Out of the bowl*
Your business is finally back on a growth track, after several years of struggle. Sales are not only improving, they are accelerating. Some hiccups month-to-month, but the trend line is steepening and extending.
Your increased profits have allowed you to finally move ahead and expand the range of products and services you offer. Your customers are reacting happily, buying more often and spending more per transaction. It's a virtuous circle.
Employees are happy. They are getting profit sharing bonuses and those bonuses are increasing as the business performs. You've installed the systems and processes to give them the autonomy to do their jobs without being micromanaged. You trust their judgment -- you have to, because you're now so large that you couldn't do their jobs even if you wanted to. In fact, there's several people you didn't hire yourself; your managers did.
You are now managing the managers. Your job is "owner of the business" instead of "jack-of-all-trades." Your job description is three words: "chief strategist, coach, motivator." You manage your staff and your business through KPI's instead of your gut. You are constantly asking yourself: "What's next?" and actively seeking the answers.
At the same time, you've taken more time off in the last 12 months than in the past five years combined. Your health is great, and your outlook even better. Everyone you meet notices your grace and good humor.
You've rediscovered the joy of owning your business: there are constant hurdles, for sure, but you actually look forward to rising to the challenge of helping others solve them. You don't feel alone.
You've gotten out of the bowl.
* - Based on true stories.