Maintaining Focus While Changing Direction



As small business owners, especially solopreneurs, we have the advantage of being able to take the liberty of changing the direction or focus of our business. What started out, perhaps, as business coaching with businessy topics as a mainstay, may over the years turn out to no longer fulfil you. Or we find the goods we sell are becoming outdated and no longer desirable to our clients, as evidenced, for example, by more and more bookstores closing as e-Books and e-Readers grow in popularity.

Human growth, as it happens, doesn’t end after puberty. Sure, overall physical growth may end there, as does hopefully the propensity of having oily skin or acne, and making dubious decisions, yet personal and intellectual growth thankfully continues throughout our entire lives. I think that’s a good thing, as long as we recognise that it can bring with it the desire for and necessity of significant life changes and tough decisions every few years or decades.

When we become business owners, we have a specific type of business in mind that excites us. It provides us with the drive, inspiration, creativity, passion, and overall positive feelings required to get us started in the scary world of self-employment. All of these are also the traits our potential clients will feel attracted to. They want someone who is well versed about their product or service, passionate, believable, and therefore likeable and trustworthy.

All these good emotions can go through a less certain and firm ‘appearance’ during a business transition period, when we find ourselves wanting or needing to change direction with our products or services. Maybe, as in the example above, business coaching no longer excites us because our course of life changed us to wanting to focus more on reflective, heart based, and personal skills sets, like life coaching.

Our time of transition from one business to another can then be a very tricky journey. While we build a new business idea and become excited about the new prospects it holds, and satisfaction it will bring to us and our clients, we often have to maintain a level of momentum and passion for our ‘old’ but still current business; A balancing act that can leave us with one foot in and one foot out of the door.

Therein lies the challenge of ‘keeping face’ towards your existing clients, while perhaps already starting to have conversations with prospects for your new venture. Niggling in the back of our mind may also be the lure of going back to a full-time J.O.B. with that tempting steady, but fixed and often less upwardly mobile income.

But then the many advantages of being our own boss remind us that that’s really where we want to be! And that’s worth the journey, even a little bit of discomfort along the way.


Martina Rowley is the founder and operator of Beach Business Hub – THE co-working space east of the Don Valley. She combined her passion and experience in the environmental sector with her community engagement side to create a local work environment where space and resources are shared. She fosters and facilitates collaboration, networking, and learning for and with small business owners and new start-ups.  Contact her at:, on Facebook and on Twitter

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