Quick question—as an entrepreneur, what is the hardest work you do? Let me give you a quick answer. As a small business owner aiming for success, the hardest work you will ever do is thinking about your business.
Let’s think about it right now.
What does thinking have to do with being successful?
Entrepreneurs are people who do. People who take action, and harness resources, with confidence that others may not possess. This comfort with ambiguity and need for speed comes through in the adage sometimes used to describe business: “ready, fire, aim!”
In an earlier blog, I talked about the importance of using time to do the things only you can do. When you take the time to do things that should be handled by others—or not handled at all—you make more work for yourself, and run out of time at the end of the day.
Most small business owners do not have an issue with hard work—it comes with the job description. I work with business owners to align their products, pitch, and processes with success. I know from experience that thinking deeply about the business is one of the hardest things for an entrepreneur to do. Why?
Entrepreneurs are always ready to work, to find opportunity, build outside the box, look at mistakes, and try something different next time. Many have no business plan before they are off and running. Here are areas of thought where small business developers excel:
The tenacity, and ability, to move an idea to market is valuable. It also comes easy to many who find their careers in small business ownership. But forward movement in the face of uncertainty only goes so far. What is needed next? Strategic thinking.
Your hardest work might be sitting still
There are a lot of reasons you can find to avoid sitting down to drill into a strategic plan for your business. Practically anything will work to distract you from a hard look at your bottom line. It is not for the faint hearted.
When I meet with a client, I have a pretty good idea of their business inside of 30 minutes. My work is to help them develop a plan—the core strategy for their product, offer, marketing technology, and workforce, among other factors.
I run live events where our master group of small business owners meets in great locations for three days to talk business. Typically our venue is a super house with great food, scenery, things to do—and plenty of time to talk business. Because I keep my live events small, about 10 people, we are able to really get into, and break down, problems that group members face.
While we discuss business and marketing throughout each day, the toughest part of any live event is when we sit down to brainstorm through strategy questions of those present. We take the busy-ness out of thinking about business. Really sitting down to figure out the right moves, reach an audience, identify potential pitfalls—I watch these highly creative people wilt in front of my eyes.
Because entrepreneurs are so good at concept work, frankly addressing, and readdressing, the flat-out business challenges facing each other is intense. More than once, I have had a business owner come up to me afterward, with a great plan in hand, and tell me they never could have made themselves sit down and do this work on their own.
More heads are better than one
I work with entrepreneurs one-on-one, and in groups. There are advantages to both.
Individually I offer small business owners personal attention and clear feedback on their present business state, and future potential. Working with clients, I develop a step-by-step plan by engaging you in deep thinking about how you are working, and what profit you hope to see. You walk away with a plan that relieves your worry, is based on sound business principles, and gives you rock solid direction on where you are heading, and why.
In a group, you safely discuss what works—and what does not work—with people who know exactly what you face. Too often business owners only have a friend, or maybe an associate, to run ideas with. Whether you join a group like mine, or form your own—get the business support you need to exploit your natural creativity. Don’t go it alone.
The hardest work you will ever do is the most rewarding—and what it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
When you need a sounding board, or help with your strategic plan—call me at 585-633-7563
To your success.
Bob Britton is an accomplished entrepreneur with 25 year’s experience starting, building and growing both brick-and-mortar companies as well as online businesses. He's personally built 3 companies from one man shows to the million dollar mark. Marketing Automation Group and the Automated Entrepreneur Method® are his latest brainchild. After working with hundreds of business owners in every walk of business, he realized there was a HUGE gap in the support and training that was available, and set out to fill that void with his no-nonsense, hype free approach to business growth.