26 Nov Business and The Human Givens
Business and the human givens: helping stressed business owners
Running a business can be hugely rewarding, but also stressful and overwhelming. If something knocks us sideways, like a relationship crisis or bereavement, then there is often no one to hold the fort. We have to handle whatever is going on for us whilst still taking care of the business, or it all stops. Even those with a team around them are often in the same position. The buck still stops with the business owner. It’s at times like these that businesses can stutter. Or more importantly, business owners and entrepreneurs can find themselves on the edge of burnout, or beyond.
The Human Givens Framework and business
My work at Scarlet Thinking is to help business owners get back on track and I use the Human Givens framework to do so. Why? It’s a therapeutic approach that puts our needs first. Its foundation rests on the fact that we are all human. When our needs are not being met, or fulfilled in the right balance, issues occur. Not only is this common sense, but the HG approach is based on empirical evidence using techniques that have been proven to work.
This approach is accessible and can be understood by anyone, anywhere. It is especially applicable to business owners who often put their needs to one side to work on their businesses. This can be fine in the short term. However, as we know, that can easily stretch into long term. It then becomes the norm. Additionally, whether you are a freelancer working from your spare bedroom, or the CEO of a seven or eight figure business, deep down, you share the same needs.
I’ve been a business owner in one shape or form since the age of 23. A bullying boss in a PR catapulted me into working for myself. I spent most days working in dread. I was waiting for the moment when she would turn on me for some imagined slight or failure to get a piece of coverage. My nerves were in tatters and I had little joy in my work. Some of my fundamental human needs were not being answered. I felt little sense of achievement, and had no feeling of community at work. Additionally, I had a distinct lack of status in that office. Finally, my sense of security was almost at rock bottom. She could (and did) hire and fire on a whim. Some days you were her golden girl, and she’d take you out for lunch at one of her favourite Soho pads. Other times, she would berate your existence.
One day a possible client came in for a chat. As he left, she sneered about him, with obviously no inclination to take his money. It was the end of the day. I grabbed my coat and bag, ran down the stairs and caught him in the street. I offered to do his PR as a freelancer. That was the day Black Cat PR was born. I dropped the name, dumped the job, and started a new career working for myself. Within weeks I had a strong sense of security, achievement and status. My needs were once again fulfilled.
What holds business owners back?
I did PR for businesses for the next few years, mainly concentrating on restaurants and bars within London. When my children were born, this necessitated a more home-based lifestyle. I moved into consulting with business owners. I advised them on how to do their own PR and marketing. A good percentage put a lot of my ideas into place, and had some success. Some made major strides even I couldn’t have predicted. However, there was a significant minority who did nothing with the advice or material.
This often showed up as procrastination, perfectionism or, as many confessed, a fear around the idea of being visible. Why this was, they couldn’t say.
Psychology for business
I became curious as to why. This pivoted me into psychology, prompting me to take up a business psychology Masters, gain an executive coaching qualification, and then go onto retraining as a psychotherapist.
Along the way I found many tools and techniques that could help them. However, it wasn’t until I trained in Human Givens that I really felt sure in my approach. The HG approach is solution-focused, and concentrates on what we can be doing right now, rather than keeping ourselves stuck in the past. I’ve worked with clients traumatised by bad redundancies who have been unable to let go of that and really focus on the business they really want. Using the Rewind technique, we have overcome that, and they have moved on.
I worked with business owners who have been so keen to please people that they have been carrying their own work, plus that of the people who should have been working for them. Together, entrepreneurs and I have unravelled causes of anxiety, changed relationship dynamics, and spotted triggers for patterns of behaviour that do not serve them or their business.
The emotional needs audit for entrepreneurs
I’m guessing that in reading this you may be struggling with a life issue that is impacting your business? Or, maybe there is a pattern of behaviour that you just can’t get past? Perhaps you can see its implications for your work, whether that’s preventing you from taking calculated risks, or making you uneasy about charging what you are worth. To get started, I invite you to do an emotional needs audit. This looks at how your needs are being met, right now. A score of seven means that a need is very fulfilled, and all is good. When you get to the lower ends of the scale, it’s something I would advise you start looking at.
This is a great snapshot of where you are now. It will give you a heads-up on what needs are missing or low, and where you should be placing your attention. If anything is particularly low, don’t panic. There’s always something you can do about it.
If, after doing your emotional needs audit, you’d like to chat to me about how we can improve your scores, you can contact me here to arrange a chat.