If you had to start your business over, what would you change?

If you had to start your business over, what would you change?

I have a question for you:

If you had to start everything over, today, what would you do differently?

I have another question for you:

Why aren’t you doing that now?

I can probably guess at the reason: It’s easier to work with what you have than start your business over from scratch. There’d be so much work to do! You’d have to plan and make decisions and invest money and time… and you’ve already put in so much time and money already that the thought is almost unbearable.

Everything you have now would all go to waste! Scrap everything you worked so hard to build? That’s crazy talk! And what if you did, and then you realized it was all a big mistake? That you made the wrong choice and should’ve stuck with what you had?

Start your business over?! Forget that!

That’s a reasonable line of thinking. It’s probably the line of thinking most would have – I’d probably think the same way. Mind you, if you really think about each of those reasons for not starting your business over, and if you get really honest with yourself, you can see that they’re all kind of bullshit reasons for not entertaining the idea.

But I can understand how the thought of sticking with what you have now, even if it isn’t working that well, would probably seem a far better idea than starting over.

Indulge me, though.

Imagine that today you decided to take a full month off and do nothing but focus on starting over from scratch.

Imagine that tomorrow, your only task was to start a list, plan out all the changes you’d make, and build a blueprint of what the 2.0 version of your business would look like.

Imagine that your only job for the next few weeks was to think about giving your business a completely fresh start.

What would you do? You could do anything you pleased.

Maybe you’d scrap your website and get a new one with a better layout. Maybe you’d ditch that service you’ve always hated, once and for all. Maybe you’d streamline all your content into the 3 products you love most. Maybe you’d specialize, or generalize, or branch out.

Maybe you’d hire new people and delegate “divisions” of your business, like your blog or your newsletter. Maybe you’d drop your blog entirely and start a video series. Maybe you’d fire everyone and go solo. Maybe you’d revamp your sales funnel, change your strategy, or hone in on your ideal target market.

Now, before you start dreaming about your idea for a circus school for burnt-out CEOs or thinking you can wrestle your passion for top-down knitted cable sweaters into a business model, let’s be clear:

I’m not talking about reinventing yourself or jumping into an entirely different area of expertise. That’s not starting over. That’s running away.

I strictly mean taking the business you have, stripping it down to its barest bones and rebuilding it afresh, the same way you’d have to rebuild if a blizzard came along and swept it all away.

You could, you know. Start over. It’s perfectly possible. You don’t have to, of course, and starting over might not be the right idea for some people, but there’s no good reason why you can’t. There’s no rule that says you have to stick with what you have.

If you’re continually tinkering away at a business that isn’t working as it should, maybe it’s a good idea. If you have a long list of to-dos and changes you’ve always wanted to make, but never seem to get around to it, maybe this is the right choice. If you haven’t made a change in 5 years, maybe now is the time.

If you’ve been wishing for months that you could just… well, start over, maybe this is day you do. You could take a month off – or two, or three. You could map out a new and improved version. You could ditch everything, and begin anew.

The question is… would you?

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

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  1. Timely message. But then, my life is full of synchronous happenings.

    Technically, I’ve had my site for two years. In that time, I worked a night job that was strenuous enough (and paid too little), that I’d be too tired to do what I needed to do. Much less what I wanted to do! So, when an unexpected surgery sidelined me ten days ago, I took that as the kick I needed to DO something! Even a baby step of one LOI or query letter per day. Plus change my site to more accurately reflect my chosen products. And so on. In essence, I started over!

  2. I would! In fact, the idea excites me. The chance to erase the bits you don’t like or that don’t work. Two things come to mind….the need to take a deep breath and be brave, and the need to wrestle that fear of change back into its rightful little hidey-hole. The world changes every day, so why shouldn’t we?

  3. I should. I’m doing my best to implement small changes, hoping the result will end up as the bigger, ultimate change. But ditching completely sounds scary, and I should definitely try that! 🙂

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