Voluntary Business Blindness Is Just Dumb!

In simple terms, in order for you to have more business freedom, your business needs to be

Profitable

Predictable

Expandable

Able to operated without you

It may or may not surprise you to learn that many – if not most – businesses do not meet ALL of these criteria.

Why not?

Well, it’s not necessarily because they are bad businesses. And it’s not usually because the owners of the businesses are bad business people.

From my experience, it is because the businesses have not been developed or structured to meet these criteria. But sometimes “Business Blindness” gets in the way.

Starting, owning and running a business takes passion and commitment and persistence. And courage. Guts.

Often in the middle of the passion, the commitment and the persistence, we business owners become blind to what is actually happening in the business. We become blind to what we need to do to improve, change or re-structure the business to give us what we want. It’s Business Blindness!

The business needs to give us more of what we want – and less of what we don’t want. But in the heat of business battles, when the very survival of the business can be on the line, we sometimes forget what we really wanted when we started the business. We get caught up in “the business” – and often keep going doing stuff that doesn’t make a lot of sense – in the name of persistence, commitment and passion. That takes courage – but it’s just dumb.

Business Blindness is Dumb.

Blind passion is dumb. Blind commitment is dumb. Blind persistence is dumb. And having the courage to continue to do dumb things – is just dumb.

Staying on the business owner’s treadmill with no business freedom is just dumb too.

But, Business Blindness is voluntary. It’s our choice. Or generally, more correctly, it’s when we abandon our right and responsibility to make uncomfortable choices. Sticking our head in the sand of our own business also leads to blindness…

We don’t have to be blind in our own business, but we do need to remember to open our eyes. And we do need to make better choices – and take responsibility for our choices.

It’s time to open our eyes and re-look at our own business. We need to take more time out of working IN the business and start working more cleverly ON the business.

Most business owners don’t make enough time to work ON their business. Generally, it’s not because they don’t want to, but because they get so caught up in the “doing” of their business that they have no time or energy left to figure out what needs to be done to extract themselves from their own business.

But that is just continuing the Business Blindness – and continuing life on the treadmill!

One definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. To get Business Freedom, you don’t want to be doing the same things over and over again – if they are not working for you. You will need to be doing things differently. And you’ll probably need to be doing different things.

It’s important to realize you can change. Things can change. You can change the things you do.

Some Big Questions for you…

  1. Do you want your Business Freedom?
  2. What type of Business Freedom do you want?
  3. To get that type of Business Freedom, what needs to change? and then…
  4. How do you do it?

Personal Qualities Required To Be An Entrepreneur And Start Your Own Business

A lack of skill, ability and experience in certain business areas need not be a barrier to success and starting your own business. The personal qualities exerted by a small business owner overcoming deficiencies over and over again are vital and present in many entrepreneurs much more so that specific technical knowledge.

Not everyone is a master of all business attributes in fact very few are. Certainly being a master of all is a fantastic position but unrealistic while certain personal qualities are essential to fight the inevitable battles to come. Business battles the successful entrepreneur wins.

Businesses that have grown and become medium sized and bigger are not reliant on the business owner entirely. Employees are engaged with specialist skills and abilities to develop and grow the business. A sole trader just starting out has to settle for a comfortable living or have the ability to grow the business to the point where more specialist abilities can be added to the business.

Most small business owners who start a new business do so in an area where that small business owner has some knowledge, experience and skill. It is a natural progression having acquired the business knowledge and experience to use those abilities to build the business under self employment rules rather than earn profits for an employer.

The personal qualities a small business owner possesses are more likely to determine the level of success. Abilities such as hard work, determination, persistence, intuition, tolerance and aggression can be the bedrock of success. But the road to success is not all slam wham bang for the entrepreneur.

Small business owners invariably work longer and harder than employees. An employee works for wages and an adequate work performance is enough. A small business owner is more likely to be on the job at first light, miss the coffee and dinner break and twelve hours later announce he has to finish off for the day because he has to go home and do the business accounting books that he started on Sunday.

Determination and persistence go hand in glove with success. Every new business runs into problems at some time or reaches a stage where the business owner needs to be completely focused and stick with a strategy to make the plans work. Things go wrong from time to time; its normal, determination and persistence are valuable qualities to see through these times.

Aggression in forcing through a business plan may sometimes be the only viable option. Not physical violence but the heightened state of anxiety to push through the plan and make it work with controlled aggression and passion. On the other side of the coin there will be times when the small business owner has to exercise tolerance and just go with the flow.

Many small start up businesses go out of business within 2 to 3 years of starting a new business. A major cause is under capitalisation which basically means they run out of money. Liquidity is a major area of concern for every small business entrepreneur and a cautious approach to a new business can be of considerable value.

There is a strong tendency for a new business start up to borrow money and buy new equipment just to get started. Such businesses are taking a major risk the plans will work. Some plans do work but rarely it is a smooth path and a better option is to build the business and reinvest profits made.

A more cautious approach would be to start a new business without borrowing substantial funds because if the small business owner has the ability to make a success of the business and make money then they can usually do so without external funding and use the profits made to build the business in the future.

The sound reason for a small business or a start up business to borrow money is to already be showing a good financial performance. Use the extra funds to speed up future success while borrowing funds with no track record is a gamble and a gamble which fails only too often.

Why You Need A Business Battle Plan

If you want to drive from Chicago to Albuquerque, do you just jump in a car, start driving, and see what happens? Drive real fast in no particular direction and hope you get there sooner or later? Not a chance. If you’re a rational person you’ll start with a roadmap or a GPS, and you’ll probably check more than one to compare and consider your options. You’ll ask people who have made the drive before to give you advice. You’ll find out how long it will take, what the landmarks and milestones are, which route suits your purposes best. You’ll make sure your car is in good shape so it won’t die on the way and leave you stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Then you’ll customize your roadmap, marking the towns where you’ll rest and refuel and the junctions to watch for, and the names and/or numbers of every road and highway you’ll take. You’ll print out that map and keep it right beside you for the entire trip, checking it often to make sure you’re still heading in the right direction. Or you’ll program your GPS with every important waypoint, and keep it in your field of vision at all times to check your progress and mileage.

Trying to run a business without a business plan is every bit as insane as trying to drive from Chicago to Albuquerque with no map, no directions, and no idea how to get there or how long it will take. In fact, running a business without a plan is even worse-it’s like driving BLINDFOLDED! It will get you KILLED. But that’s exactly what most business owners think they can get away with doing. And that’s one of the main reasons they end up stuck. They run around in circles with no direction until they run out of time, money, and energy, risking burnout or even bankruptcy.

But YOU are not going to be one of them, because YOU are about to create a bullet-proof plan and a budget and keep them beside you on the seat the entire time you’re at the wheel.

A business plan not only helps you stay on track, it also helps prepare you for battle. It becomes a kind of résumé and foundation for the entire business. It describes what the business really is, why you’re doing it, who is on your team, your strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly-how much you intend to earn and what you will do to get it.

If your business model requires investment capital, you might already have a business plan you created to show potential investors. If so, ask yourself this question: is it a plan you actually use day-to-day or something you dreamed up to make the business look good on paper that you haven’t looked at or thought about in the past six months?

If you think you don’t need a plan because your business model is so simple, or because there’s no need for investment capital at the moment-think again, soldier. Even if you were only driving from the house to the grocery store, doing it blindfolded would be suicide.

Kick Ass, Make Money & Have Fun Doing It!

Craig Zuber