Entrepreneurs often exceed at what they do. Drillers I speak with often find their path to the industry through mechanical aptitude. They use their hands and always have. They tinker. They fix things. Like almost all business people I meet, they tend to lack formal business training. Yet, there they are in business for themselves.
However, just because a person runs a business doesn’t mean they run it well. Humans all have faults, strengths, shortcomings and gifts. Running a business well requires an uncommon sense of self-assessment and humility. It asks us to look at our shortcomings. It asks the most of our gifts. What kind of nonsense is this guy talking about, you ask? In my experience, personal faults often reflect in how you run your business.
Show me a disorganized business owner and I’ll show you a disorganized business. Show me a business owner with a lack mentality and I’ll show you a business with cash flow issues. You get the idea.
I work at self-assessment and, I have to say, it humbles me. For example, I tend to get into the weeds on any task I do. What’s next? Write it on the to-do list, check it off and move on. That set-’em-up-knock-’em-down mentality serves me well for getting things done on any given day, but it also blurs my vision for two weeks or a year from now. I gravitate toward tactical, not strategic, thinking. My side business can reflect this, because tactical thinking drives every decision I make. It sacrifices the long term for the short term.
Stop and think about your business (and heck, even how you run your household). Think, in particular, about problems and challenges. Do you have more invoices to pay than receipts at the end of the month? Drillers are the hardest working bunch I’ve met, so it’s not a lack of billable work. You’ve been working, but have you kept up on accounts receivable? When you file your taxes, does it take two weeks to get all your documents together? Have you been busy on billable work and fallen behind on recordkeeping?
Yes, we all have faults. We all have strengths, too. (Try asking your accountant or banker to drill a hole.) The real business super-power comes from maximizing your strengths while minimizing the impact of your faults. Take my example: I have trouble lifting my head up for that 10,000-foot view. To compensate, my partner and I started holding regular business meetings. We talk at my level — in the weeds, but we also discuss previous business, and decisions we may need to make next month, next quarter or even next year. This adds a timeline to my thinking, adding a bit of strategy to my tactics.
My struggle and yours may differ. Maybe you struggle with marketing or inventory. Maybe you feel you can’t get ahead on finances. Whatever the struggle your company has, the bad news is it likely comes back to you. Whatever struggle your business faces, the good news is it likely also comes back to you.
Spend time today thinking about your faults (which, to be fair, none of us want to admit). Try to draw the line between those faults and how you run your business. Then, figure out how to compensate so you minimize the impact of your faults.
You’ll be humbled, but rewarded.
What do you think? As a business owner, what strengths do you bring? What weaknesses? Let us know. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there, drillers.
Step Up to the Mic
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