Today I thought we’d mix a little fun along with a dose of “entrepreneurial medicine”. Here are the 7 biggest excuses that business owners make that undercut and sabotage their success. As you read through this list, see if you spot yourself in any of them.
1.“I don’t have the time…” As in, “I don’t have the time to do the things that matter most because I’m too busy dealing with the things that matter least.” Now no business person says that, but if you watch their behavior, many of them are screaming that very thing out in their choices and behaviors.
2. “I can’t afford to hire help…” As in, “I can’t afford to pay $20-50 per hour on things that would free me up to instead make another sale, improve a product, or otherwise earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per hour.” Many times when an entrepreneur says he can’t afford to hire help it’s because he isn’t confident in his conviction that he can create a magnitude more value using his time in another area of the business. Sometimes this is because he doesn’t feel he can create the value, other times it’s because he isn’t confident that he’ll actually reinvest the saved time in these other higher order uses of time.
3. “It costs too much…” As in, “Sending my staff through a key training program costs too much.” Or, “Testing out a pay-per-click lead generation funnel costs too much.” What’s wrong with this frame of reference is that it sees only a price tag and makes a decision on that one piece of information. The most successful entrepreneurs look at a fuller picture. They ask, what’s the cost of the status quo? What rate of return should I expect from this investments? What is my risk in making this investment and how can I hedge that bet? What happens if I don’t make this investment? When you ask these fuller set of questions you can reach a more powerful answer.
4. “I’ve got to stay in control…” As in, “I can’t delegate that kind of authority, what if she makes a bad decision? What if he messes up a client relationship?” Of course there are different level of delegation based on the experience set and abilities of a team member, but business owners who reflexively hold tight to the reins of all decisions and authority in his or her business end up being owned by their businesses. They build a glorified job, not a business.
5. “Just one quick look…” As in, “I’ll let myself off the hook and check email just for a moment instead of honoring my Focus Day and doing my highest value activities first.” And as we know, once they get into the black hole of their inbox, their day spins out of control and all their good intentions to do their highest value activities evaporate.
6. “I’ll just wait and see what happens…” As in, “I know I have a real staff issue with Corwin, but I’ll just want and see if things straighten out on their own first.” When you have a real issue, deal with it. Immediately. Don’t let it linger or fester while you “hope” it will resolve itself. Why do so many entrepreneurs do this? Because they are not willing to face the temporary discomfort, usually emotional discomfort, of meeting the moment directly.
7. “I have to be reachable by my business…” As in, “If I’m not accessible and on top of texts, emails, and voice mails constantly, my business might implode.” This is a total crock. Sure at one time or for short periods, you may need to be available and on top of things, but if this has become a permanent state of affairs then that means you the business owner have a fundamentally weak business, likely due to a real lack of systems, trained team, and strong internal controls. And this in turn is usually caused by an owner who is afraid of letting go of “control” (see above) or an owner who just has never learned how to build his or her company a better way.
I hope this list is a tonic to help you refocus on your approach to scale your company.
If you would like more ideas on how you can grow your business without sacrificing your health, family, or life, I encourage you to join me for an upcoming private web training I am conducting. Click here for more information and to register for free.