My friend Richie Norton, bestselling author of “The Power of Starting Something Stupid” is responsible for this week’s column title. He was coaching me through a couple ideas and talking about his own work in helping business owners start, scale and streamline their businesses, when out tumbled these words “…when business dreams turn into a living nightmare.” What Richie found in his work was simple yet profound:
“If you don’t build a solid foundation and execute in the right order then your dreams WILL turn into a living nightmare.”
This is why I stated it as a question. If it feels as if you’re living a nightmare right now then I’m certain that you have NOT built a solid foundation and that you are NOT executing in the right order.
Interestingly dreams turn into nightmares not because of a lack of information.
Kristin Zhivago’s husband (Kristin is a Revenue Coach and the author of “Roadmap to Revenue – How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy”), recently asked her “What’s the most common cause of business failure?” They agreed that it was the reluctance of the business owner to leave his comfort zone and make necessary changes. Kristin elaborates…
“When a business is first started, there are a lot of areas that need to be built up. At this stage, the owner is open to new ideas and approaches. But as the business matures – even if it is only a year or two old – a calcification starts to creep in. The systems and processes that have been created are “good enough,” and are no longer seen as candidates for improvement. (Or, worse, the owner himself created whatever it was, and has a “don’t touch my baby” syndrome about whatever he created.) The owner’s day is spent fighting brushfires, taking care of employee or customer problems that crop up. Nobody thinks about improving what is already in place. As this continues, the business becomes less and less adaptive. Rigid, in fact.”
My own view is that most business owners look at anything other than “business as usual” as a time consumer. Because they don’t see the immediate benefits of modifying the system or changing the approach, they naturally assume that it’s simply time that they can ill afford to invest.
And if you scale that back to making a decision to invest in yourself – the same time questions applies:
“How much time will it take to complete this?”
“How fast will I see results?”
Let me ask you this: Does 8 hours seem like a lot of time?
Today anyone can go on line and find a shortcut to their questions. Find out what you need to do next by answering these 10 questions in 5 minutes. Take this test and discover what this particular assessment is telling you about who you are.
Is the report relevant? Is the information accurate? Are you willing to base key decisions on computer generated results?
Quick turnaround processes may have some short term value or provide big picture ideas, describing your position or situation in general terms. But chances are your root problem may be different, requiring a completely unique approach.
You’ve no doubt invested several years and thousands of dollars to learn some area of specialization. You might have invested time in learning a language, playing an instrument or mastering a sport.
Is it really unthinkable to spend a fraction of that amount of time, learning about yourself and determining the root cause of your challenges?
Kristin warns that your reluctance to change will cost you. “This rigidity creates easy opportunities for new entrepreneurs, who are not only open to new ideas and approaches, but see them as a way to steal customers from under the noses of these more established, rigid businesses.”
Rich Schefren says
“If you don’t face it….you can’t replace it.”
Imagine going to the doctor with a terrible back pain. When it’s your turn you go into the examination room you refuse to speak. Imagine how successful the doctor is going to be at treating your back. Or when you finally saw the doctor – you lied! “When you are unwilling to admit to yourself the REAL problems in your life and business it’s equivalent to remaining silent in the doctor’s office. “
Many entrepreneurs see issues surface. They leave them alone…until they become challenges…then they morph into problems…until they mushroom into major frustrations until one day all hell breaks loose and it’s now TOO LATE!
Everything adds up. Whether it’s in your personal life or your professional life…left unattended it will mushroom into something unmanageable and ugly.
This is why we’ve come full circle. All the bits in your business add up to your entire business. If you don’t know WHAT those things are or you don’t get them RIGHT then nightmares will be your daily experience.
If you’re being inflexible as Kristin described or ignorant as Rich implied then you’re no better off than the parable about the frog.
If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out immediately to escape the danger. But, put the same frog in a pot of water that is cool and pleasant, and gradually heat the pot UNTIL it boils. The frog will not become AWARE of the threat until it’s too late.
You can stop the nightmares but you have to become open to the possibility of building the business of your dreams. Find out from someone reputable like Rich Schefren or Richie Norton. These guys practice what they preach. Discover the steps, lay the foundation, and build then business of your dreams. It’s worth the effort but even more important YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT!
- Do you have clarity around WHO YOU REALLY ARE?
- Are you being noticed for your contribution in your current role?
- Do you know WHAT you need to do to get the results you want?