It’s been well over 30 years since I first read The E-Myth Revisited. In it Michael Gerber talks about the Entrepreneurial Seizure, that moment you decided to leave traditional employment and become your own boss.
This from his first chapter sums it up nicely…
“The Fatal Assumption…
In the throes of your Entrepreneurial Seizure, you fell victim to the most disastrous assumption anyone can make about going into business.
It is an assumption made by all technicians who go into business for themselves, one that charts the course of a business–from Grand Opening to Liquidation–the moment it is made.
That Fatal Assumption is: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work.
And the reason it’s fatal is that it just isn’t true. In fact, it’s the root cause of most small business failures!”
Back then I didn’t really appreciate the truth of his statement, until I experienced it first-hand running our own consulting business.
Given we’ve now been consulting for almost two decades, this is the start of a series on what we’ve learned from our own successes and failures and those of our clients.
I’m going to cover four areas we specialise in. Namely, your mindset, business strategy, marketing and sales.
While other functions like finance and delivery are critical, without the right mindset, strategy and the ability to acquire clients, you’ll never achieve any level of growth.
Let’s start with what we believe the most important component of success is. Your mindset.
The importance of mindset is understood by every elite athlete. Talent will only get you so far. It’s your ability to stretch your mind, have a big vision and do the work that brings results.
It’s the same in business.
Your business success or lack thereof is a direct reflection of your mindset.
Having mentored and coached business leaders ranging from solo professionals to owners and senior executives of mid-sized business, we’ve observed that no matter how good they were at their jobs (technically), unless they had vision and an expansive mindset of can do, they never grew as people and their organisation suffered.
So what mindsets do successful business owners share?
These are our observations.
- You have a clear vision.
Everything starts with clarity of purpose. You must have a compelling reason why you got into business. What you want to achieve and for whom.
- Focus on what’s important.
This comes down to having a clear strategy and following it. Don’t chase bright shiny objects that keep presenting themselves.
- Be willing to take a stand.
Articulate your values and beliefs and live them. You have a point of view. Why your market should chose you. Become the tall poppy.
- Develop resilience.
Resilience is your ability to bounce back from setbacks. And there will be many. As your business grows so will the level of issues you have to deal with. Get used to it.
- Develop the confidence and courage to take calculated risks.
Everything you do will involve some level of risk. Your job is to mitigate it as much as possible while having the mindset that should something go wrong, you can handle it.
- Believe in leverage.
Time is the one commodity you can never get back. Delegate as much as possible. Find the right team to help you and give them the authority to execute.
- Business is a long term game.
There are very few overnight successes. While you have to manage short term stuff, always think strategically.
- Take responsibility.
Your business is a reflection of you! If you commit, follow through. And if you can’t, let people know why.
- Be open to new ideas. “Yes, but…” doesn’t cut it. While you don’t have to agree, at least give it due consideration.
- You can’t be loved by everyone.
Concentrate on who you can help best. Resonate with the 10% of your market you can help best. The rest won’t care or even hate you. Get over it.
- Get comfortable with money!
Money isn’t evil. Nor is lifestyle choice. You can do far more good with money than without so check your money thermostat. Look at your own limiting beliefs around money and what value you bring to your clients.
- Engage mentors – study people who’ve already got the results you want.
- And finally, implement, implement, implement! Nothing happens unless you take action.
In following articles we’ll cover why business strategy is vital as well as how to separate marketing and sales strategies from tactics.
In the meantime, we’ve compiled some of our best material into a book on creating a business mindset. If you’d like a complimentary copy, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.