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How to Find The Diamond “Within” When Your Business Feels Really Rough

It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse!” –– Adlai Stevenson, American ambassador to the United Nations.

It’s also difficult to build a business properly if you’ve never learned how to “own” your ownership.

We often juggle SO many roles that we fail to grasp the significance that comes with being the leader of our business. Small as it might be today, you must think toward your business future. Its growth requires smart leadership, courageous decisions and a crystal clear path.

Picture a gem-master working in his studio. How does he treat his precious stones? Do you think he throws them into a drawer saying “Oh, I’ll get to them as soon as I watch the latest Chelsea Handler episode?”  or hoping they will spontaneously cut and polish themselves? No way! He works on them with the utmost care, knowing once their facets are cut & polished they WILL truly shine.

Apply the same principle to your business.
Your business is like the gem and you are the gem master who needs to look at each aspect of your business as a part of the diamond you want to free from its crusty entombment.

– Make time to evaluate your business ideas and plan for their execution. A gemologist doesn’t plop down and start whacking away a stone… well, not if she wants to get something of value out of it.

– Carve away the rough edges in every facet of your business. There are always rough edges that mysteriously have a way of soaking up far more time than they are worth. Get rid of those rough edges so you can focus on the shiny rock underneath. That shiny rock is what is truly worthy of the bulk of your attention.

– Review your progress. No one gets it right on the first try. You must regularly check that what you envisioned is what is being carved out of the rock adjust accordingly.

– Polish your concept so that it’s presented in the best way possible. It is not enough to just cut the rough edges from a diamond. There is still polishing to be done to make the diamond (your product) the most enticing choice out of all the other stones.

Just like the gem master, you are a craftsman –– the craftsman (or woman) of your own business!

True success will always seem beyond your grasp, so long as you continue treating your business like a “job.” You need to see the potential within. If this describes your situation, you are not alone. Many of us find ourselves stuck in this phase. We are so accustomed to juggling the hats of our personal lives – wife, mother, friend, and neighbor – we forget there is no real “role juggling” at work. The reality? Our ONLY role should be that of leader, not “go-fer!”

We need to own our ownership. We need to feel comfortable leading the charge. We need to shun that feeling that we “look funny on a horse.”


  1. Yvette,
    Great post! LOVE the analogy of a gem and the gem-master! This really made me “feel” what and how I should be approaching the elements of my businesses!! Thanks so much for this awesome post….I am sure I will have this vision in my head for some time to come!
    xo, Tina

    • Fabulous – thank you bunches Tina!!

  2. Yvette, I love this – the concept of polishing a diamond and I’m the gem-maker! I love it – really puts it in a perspective that I can wrap my head and hands around. Thanks! Sarah xx

    • Thank You Sarah! Nice to *meet* you.

  3. I also love your analogy of a gem and the gem-master. I think that many more business owners need to “feel comfortable leading the charge”. It can be an intimidating prospect sometimes for some, it truly does take hard work, buts its very much worth it. Thanks!

    • You are absolutely right Kat! It does take time to fully step into the “captain of your ship” role. But, like you said the rewards are so worth the journey!

  4. Love this post, Yvette! I’m in the process of getting rid of the rough edges and polishing things up with my business so this post was rather timely 🙂 It’s also very reassuring to read this post as I keep “carving” my way through – sometimes, doubt creeps in about having to do all of this, but like you said: there’s always “polishing to be done to make the diamond (your product) the most enticing choice out of all the other stones.”

  5. Great analogy Yvette. Taking ownership is so crucial and we can easily forget just how much in control of our businesses we are. We get to carve, and polish, and repeat. It’s very empowering.

    • Absolutely Christie we are in total control and once we fully embrace that its a sweet feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment.

  6. Like many others, I loved the gem analogy. It really resonated with me and made me smile. Right now my business is an uncut rock…but I know there is a gem under there somewhere and I have to expertly cut it out 🙂 Thanks for a great post!

  7. Beautifully written, Yvette. I love the way you communicated the idea that every *facet* of our business take great care and attention, just like the brainCHILD it is.

  8. You are my favorite business systems genius. I love owing our ownership… and continuing to polish. I have to say that you are a true gem, and I love learning from you and being inspired by you.

  9. Yes! I choose to OWN by ownership. So powerful. Thanks for the reminder, Yvette!

  10. This was a very reassuring post for me . . . sometimes I feel like I am completely screwing everything up, but you reframed it for me . . . OF COURSE I will always have gems to polish and tweak and rough spots that I’ll need to clean up! It’s a process. Awesome post.

  11. It sure is a challenge to juggle a small business, family, home and me-time. Thanks for the encouragement!

  12. Like others, I love this analogy. Thank you for the encouragement, and for reminding me that it’s a process. xx

  13. Loved this post, and it’s so perfectly right! Planning the cut, what will shine. And you should never be afraid of cutting it wrong because it’s all the shattering inside a diamond that makes it sparkle so brilliantly!

    I always forget her name, the Hindu Goddess, really long name, who is always broken and remending, breaking again, shining more brilliant every time.

  14. Yvette – this post is brilliant. I love to metaphor of the gem. Eliminating the frustrations and smoothing out rough edges. It’s a constant process. Marie once said – are you working on your business or in your business. I am working to move on not just in. Thank you for this insightful post.

  15. Another great post Yvette. Another great kick in my arse to get my systems up to speed. Much appreciated!

  16. I love your analogy – and the reminder that it is a process. Getting out my polishing cloth right now!

  17. We need to own our ownership — I like that phrase! And what a perfect reminder of what’s truly important in running a business.

  18. Love that quote, Yvette! And the point you make on ownership is so true and applies to so many (all really) areas of our lives – we need to own it and give it our all – consistently and persistently, one step at a time.

  19. Another way to honor your bright and shiny business.

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