I don’t particularly enjoy traveling but sometimes it has its perks. I didn't realize that on this short business trip I would meet someone absolutely fascinating.
I woke up at 4am to get ready for my flight from Liberia, Costa Rica heading toward Phoenix, Arizona, with a short pit-stop in Texas. The plan was for me to tour the printing facility for our SendJim.com postcards and have a meeting with the CEO.
I was excited to see everything in live action and meet some of the people I had been working with remotely. The trip was fantastic and everything went swimmingly then as sometimes happens, I met a very interesting guy on the plane.
On my flight from Houston to Phoenix I sat next to an unassuming man named Steve from Ohio, Steve was on his way to a convention. We struck up a conversation and exchanged the stereotypical formalities…..”So, where are you from?…What do you do?” and I came to find out that this guy owned an HVAC business in Ohio with 92 employees. 92!
Obviously this peaked my interest so we continued talking and the next 2 hours was nothing but business automation and systemization ideas and strategies. I loved it.
Steve founded the business with nothing; it wasn't a hand-me-down from Daddy. He built this monster one brick at a time along side of his team members. The moment I heard him explain his backstory I knew that he was a man of systems.
Now, I understand if you don’t want your business to be that big. I talk to a lot of people and most of them would be happy just making a great living while having control of their time. This goal alone is significant and it doesn't take 92 employees to achieve it.
However, let’s use Steve as an example to show you some important points that are 100% applicable to you and your business right now.
Achieving whatever goal you have for your business, 92 employees or not, cannot happen without these five things:
First: A VISION
One of my favorite sayings is “Without a vision my people perish”. This comes from the Bible and is completely true about your business. If you do not have a clear destination already carved out in your mind, for your business, then you will do nothing but wander aimlessly. Your decision making abilities are greatly diminished when you don’t have a “final destination” to weigh each decision against.
Will each choice you make on a daily basis move you further from or closer to your business goal? It’s impossible to tell if you don’t establish a clear vision upfront.
Second: A PLAN
Many people never even create a written plan because they don’t have all of the answers upfront. This is a mistake you can avoid by simply putting “something” down on paper. Remember that plans are flexible and they can change so it doesn't need to be perfect from day one. My friend Jon likes to say “Write your goals in pen and your plans in pencil” because they will always need to bend according to circumstance. Just start with a basic outline keeping in mind that “progress not perfection” is the goal here.
Third: A TEAM
Many small local businessmen have some weird ego issues when it comes to hiring people and building a real team. Just because you believe that someone will never be as “good at it as you are” doesn’t mean you don’t need a team. Often times the opposite is true and a properly developed employee can usually out perform you hands down, besides, you are supposed to be the coach not the quarterback. It is time to let go of the ball and replace it with a clipboard so you can start drawing up the plays while the young guys score the touchdowns. In the end you are the one that owns the team so I guess it’s still you that wins after all.
This can seem like a dirty word but its really not that bad when you understand what systems can do and how important they are. Remember this simple truth…you already have systems in your business. Yup. Right now. A friend of mine said “Every single system you have inside your business is PERFECTLY designed to get you the results you are getting” WOW (re-read that!) Do your sales suck? Do your employees suck? Does your attitude suck? Hmmm…I think I see a pattern here.
Grab a mind map and get busy. (if you need help, try to get a spot in my business bootcamp: www.automategrowsell.com)
Here is something to remember when talking about execution, "Imperfect action ALWAYS beats perfect inaction”. Do not strive to be perfect rather strive to be in constant motion. You need to just start doing these things to the best of your ability today rather than sit on the sidelines and become a perpetual learner.
People that DO stuff are the people that change the world. Execution really is nothing more than deciding to implement things in your business even if those things are not perfect and you don't have everything figured out.
In closing I want to mention that I like to remind my three young sons to “Do hard things” and I think the same rings true for you and I. Nothing in life worth having comes easy and your business will not build itself. The good news is that with the right information and solid execution you can have an amazing small business in short order, especially if you align yourself with like-minded people and don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
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