If you have never bonked, you may not be familiar with the word. Bonking essentially refers to your body running out of fuel during a sporting activity. Alternatively called “hitting the wall,” bonking is no fun. Its symptoms include overwhelming and somewhat instant fatigue – like, ‘I want to take a little nap right here on the side of the road’ fatigue. Your brain gets fuzzy, your limbs get heavy and you are done.
The thing is, bonking is 100% preventable. All you have to do is stay adequately fueled. It’s the same for business. When your business runs out of fuel (customers) it cannot keep going. Sure, you can coast along on the remnants of last night’s dinner and existing clients for a while. You may even feel pretty good and convince yourself you don’t need any more fuel, but rest assured, it’s coming. If you fail to feed your business it will bonk.
The challenge in avoiding this condition comes when, 1) you are doing something new and have no expectation that you could run out of fuel or, 2) you aren’t paying attention. There is one easy way around either of these challenges – just keep fueling. Constantly. Never stop building your business even when it feels like you are filled up.
I am part of a small business. The difference between “pretty busy” and “I don’t have time to change my socks,” is a couple of projects. It bears reminding that things always, and inevitably, change. Clients go away. Budgets dry up. Competitors appear. As easy as it is to get to the point where we feel our plate is full and we have no room left, it is essential to make room for dessert (words to live by).
Of course, there is a balance between servicing your existing clients and making way for new ones. Just because I have five energy bars packed for my 70-mile bike ride doesn’t mean I should eat them all rolling out the driveway. I have learned to eat at regular intervals on those rides because if I wait until I feel hungry, it just might be too late.