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You Can’t Have IT Both Ways

I just came from a meeting with an associate.  Talk about confused.  Here is a business owner that says he and his partner want to be the business of training, yet do not want to be in the business of training.  If this confuses you, let me explain.

Being in the business means that you do many if not all aspects of the business.  If you own a plumbing business, you would do much of the actual plumbing.  You can still hire other plumbers to work with you, however, you stay in the “trade,” continuing to work as a plumber.

Someone who is the business might be a salon or spa owner.  One of my Advocates is such a person.  She owns a facility that has stylists, tanning, hair removal, sells products (hair and skin care), and massage.  Her responsibilities are running the operation and managing its growth.  She constantly is evaluating the performance of the independent contractors working for her, the sales performance, and growth within the spa.  She never cuts hair, gives a massage, or leads people to the tanning booths.

Many of us want it both ways.  We have a great idea.  We want to create a unique niche in an existing market.  We develop an idea.  We then build it.  We buy or create the equipment.  We establish a storefront, developing a clientele.  We grow to a level of customers that sustain us.  The bills are barely being paid, but we continue to hope for success.  Then we get on a treadmill.  Because we no longer want to be the technician in the business, we start to hire people to get things done in the business.  It gives us the sense of growth, being on the path of becoming an entrepreneur.

The biggest mistake is sitting in our storefront waiting for someone else to create the market for us while we pay people to get things done that an entrepreneur does best.  The smart money is on continuing to do those things you do best until the time is right to make the switch.  The time is right to make the switch when the entrepreneur has SYSTEMS in place to take over.  Then the entrepreneur can hand a working system to a new employee/independent contractor to take over that portion of the business. In all cases make sure you get some form of guarantee for performance of service.

The particular training company that I am speaking of above has in four years spent between $100,000 to $250,000 in marketing systems.  They have plateaued at a certain number of clients.  They are stuck.  Yet now they are not willing to market themselves, offering their unique training system.  They are sitting back with a unique concept that they know best, yet are not willing to get off their behinds to get people in the storefront.

The dichotomy is that they hire outsiders to market their business while to save money both partners are training again.  It makes no sense.  The partners should have continued to market their unique business until systems were in place to allow it to sustain the growth.  You cannot have it both ways.

The kiss of death is graduating to the level of being the business, then going back into being in the business.  In the case I am describing, trainers were hired to run the business.  When the business did not grow as planned, trainers quit or were let go.  The owners became trainers again.

As a very wise person told me, “Some of us hide behind the idea of saying we are entrepreneurs.  Others of us go out and become entrepreneurs.”  Do you want to be a true entrepreneur?  Become the business.  Get out of being in the business.

For more information on this topic see Michael Gerber’s E-Myth and E-Myth Mastery.  Gerber makes very strong points about the systems required to become an entrepreneur and the roles entrepreneurs play as they grow their businesses.  During the process we are responsible for wearing many hats.  The key becomes when to hand off those responsibilities to a trusted advisor/employee so that we can be the business rather than be in the business.

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with realtors who want to attract the right prospects and their affinity partners who want to generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started Integrity.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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