Turning back the clock…

05 Sep Turning back the clock…

Linda Simonsen, CEO, FuturePeople

In many ways, it would be fabulous to turn back time in business, because when you make mistakes in your own organisation – they hurt! However, often this is the only way we really learn. Other people’s stories are also very valuable, and I dedicate time to seeking time with other entrepreneurs to learn from them.

The 5 things I’d do differently if I could go back in time are:

1. Learn to tune in and listen to my intuition. It’s always right! When I look back on things that haven’t worked out, it’s always because I didn’t listen to the ‘feeling’ I had at the time and relied too much on my brain. But it is important here that you distinguish between the little self-doubt voice in your head – and what is actually

2. Find, coach and engage a future successor at the beginning of my journey to avoid ending up being the only key person tied to the business. In my experience, focusing on the person’s ability, values and attitude are far more valuable than hiring someone on a big salary who has ‘done it all before’. Choose someone in this critical role who you really enjoy working with and spending time with.

3. Invest in my own personal and professional development. I put this on the backburner whilst I was ‘building’ the business and didn’t value how important it is to carve out time to ensure you grow as a person and as a leader. When I re-prioritised this, my own engagement and growth benefitted a great deal.

4. Prioritising my well-being as the most important thing above all else. I thought that working long hours, being the last woman standing and doing the heavy lifting when others couldn’t was my job as an entrepreneur and leader. It’s only when the toll of this couldn’t be ignored did I understand the importance of this. I still work hard, but I now focus on making sure that I ‘put my own oxygen mask on first’.

5. I would have learned about what emotional intelligence is and how critical it is to being an effective leader and engaging others around your vision and journey. Investing in learning EI skills for leadership also benefitted me outside of work as a friend, partner and parent, as well as helping me build the resilience that’s required to build a business.

My insights were also recently published by Dynamic Business as part of their ‘Let’s Talk’ column:

The 5 things I’d do differently if I could go back in time would be; Learning to tune in and listen to my intuition – it’s always right!; Finding, coaching and engaging a future successor at the beginning of the journey to avoid ending up being the only key person tied to the business; Investing in my own personal and professional development to grow as a leader; Learning about, and practising, emotional intelligence much earlier on – as it is critical to being an effective leader and engaging others around your vision and journey, plus, it is beneficial for building resilience in and outside of work too; and lastly, Prioritising my own well-being above all else. I thought that working long hours, being the last woman standing and doing the heavy lifting when others couldn’t was my job as an entrepreneur and leader. It’s only when the toll of this couldn’t be ignored that I understood the importance of making sure I was taking care of myself first and foremost.