Most of you know I've made a lifetime of studying trainwrecks. Hundreds of thousands of men and women, just like you, who went out, built a business, and then flailed along at it for years - always wanting, never quite getting.
Most of you also know that early on, I arrived at the simple (but still surprisingly difficult) solution of creating systems for companies before those systems were necessarily needed. The challenge then, as it is now, is getting small business owners to quit acting like employees and begin to think like entrepreneurs.
The truth is, there is a bit of an art to getting things done, no matter what they are, and in my experience, there are three distinct personalities to be found among entrepreneurs and no, I'm not talking about the Technician, the Manager, and the Entrepreneur. In this case, I'm talking about two that will shutter your doors faster than anything and one that might just give you the chance to create a Great, Growing Company.
What are they? Read on!
· The Busybody - In many ways, this person represents small business ownership for a huge swath of the demographic. They have a Company of One, big dreams, and no plan to capture or achieve those dreams. They are certainly "busy, busy, busy" and somehow manage to do 30 hours' worth of actions everyday ... just the wrong thirty hours. They are effectively managing their kids, their spouses, their homes, their social media accounts and still "running their business" ... but the business cannot grow because it is still just a Company of One. As a result, all their projections and dreams for the business can't come to pass - they have to get to soccer practice.
· The Absentee - Like their compatriots, the busybodies, the absentee owner doesn't get a lot done, but they also don't have any desire to do so. A great example is the man or woman who has become a "partner" in a multi-level marketing company. Their expectation - and oftentimes what they were sold - is that magically, the business will come flooding in and their biggest problem will be how to get all that money to the bank. In reality, these folks never had the desire to be successful and, more importantly, never took the time to plan how to be a success in this field of endeavor. At the end of any given day, their net result is nothing and they lack the desire to actually achieve any results.
· The Planner - Here's a person that can truly build a company from a dream. They can strategically think through not only challenges but also objectives and also, arrive at solutions to those issues. At the same time they also can recognize their own weaknesses and will take the time to learn from the experts - in the field, in the market, and in the neighborhood. The best part is that, since Planners can visualize the bigger picture, they can often find new solutions to old problems - resulting in business models that solve problems that people didn't know they even had.
No matter where you find yourself on this list, the old adage is still true - "knowing is half the battle." In some cases, you may have to fail to be able to understand how to succeed, but creating a plan - and then having the endurance and discipline to continue to follow (and refine!) that plan is how you, as a small business owner and entrepreneur, will ultimately achieve the success that you sought in your enterprise.