How Do Planning and Research Help You in Your Business — Sharon Z Jewelry

Mark A. Carlson

My colleague in the small business consultant world, Beth Houtrow, interviewed me about why research and planning are so key in making business decisions.

I’ve talked before about how I’ve made big mistakes in my business, and a lot of it had to do with not putting hard numbers to my dreams and my vision. It also has a lot to do with my healthy dose of unrealistic expectations set up by not asking enough questions.

Money matters and so does research

I think that there are a lot of us who think of numbers as a dream-killer when it comes to making big plans for our businesses, but money and numbers are truly where the magic happens. It is worth our time and attention.

I also spend some time talking about one of my favorite books – Consumed by Aja Barber, where she connects racism, colonialism and fast fashion and makes compelling arguments for running slower businesses with deeper intention.

Why I do what I do

That’s been at the core of why I started consulting for small businesses. I am currently witnessing more burnout than I have ever seen before in entrepreneurship, and I don’t think it needs to be like this. I believe that we can build better systems, but it might mean changing our minds about what success looks like, about what work looks like and how we set ourselves up with realistic expectations while also doing work that lights us up.

Preventing burnout

It’s that last part that I think is core to preventing burnout. Spinning our wheels on work that doesn’t fulfill us, spending our time on chasing other people’s dreams instead of our own is a path to exhaustion. I’ve realized this in myself and I love helping other business owners figure out where and how to spend their time.

Check out my interview and also get to know Beth’s business owner book club if you want to explore more about different small business philosophies.

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