Welcome to the Moving On in Life & Business monthly newsletter. Its’ purpose is to provide tools, resources and ideas to propel you and your business forward with passion and purpose. The content may be based on some important nuggets I’ve just discovered in reading a new book or article; it may come from the latest challenges and ‘ah-ahs’ in my own life and business, or it could come from the newest and latest tools or ideas I’m implementing with clients to solve a problem or fill a need. Occasionally I will share with you some ‘borrowed words’ from another author that speaks deeply to me. Whatever the source, it is designed to empower you in transforming the way you look at life and business and give you the systems to make your journey easier and more fun.
MOVING ON...READY TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Last month we talked about what’s important to know Before You Quit Your Job (Robert Kiyosaki of the Rich Dad,Poor Dad series) and the differences between an employee and an entrepreneur (see the archives). This month we will continue by exploring how many different jobs make up a business. An entrepreneur may be working hard, but only working hard at one job at a time. That is why so many business owners struggle and burn out. They may be working hard but not doing all the jobs the business requires.
In Kiyosaki’s book, he talks about the B-I Triangle: the outside of the triangle has Mission at the bottom, then the sides of the triangle are Team and Leadership. Beginning from the bottom up inside the triangle, you have Cash Flow, Communications, Systems, Legal and Product at the apex. I think you’ll find it easier to actually draw a triangle and label each section. Please notice that product is at the top of the triangle and mission is the base. The obvious reason is that mission is most important, it guides everything you do. You may think, you have a great product, but you can see that product is only the tip of the iceberg.
Each level of the triangle: Product (or service), Legal (structure, liabilities, patents, trademarks), Communications (marketing, sales, location) Systems (the processes, strategies) and Cash Flow (what allows you to operate: get a CPA) are all critical jobs for any business. You may be able to do more than one, but you can rarely do a good job with all five.
The sides of the triangle are equally important. Leadership may be you; if it is you must be guided by a strong mission and you must have the ability to get people to work as a team. One of the roles of a leader is to hire and build this team. The team may be a CPA, an attorney, a sales team, administrative staff, graphic artists, and product developers. The particulars, of course, are dependent on your particular business. This team can be outsourced (not working in your office), but they MUST be people you trust, and who know and understand you and your business. They must be on YOUR team.
Rich Dads says’ “You’re in trouble, if you’re the smartest person on your team”. Your team will need to consist of people who think in four different ways: Creative Thinkers, People Thinkers, Analytical Thinkers and Technical Thinkers. If you think about it, you’ll see why the variety is necessary. In the early stages, some of your team may not even be paid, it could be a mastermind type board you’ve put together for creative brainstorming, or you take a class to improve your people skills so you know who to hire. Another great resource is a book called Your Marketing Sucks (Crown 2003)
Most successful businesses do one of two things: solve a problem or fill a need. The mission defines the purpose and the direction of the company. With the right mission and the right team, you can flourish. There may even come a time, when you’ll ask yourself, what’s more important the size of my business or my mission? As Lance Armstrong realized, “It’s not about the bike.”
You can’t be an entrepreneur if you cannot sell. Learn to sell. Whether you need to raise money to fund the business or you need to sell the product, you must be able to sell. Don‘t ask your clerk to hire your sales people, ask a salesperson to hire your sales staff. Sales=Income.
Lastly you must know when to quit, not liking your job is not enough of a reason to become an entrepreneur. It’s a strong reason, but not a good enough reason. You must have a strong mission, not just the what, but whom. Who is your customer,who do you want to serve? Ultimately, the most important job of the entrepreneur is to be first in the mind of her customers.