Gaining my Red Belt in Business means a heap to me. Not only am I one step away from a Black Belt, this Red Belt recognises that as a business owner I have achieved so much since being a white belt business (newbie). When I started in business we operated from my garage; to expand to have multi award winning operations in 5 localities Nationwide. I also train with Nathan (when knee troubles allow) and have gained a Green belt in Hapkido. To a martial arts student, a Black Belt is your ultimate goal – it’s the recognition of achievement.
When you start out in business, there are so many challenges, from cash-flow to staff, systems, customers, delivery, budgets and so much more. As you go through business, these challenges don’t disappear (sorry to burst your bubble), however what does change is your ability to deal effectively with those challenges. As you become more experienced and savvy you learn to identify quickly if there is a problem (such as with cash-flow) and even more importantly you know how to correct that problem quickly and effectively. With this knowledge and expertise comes a sense of calm, rather than stress, because you know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it, and simply get on and do it.
When I look back and remember the things that stressed me, upset me or almost broke me, I now see those as minor. As a successful business owner, you grow yourself as a person and entrepreneur. This growth, or maturity, comes from knock downs (and getting up again), it comes from the knowledge you can prevail, it comes from the understanding you (and your business) provide a great service or product and you know now how to deliver that service or product in the most effective way – so that both your customer benefits, but you do of course as a business owner. You start to recognise that life is not only about business, but about having a life. You come to recognise that holidays are important, good health is important and personal happiness is important also to successful business. You find that life balance we all hear about, because in essence you know what you’re doing.
So, you’re wondering, how did I get to Red Belt? Yes, it took time, it took hard work, it took consistency, focus and discipline and determination. There was no luck about it, or fluking success, simply doing what needed to be done day after day. A big factor of my own business success was having a great business coach, Nathan McDonald. He challenged me out of my comfort zone, he assisted me with finding solutions to problems, he held me accountable and showed me the tools and skills I needed to make Stone Consulting a huge success. Thank you Nathan!