“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Peter Drucker
Do you You want to get back the passion you had when you first started your business?
Do you struggle in your business in any of the following areas?
- You are working more hours than you would like.
- You are unable to take a vacation as you think the business will fold without you.
- You are having trouble finding good employees.
- You have inconsistent income and increasing expenses.
- You have systems and processes that don’t communicate with each other.
- You feel that there isn’t anyone who you can confide in.
- You are not having fun in your business like you had envisioned when you started it.
- You have all of your eggs in one basket (need more clients or customers).
- You are constantly fighting fires and can’t see through the smoke.
- You have goals but they are not specific enough.
- You have an inconsistent marketing strategy or sales training.
And more …
If any of these is you, then let me assure you that you are NOT alone. It is very common for business owners and managers to feel stuck sometimes. You have the knowledge and willingness to apply it, but you just don’t seem to find the time or the energy to put the necessary actions in place to implement the best solution.
After all, we don’t know what we don’t know.
You are already working long hours and are not sure who you can trust to implement a solution. You have people in your business that understand the issue but may have few that willingly provide ideas for a solution. Are you the only person trying to solve the issues?
In business myself, I found that I was working long hours and still trying to have a consistent cash flow. I would start working at 7 am, stop at the office for a few minutes, spend the day working with clients, return to the office at 5 pm and everyone had already gone home. I didn’t know for sure when they came to work and when they left. I know they were good employees but I felt like I was doing most of the work. This was not the case but it sure felt lonely at times. I have seen this same scenario with many of the business owners I have worked with. They are in the office early and are still there after everyone has left for the day. Does this sound like you?
You need to implement processes and systems that allow you to see important key performance information so that you can know where the business is heading within a short amount of time. You would like to have more time for hobbies or other interests. You would like to be able to spend more time with your family and friends without always being plugged into the business.
Do you have strategies for leveraging your time?
You would like to have multiple streams of income so that you can have a consistent income and be able to pay yourself and your employees a reasonable wage. You are paying yourself last after everyone else, if there are funds available. You see money going out faster than it is coming in.
Every year, thousands of businesses fail. In the US alone there are over 500,000 bankruptcies annually. That’s over 1,500 each day, over 60 each hour, more than 1 every minute. In about the time it took you to read this statement, another business has closed its doors. Statistics reveal that 85% of all new businesses fold within the first 5 years. Why? Because many business owners and managers most fail to plan, strategize, focus, delegate, and create the necessary systems and processes to create and sustain growth. As a result, they suffer from fatigue, burn out, and lack of sustainable income.
Remember that behind every failed business there are unfulfilled dreams and aspirations of an owner who had hoped for a much different outcome for their endeavor. The impact on the owner and his or her family can often be very devastating. Financial issues, stress, marital conflict, and depression are just a few of the symptoms business owners often share.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
In this article we are able to just touch the surface. There are numerous strategies and actions you can take to help your business soar above the crowd! Take some time away from your business and start turning your business from incubating, fluttering, or flying to soaring like an eagle. Learn what actions you can take to be able to keep your business running from a distance and to have systems and processes in place so that you can be more confident that you don’t have to be present for the business to continue to thrive not just survive. Look forward to being able to build the kind of life and business you have always envisioned. Whether your organization is doing well and simply seeking to improve your operations or you feel stuck, there is help!
The determining factor will be whether or not you take action and implement the ideas that are relevant to your situation.
Knowledge without action is folly.
Knowledge = Wisdom?
“The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing.” Isaac Asimov
Knowledge by itself does not lead to wisdom. Today we live in an age of information overload as you can obtain much knowledge using the internet, social media, electronic books, and other resources. Who knows what will be available for you in the future to gain more knowledge.
If knowledge alone translated into wisdom than we would all be wise beyond our years. We all know that this is not true and that wisdom is gained by applying the knowledge that we have gained. Wisdom is also gained from the failures or mistakes we have made along the way. It is not instantly apparent, but it is a virtue to be gained over time.
So what is missing when you have gained knowledge? It is the lack of taking ACTION or applying what you know. You also “DO NOT KNOW, WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW”.
It’s what you do with the knowledge you acquire that leads to wisdom or it is folly. If you don’t apply the knowledge by taking action, it will remain a source of missed opportunities. Imagine that you are sitting in your car at a stoplight, and the light turns green but you aren’t moving. The solution to your situation is within reach of your foot. All you need to do is put your foot on the gas pedal, and you can be on your way again. But until you actually press the gas pedal and take action, you stay at the same place without moving ahead. Therefore, you have essentially stayed in the same place and are watching everyone pass you by.
Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take”.
Without taking deliberate action and applying what you know and pressing the gas with passion and enthusiasm nothing of great value will be accomplished.
Education + Application = Wisdom
Education by definition is the gaining of knowledge, skill, and understanding. Just having a skill does not mean you are educated, you also need to understand how to use the skill and the knowledge of when and why to apply it.
Franchises have systems that allow the franchisee to follow a proven method for running their business. Independent business owners do not have specific methods, therefore many times they have to be created. You can replicate what someone else is doing, but, is it really the right method for your business? What makes your business different than your competition? What makes your business unique?
Many business owners and managers believe that by reading the latest or most current business articles or books or attending seminars, webinars, or workshops they will find the missing ingredients to their business success. You may convince yourself that if you gain enough knowledge and information about running your business, it will be a success. In one of my previous businesses, I had the technical knowledge to meet the needs of our clients but I lacked the business skills in order to move the business to the next stage.
What does success mean to you?
Gaining knowledge is definitely important and very advisable. You can never gain enough knowledge as the information is always changing. It is like trying to hit a moving target. As an Information Technology Consultant for over 40 years, I have seen first hand how quickly technology changes and how difficult it is to keep up.
Learning a skill does not necessarily mean that you understand the best ways to use that skill or when to use it. The reality is that all of the education, knowledge, and information available in this world are folly without taking action on what you know to be true. TAKE ACTION and APPLY IT!
The keys to success in any business are not as far off as you may think. It is not a hidden treasure you have to find, but there is a map that can take you there. By focusing your attention on some key business fundamentals and strategies, along with a trusted advisor who can provide support and encouragement to help you apply them strategically and systematically in your business, you will see yourself making great strides to increase cash flow, profits, and the treasure you may be seeking.
You may want to ask yourself this question: “What are the key fundamentals and strategies that I am working on to implement in my business today? What am I going to take action on today? What action steps can I take today to move towards my ideal vision for my business?” Rather than buying another business book, attending another networking event or seminar, maybe you should consider applying the education you already have acquired. The best place to start is often the last concept or tactic that was left incomplete.
Do you have a strategy for how to market your business for the best return on your investment of time and resources? Maybe you can put together some actions you need to take prior to, during, and after a networking event.
In this life, many people know what to do, but many people do not actually apply what they know. Just knowing isn’t enough! You must understand it and take action.
This article is not an end all; you need to keep expanding your education. Be a Lifelong Learner. You need to pay close attention to the principles and strategies that may provide you with the highest possible return on your investment in gaining the knowledge to produce the transformation in your business. Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Application without Education = Failure
If “education + application = wisdom” and “application without education = failure”, please consider the following true story.
As a business owner I wanted to grow the business and I thought that it was the responsibility of the sales staff to create a plan for how to market the business. The marketing plan did not materialize and the sales staff continued to not have a clear direction as to the values, vision, and mission of the business and how the marketing affected the lack of sales. The sales staff floundered and provided inconsistent income for the business to thrive. As the business owner I became exasperated and stressed by the lack of income being generated by the sales staff, so I decided to make sales calls and look for additional sales staff. I decided to fire some of the sales staff and the business continued to struggle with inconsistent revenue and increased costs. I decided it was time for me to leave the business. I wish I would have known what I know now.
As a business owner I took action without the education, which led to failure. Many business owners fall into the same trap, which is why we see so many start-up businesses that do not last more than 5 years. They take action prior to gaining the necessary and critical education to succeed. Many people may admire the business owner who just says, “get ur done”, but the most successful business owners are those that have a plan and follow through on their plan. They are willing to adjust the plan in order to move the business forward towards their vision and goals.
As the business owner, in the story above, I later gained an education from other sources that it is the business owners responsibility to develop the vision, values, and mission for the business and to set the marketing plans and other strategic plans for the business.
True success is in the eye of the beholder. Are you able to keep an eye on the details (from a distance) and soar above the crowd? What is true success to you?
Have a clear vision, create an action plan to reach your vision, and then work the plan. Don’t let the plan work you. You can also get stuck in analysis paralysis with always planning and not taking action. Make sure you have specific action steps that help you to progress towards your goals and objectives. The plan MUST be something you are passionate about achieving.
How do you plan to take ACTION?
What is ACTION?
Acknowledge the issue – What is the elephant in the room or closet?
Communicate the issue – Who else knows about the issue?
Take steps – eat the elephant one bite at a time – What are some solutions?
Implement the action steps – When will the action and solution be implemented?
Ongoing evaluation – Did the action or solution resolve the issue?
Note the outcome – Was it resolved? If not, return to the Acknowledge step.
“Nothing happens without ACTION.”
As you contemplate and ponder each strategy and tactic, determine where your business is at on a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the highest. It is our hope that you take this seriously and that you become inspired and encouraged to move your business to the next stage so that you too can SOAR above the crowd.
What stage is your business at or going through?
You are ready and wanting to break out of your shell.
You are fluttering from one issue to another with no clear direction.
You are flying with the crowd and don’t have a clear differentiation.
You are soaring above your competition but want to be able to keep an eye on the business from a distance.
Let’s get started to get your business Soaring and reaching the vision you had when you started your business. It is possible when you take the initiative to go beyond status quo and to overcome your seemingly mountainous roadblocks.
Contact us to find out how your business can Soar.
You were Meant to SOAR!