Know thy self. This is rule number one in succeeding as a small business owner. I’ll throw my self under the bus wheel to further explain. I know healthcare marketing. The industry interests me, has a mission beyond sales, and is constantly challenging me to be strategic and creative. I know that I work hard and perform better when I love what I do. When I first opened HHK Healthcare Marketing, 19 years ago, it was named HHK Marketing and Planning. My vision was always to solely support healthcare organizations. Even so, the temptation to take any type of work was strong. As a fledgling small business seeking the safety of a paycheck, I agreed to help a residential cleaning company with marketing. The owner was lovely and persuaded me with his cry for help. “How hard can this be?” says my overconfident inner voice. The next day I sit in front of my computer screen for hours. Nothing comes to me. It’s painful. No spark. The minutes tick loudly as I struggle. Be clean? Don’t steal? Trustworthy cleanliness?

Hence the name change to dba HHK Healthcare Marketing. As a small business owner, you are never fully free of the fear that the work won’t be there next month. It is a common cross many of us owners bear in order to make our own path. Don’t give in to the fear. Stay the course and do what you are good at, what you love; do what keeps the creativity going even when it’s hard. And it gets hard some days, some projects, some clients, some economies, some team members, sometimes. Knowing yourself and what you are good at is the first step to going to work without it being work. Apply this theory when developing your support team. I know I need a good CPA and at least one employee who will tell me to let go of a deadline when needed.

What do you know about yourself? Are you doing what you love and what you’re good at? This incredibly strange time we are living in might be just the right moment to pause and reflect. It might be just the right time to lean in. It’s not often the whole world stops, literally.