If you asked the question – ‘Guess who’s stopping you expand your business?’ – of a group of ambitious entrepreneurs who were focused with full determination and energy on building theirs, they might come up with a range of reasons. Lack of resources, downturn in markets, changes in external conditions might be some of their responses. Very few of them would stop to look at how they themselves might unwittingly be the very cause of their business limitation.
True story of two entrepreneurs
Let’s illustrate this with the true story of two entrepreneurs who both started their own businesses from scratch at about the same time in the same industry, selling similar products and services. We’ll call them Aaron and Barry. For the first few years, their results were similar, but their approach to running their businesses was very different.
Investing 100% and getting 100%
Barry was a natural salesman, and had received several sales performance awards in the corporate job he had before starting his own business. He knew he could win business within a couple of meetings with a client. He was giving 100% of his time and energy, and receiving 100% return on his efforts. He was focused on developing his skills and strengths as well as on achieving business growth. He did delegate administrative tasks, and took on a team of sales people under him, but always remained the top sales person.
Aaron however was not a natural salesman and yet within ten years his profits were ten times Barry’s. Within fifteen years they were 100 times, and by twenty years they were 1,000 times. His focus from the outset of his business was solely on its expansion.
Aaron realised from the start that if he put in 100% of his time and energy, he could get a 100% return, whereas if he delegated to others who weren’t as skilled or knowledgeable as him, they could only give him a 75% return on the investment of their time and energy. However, that still left him with 100% of his time and energy free to focus on developing them and on expanding the business.
Sharing secrets of success
He also recognised that if he shared the success secrets he had learned with his team, they would go on to perform better. He wanted them to perform even better than he could. Unlike Barry, he was not afraid of people copying the secrets of his techniques, being aware that people will always copy successful people. By the time they’ve copied him, he would have grown further in his experience and wisdom.
Barry still wants to be the star performer, the main driving force of his small company, whereas Aaron guides his mammoth one with a light touch, leaving his team to deal with all the day to day management. He long ago learned not to let himself be the very hindrance that holds back the expansion of his business.
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