years, he had grown tired of working in a humdrum corporate environment.
The same projects day after day.
The long travel all of the country, often with very little notice.
Early starts, long hours and plenty of disgruntled customers to appease.
It had become uncomfortably monotonous, de-motivating and stale.
Richard had got stuck in a rut.
And with a mortgage and bills to pay the risk of doing something about it had prevented him from doing something about it, until now ...
Stepping into the unknown
Without the safety net of another role ready and waiting, he decided to make take the plunge.
He up and quit his job.
Drastic certainly. Scary, definetely.
But Richard is a clever and amiable guy and he had a plan.
Working with people is his passion, and so he put this together with the elements of his job he does enjoy - dealing with people and helping them overcome problems.
And so he began training to become a business consultant.
A far cry from his days as a network engineer.
But as Richard commented:
"The moment I resigned I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. Don't get me wrong, it was scary as hell, but invigorating all the same."
And similarly to us, when we first started, Ricahrd needed to get out of the blocks fast.
He needed to gain momentum, sharpen his skills and get some references, and so we offered to become his first client.
Business Buddies is doing well, but as we've grown, we need to look at how to maintain growth without over extending ourselves.
And, as I'm sure you find, spending time planning for the future is difficult when this is time lost doing - and earning.
It's a fine blancing act.
But a neccessary one. Because a business without a plan is directionless and unlikely to grow.
Richard will be there to offer outside direction and guidance.
He'll keep us focused and working towards something rather than anything.
And as the old adage goes: Hope for the best but plan for the worst.
Next time you have a bit of time to yourself, consider starting to pull together the bones of a business plan. This doesn't have to be Lord Alan Sugar style, just something that helps you begin to see further ahead than tomorrow.
And, for more tips on how to build you plan, and other critical techniques, you can find them here: www.business-buddies.co.uk