Who Let the Dogs Out?
I talk to people all the time about business. Sometimes the person is just beginning but most of my conversations are with those who want to bounce around some ideas. My personal experience with most business owners leaves me thinking they should be doing something else. Most of them are not mentally or emotionally capable to operate in the turmoil of today's business environment. So my first advice for people who want to start and operate their own business is an attempt to demonstrate the proper attitude.
The first question seems to always be why is becoming a business owner important to you? Most will agree with surveys and say they want more freedom, independence to be creative, be their own boss, etc.
The second question may be what are your goals? This answer can include making a unique product or service available, seeing a niche which is under-served or they may have the hope for more income.
Other questions can be added which appear logical but the important question seems to be missed. How secure are you in your own identity? Are you comfortable in your own skin?
Technology has changed everything in our world. Just over 30 years ago the people had little knowledge and few discussions about computers. But with technology businesspeople discovered a new asset class and they called it human capital. This concept deals with the discovery and development of ideas and talent. In this process insightful managers and business owners found people in their organization had tremendous ideas but were hesitant to talk about them because of shyness and insecurity. They realized an idea developed through technology could be capitalized upon in a very short time. Their problem was to convince their people to come forth without fear of being criticized.
Most people who want to start a business intend to work in the business themselves doing what they did for their former boss or something else they already know very well. They end up owning a job with much stress they used to leave at work. Their concept of wealth creation is related only to direct involvement and delivery of their product or service.
Someone should have told them value and wealth creation is vested in the organization created by the entrepreneur such that it will produce an exact experience for each customer every time.
Someone should have told them that money is like blood to the business and communication like the air we breathe. People who start a business must embark upon a process of discovery not only about their market etc. but about themselves. The owner’s vision is useless without constant clear communication.
Someone should have told them the business must be conceived, developed, managed and operated with an exit strategy in mind. A business owner who neglects planning for the exit is the same as being lost at sea without a compass.
Someone should have told them work is done during the day and wealth is created after hours. Success in business is about attitude or how we position ourselves and approach the task. The mechanical side of business is important but is fully supported by the culture of the people who operate the systems.