Fire & I
From the desk of Stephanie Scheller
My younger brother was…wild! One of his greatest feats in high school was the ability to breathe fire…in fact, his profile picture for years on social media was one with his hand on fire next to his face. He put it out immediately afterwards, but it still gave my dad conniption fits. He was overt with his obsession with fire. I was a little more subtle.
I remember sneaking under the porch in Alaska with a stolen box of matches and roll paper "cigarettes." Loving to watch how the fire danced on the edge of the rolled paper (Yeah…that’s what I thought cigarettes were….I was 6!). This then progressed to me taking q-tips, dipping them in wax and creating torches in the dark bathroom as if I was cave exploring. I still enjoy sitting in front of a campfire and watching it burn when I go camping.
I want to explore what knowledge we can obtain from fire in business. Not only that, but also how we can put this knowledge to use. Fire is an incredible force. It is what enabled us to reach the top of the food chain. It produces light and energy, in addition to providing protection and guiding us when we are stuck. Nevertheless, fire can be dangerous if not handled cautiously. A seemingly insignificant spark can cause a wildfire that is out of control and lead to the loss of lives and property. Oftentimes, I believe that the enthusiasm and zeal we have as entrepreneurs can have a similar effect.
- It’s how we get our team fired up and excited…
- It’s often how we bring vendors & clients onboard
- It’s what gets us up in the morning!
- It can burn our team out…
- It can burn us out…
How do we control it?
- We control the potential damage of passion the same way we would a fire…
It is essential to stay aware of the flame and recognize its potential and your own. You must acknowledge the influence you have on yourself and your team.
Don't be afraid to say "no" to your team or to yourself. Make sure your team is aware of your desired destination, and don't let them forget the ultimate vision. Don't forget it yourself either.
We are amongst the best of the leaders out there, but it is of the utmost importance that we keep on developing our leadership skills. Similarly to firefighters who are obligated to attend classes and renew their qualifications, I urge you to become certified in one of the types of communication this year, such as Enneagram, DISC or the Big 5. Additionally, become versed in how to motivate others and find out how to manage your own insecurities .
Take time for upkeep and maintenance, for it is harder to ignite a garden that is flourishing and healthy than one that is overgrown. If we don’t pay attention, we may then end up stuck trying to put out the fire rather than developing the garden.
I encourage you to set aside time at the end of every month to hold C-Suite meetings. However, this will likely require that you automate certain tasks and take them off your to-do list.
CFO Meeting – Review your financials and what you need to do to get to where you want to go
- Cash Flow Projections
- Profit First Distributions
CEO Meeting – Review your goals…reset as needed
- How do I feel
- Lessons Learned
CMO Meeting – Review your marketing and adjust as needed
- What am I doing
- Research ideas
- Build Plan
These three components are incredibly POWERFUL! Together they form a triangle, which is known to be the strongest shape on earth. They allow me to take a step back and look at the situation from a different angle, helping me to find solutions. Additionally, this triangle provides me with the opportunity to get creative and sparks a flurry of ideas in my head.
“A spark is what happens in our brains to make a thought happen… A spark is how we communicate… A spark is where ideas come from…”
During this year, I have been obsessed with learning more about my own mind...because I have come to the realization that I am not that unique, and a lot of the issues I face are shared by others as well. However, if I can identify and verbalize my own struggles, I can be of great help to many people.
I have finally realized that I do indeed have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I had no understanding of its implications before, but now I can recognize both the positives (e.g. creativity and problem-solving) as well as the negatives (e.g. a difficulty with details and trouble getting started).
I'm committing the next YEAR to thinking about how to make a SPARK that has an effect in all parts of my business, and I welcome you back to join us at the 2024 Grow Retreat to witness the results of this obsession where our theme will be: Spark! The Spark can start off as something seemingly insignificant, but with the right help, it can have a huge impact.