Thursday, October 1, 2020

How to Avoid Chaos as a Small Business Owner

After watching the Lakers completely destroy the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, I was laying in bed before dozing off thinking about some of the small business owners that I've worked with in the past and how I could see that there were two very distinct types of owners: doers and thinkers. Very rarely have I encountered individuals that can both do and think at high levels. Let me clean this up a bit because I don't profess to be a high functioning doer AND thinker myself. You let my wife tell you, she'd say all I do is think and don't DO ENOUGH. And yes, I'd agree with her for the most part. 

Oddly, when we're coming up in age, the difference in being a doer and thinker impacts us in a sneaky way and before you know it, you're either labeled a doer or thinker but rarely both. In the arena of being a small business owner, you will often discover that you need to be both a doer and thinker or at least have the wherewithal to grow into these skill sets if you desire to have a business worth having.   

Action With A Purpose

While playing college basketball, my coach would often tell me to practice 'at game speed'. I was like, what do you mean, Coach? It wasn't until after my playing days were over (and after 2 ruptured patella tendons!!!) that I realized the deeper meaning of Coach's encouragement: don't just practice just to practice, practice with a purpose!!! In other words, I failed to realize at the time that I was practicing with the purpose of doing my role to help the team achieve our short and long term goals. It wasn't only about me and the improvement of my game only, but ultimately it was about the bigger picture. Again, I've observed over the last 20 years how the small business owners that worked with a purpose, with a bigger picture mindset, were the ones that not only survived, but thrived.

When you first get into running a business, you have no choice but to be a doer. Things have to get done and usually, you as the owner are the only person available to do them. As your business grows though you'll begin noticing that you have to start thinking things through before just jumping in to do them. This is when strategy and planning become important (asking yourself, why am I doing what I'm doing and to what end am I doing it?) and the charge of getting things done soon follows. 

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