The idea of Readiness has been with me for a while. It started while working with a nonprofit organization to determine if a client was “ready” to work with the organization. Many wanted to, but they were not in a position to accomplish the goals that were required when receiving assistance.
Readiness is the state of being ready. Ready means to be in a suitable state for an activity, action, or situation; fully prepared. Are you ready? I have asked myself this question over and over again. Just when I think the answer is yes, I realize that it’s no. Since the start of this year, I have gone back to books, tapes, and videos that I have purchased over the years to help improve my business. Some of which I forgot about. I decided that if I took the time to purchase them, then, they should still be useful. As I reviewed some of the materials, I wondered why I had not implemented the suggestions. Simple answer, I was not ready.
Are you in a suitable state?
In 2007, I declared that I was going to give all to my law firm. I decided that I was going to get focused and really do what it takes to grow my business. That year I got married, and the next year I had a baby. During that time, I had joined a leadership group (two in fact) and I had begun taking several litigation cases which I swore I would never do. I was ready. Except that I wasn’t.
The day after I had my son, I wanted to quit my business. I honestly just didn’t have what I needed to move my business forward. Understandable, given the circumstances, but I was not in a suitable state. After that, the person that would later become my business coach invited me to a coaching group that he was hosting. I went, I learned a lot and I implemented nothing. I wasn’t there. Mentally, I mean. I just wasn’t.
The point is, that to move forward you have to be in a suitable state. That can be physical, mental, spiritual, or financial. You can have everything it takes to own a business and make it successful, but if you are not ready, none of it will matter.
Are you fully prepared?
The correct answer is no. None of us really are when it comes to owning a business. I have yet to meet a business owner who felt completely prepared for everything that comes their way. But being fully prepared in this sense mean that you are ready to handle whatever comes your way.
I think about my son who is in Cub Scouts. Always be prepared! That means that you have the tools or skills that you need to handle any situation. I will admit that many times in my business I was not prepared. I was not prepared for the financial crises that hit in 2011. Despite the fact that I had been provided with every opportunity to be prepared, I was not. I had several marketing courses and books that I had read, and did not fully implement the lessons. So when everything fell apart, I did not know what to do. I did not know how to increase my customer base so I did a lot of things that made no sense. In hindsight, that lack of preparedness set me back several years.
Are you ready to be ready?
If you got everything you wanted and had the amount of business that she desired, would you be able to handle it. If your answer is no, but I’ll figure it out. You are not ready. I know there is a belief that you build something after you know you have the customers for it. In some sense I believe that is true, you do not want to have done a bunch of work for no one to want it. However, it is not true for creating processes for your business. If you get the desired client and have no real way of servicing them, trying to figure it out on their dime may make you lose the client.
If you are waiting for everything to be perfect before you get ready, then you are going to miss opportunities. Be ready to receive whatever it is that is yours to receive. But you cannot do that if you are not in a suitable state and fully prepared. Are you?
Shahara Wright is an experienced and highly sought after business law attorney and business strategist. She is the author of From Entrepreneur to CEO and host of the CEO Collaboration Circle. Shahara founded The CEO Effect, LLC to work with small business owners who want to implement strategy to build capacity.