Home is where the heart is
Awaiting my best friend's arrival on the intercity bus, I felt an impending sense of home. I haven't seen said friend for 6 months, but I know that the space between us will feel as it always has. It will feel like home.
On a personal level, many of us frequently consider or experience what it means to be "home". But what is "home" in a business sense?
And before you start running with the impression that I'm seriously messing with your ideal of "work-life balance", let me assure you I'm not.
Home is a word many people struggle to define. Is it where the heart is? Where the family is? Where you are? I don't have the answer (sorry) but the common thread throughout the multitude of common answers is: a sense of familiarity.
Your business needs a sense of familiarity; something you know to be true about you and can always return to. Internally, that may mean the set of values you pride yourself on and that underpin all your decisions. When dealing with your market, that probably means your existing customers. The ones who know you, and that you know through your dealings with them. The ones with whom you've already made an unspoken pact: "we see eye to eye and that's why I've trusted you".
We must always remember to come home when we are feeling lost or directionless, when we are feeling overwhelmed or fearful about our next step. Because what home and familiarity bring is a sense of strength and purpose. A reminder of who we are and what we believe in.
Our business values, business family, and business relationships are our home.
We must ask ourselves: are we only focused outward, on what's new and next and further and more? Or do we remember to nurture and feed the parts of our business that are truly familiar? Make decisions based on our foundational values; ensure our team is aware that we appreciate them; make regular and personal contact with our existing relationships?
Because if we don't make that effort, all of this becomes unfamiliar. Unfamiliar no longer feels like home. And without a sense of home, foundations slip away.
As much as the adventure, risk, and growth is necessary to our moving forward, it's important always to return home. Whatever home means to you.