Guest post by Cathy Demers
In 2007 Discover Card conducted an independent survey to shed light on the characteristics of the 22 million small business owners in the United States. The number one trait common to small business owners? The study revealed: “Independence is their prime motivation.”
While there are many personality characteristics common to most entrepreneurs, a very independent spirit is the one trait shared by each and every one. Most small business owners would not give up the freedom that comes along with owning their business to work for someone else, even if it meant making more money.
But there is a danger to being too independent. This one trait of extreme independence can be the biggest roadblock to success for entrepreneurs. No one person has all the answers. No one person can work alone and always aware of potential problems or roadblocks. Everyone has their blind spots. No matter where they have been or what they have accomplished, everyone is missing vital knowledge and experience in one area or another.
Small business owners need to seek out a trusted network. Entrepreneurs need a place where they can discuss issues with others in a similar situation. Sometimes, when working alone, it is very easy to continue down the wrong path until suddenly you discover what a costly error you have made. Working alone is like that.
Another challenge that entrepreneurs face was discussed by Michael Gerber in his classic book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most New Businesses Fail and What to Do About It. Gerber talked about the importance of working ON your business and not IN your business.
But how do you change from being a day-to-day business “technician”, dealing with customers and putting out fires, to spending time as a visionary executive looking at your business from the outside in? The best way: schedule committed time to work “on” your business!
If you are like most entrepreneurs, who are surrounded by “busy business noise” in which it can be difficult to even hear yourself think, you will have to structure your time in such a way that the urgencies of the moment will not deter you from this important work. You and your business will benefit from a structure which ensures that you use the time you allocated for exactly what you intended, regardless of the emergency du jour.
If you are really committed to being successful by working on your business instead of just in your business – if you want to prevent failure which so many others have experienced – then join your peers for weekly education…free and only 20 minutes!
Next week at the Business Success Cafe, I will be interviewing Michele about how to craft your website so it get you results by using the real website of one of your peers as an example.