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If you don’t believe, it’s not going to happen…………….

Small business owners and business start-ups have a lot of hurdles to overcome. The unknown responsibilities of growing a business, the financial commitment, learning about marketing, management, accounting, etc. may be new and frightening.

The biggest anchor that small business owners have is their enthusiasm with which they started their venture. In the world of small business the belief system is essential to carry on.

I address this topic because of the many small business owners who wonder if they made a mistake in starting their businesses. The road that has to be traveled in starting and growing a business has hills and valleys and lots of curves with deep ravines on either side. Such a road may cause “work sickness” which is fed by doubt and uncertainty.

There is a solution, and it’s not “the grass is greener on the other side”. Giving up on a business or just maintaining a status quo is the wrong approach. When encountering such a client, I listen to all the reasons the business is in decline and then I start the recovery process by saying “ I don’t ever want to hear a why this can’t be done; from now on only how something can be done is allowed in our meetings”.

Starting with a clean pad, the following questions are answered:

  • Why did you start this business?
  • What were your expectations?
  • Make a list of all the positive things that have happened since the business started.

The answers to these three questions will help us create a new, action based, positive business plan. Unlike the traditional business plan this one is designed to achieve a series of small victories that build upon each other. Daily and weekly single- focused, achievable (with a small stretch factor) goals are set. These short term goals are selected daily and weekly and are the building blocks for re-establishing both the belief system for the owner as well as showing a steady business growth pattern.

This is not a short term process. Goals are set and meetings are held on a weekly basis for a minimum of three to four months.  At the end of that period we re-define the company by creating a new Strategic Focus Plan with yearlong goals. Just like the short term goals, the yearlong process is also monitored for the entire year to establish the needed patterns for success.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thomas Edison


Nick J. Petra CFP      May 1st is the great announcement date. Learn about it first by subscribing to this blog at

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