One of my close friends phoned me last night and told me that he has recently resigned from his job as a guitarist for a well known band. From what he told me the main reason for this was really about the relationships that he was in, and how those were actually bad for him. He's really happy about his decision, there will certainly be challenging times ahead, but he feels better than he has for a long time.
This got me thinking about a couple of things, mainly what I would call "Red flags," which are things which indicate that something is wrong. They are not always obvious, but they are there. I think often we know about them, but can't identify them - something that niggles at the back of your mind or maybe something that you do which is out of character.
I know for myself I'm always watching how I react to things. In general I'm pretty chill, I don't fly off the handle, even if I'm really frustrated or cross. Sometimes though I just react to things in a totally inappropriate way - flying off the handle for something small - and then I know that there is something wrong.
I would guess (I need more experience to be certain) that there are "red flags" for our businesses too. Obviously there are the blatant indicators, such as turnover, profit, loss and cashflow, but I'm pretty sure there must be other things too - how you treat employees, which decisions you make (or don't make), and so on.
So here is a double barrel question,
- What "red flags" have you identified over your business life?
- If you have had a failed business, what are the events/things that led to that? Where there "red flags" that you missed, or can identify now in retrospect?