Work ON Your Business Not IN Your Business, REALLY??

So what does it really mean to work ON your business not IN your business? Ever since the famous business guru, Michael Gerber wrote his bestselling book, “The E-Myth”, this has been a popular subject. His E-Myth “coaches” provide extensive seminars and workshops on the topic, as do a host of “business coaches”.
After 40 years of being in “the business trenches”, owning, managing, and selling 15 businesses successfully, it seems to me that the subject has been worked over to death. In my view, success in business (each should identify their view of success) comes down to the following: The application of common sense, coupled with a thorough understanding and application of correct principles. These are then supported by the appropriate techniques, followed by action. The last ingredient is measurement of every action. This formula has been the cornerstone of my business success.
Now, applying this formula to “Work ON your business not IN your business, using common sense, the business owner should assess the WHY they are in business. This means determining their direction, not only for the business, but for themselves. When you truly know your WHY, you can move on to what, where, when, and how as your business journey dictates. The starting point however is your WHY. It is understood that common sense is, in large measure, a result of past experience. We need to always remember that good judgment comes from experience, and most valuable experience comes from making poor judgments. This is one of the ironies of life. Nevertheless, common sense should be the starting place in our business journey. The principle to then apply is to thoroughly understand your WHY. What exactly do you want to get from your business? If you want to always be “the producer”, that is fine. Maybe then you associate yourself with another person to work ON the business for you. If you want to move from being “the producer” to the “captain” of the business, then you elect to learn the appropriate principles and attendant techniques required for the position. Once these determinations have been made, the next step is action. Forget about extensive business plans. Develop your own strategic plan and campaign. Take action now, and make the adjustments you will need because you are now also measuring everything. So, to “work ON not IN” is not theoretical physics, it is the simple application of the aforementioned formula. Also, forget about “retirement”. That is an illusion postulated on us during the industrial revolution. We are creatures that require a “purpose” to our lives. A better word might be “continuement”. We simply continue and continue in life’s wonderful journey recreating our purpose. So, “continuement” on, and enjoy the journey!

FEAR: MOTIVATOR OR INHIBITOR

In any endeavor of importance in the life experience, Fear is a natural component of that experience. Consider, if you will, marriage, childbirth, dental or medical treatments, and major purchases (home, car, etc.). They all have a certain amount of fear associated with them. The same is true for going into business and or being in business.
You can anticipate the “Fear Factor” to increase the closer you get to having to make a definitive decision, or take the steps necessary to move your business forward. Therefore, the question becomes will Fear be a motivator, causing you to be careful, cautious, and do appropriate due diligence, and then take ACTION? Or, will Fear be an inhibitor, paralyzing or stopping you from making appropriate decisions that could enhance your business and your life?
If you choose to let Fear be an inhibitor, you choose to allow Fear to control your destiny. You abdicate the responsibility for your life to it. Indeed, your destiny will never reach its full potential, and your life experience will only manifest a small degree of what it could be.
How can you make Fear work in your favor, i.e., be your motivator ? The answer is KNOWLEDGE. When you strive to acquire a full spectrum of knowledge on any life endeavor, the paralyzing attributes of Fear are reduced and even eliminated. Knowledge means understanding correct principles, applying appropriate techniques, and taking action, followed by appropriate measurement.
Knowledge is power. It becomes the power to effect change, and to create positive change in your life. Change, in life, is inevitable, and it can be the seed for growth. But, growth is optional, and it is up to you. If you use knowledge to make Fear “your motivator, it becomes the engine for your positive growth. With knowledge, you significantly increase the probability of success in life. You will reach your business’s and your life’s full potential. The choice is yours.
Inaction breads doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, stop ruminating or just thinking and thinking. Go out and take action.
I think a quote from the late Steve Jobs is appropriate:
“The benefit of death is you know not to waste life living someone else’s choices. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

CORE BELIEFS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE Part 2

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR POTENTIAL
CORE BELIEFS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
(Part 2 of 2)
Having spent the last 40 years of my life as a business owner, owning, managing and successfully selling 15 businesses, I have had a wonderful opportunity to observe successful and unsuccessful people. During these observations, certain “axioms” appeared to be consistent as they related to the successful people. I have called these “axioms” “Core Beliefs of Successful People”. This is the second part of those observations.

THERE IS SOME BENEFIT TO BE GAINED FROM EVERY ADVERSITY.
As I look back on my modest business career, it seems that virtually all of the valuable lessons that I have learned were the result of “setbacks”, “failures” or adversity. I guess, for me, that is my method of learning. I would not say that is true for everyone, but I do know, that adversity really “hammers the lessons home”.

EACH ONE OF YOUR BELIEFS IS A CHOICE.
Everything that we do in business, or for the matter in life, is a series of choices. Therefore, it is best that we develop, early on, a strong set of core beliefs and values. They will serve well as the compass to make all of the directional choices in business and life correctly.

YOU ARE NEVER DEFEATED UNTIL YOU ACCEPT DEFEAT AS A REALITY AND QUIT TRYING.
I can remember lying on the football field, face down, wet, mud in my face, knees in excruciating pain, and the person I was supposed to tackle running for a touchdown. Vince Lombardi’s words rang in my head, “ It is not failure to get knocked down, it is only failure if you do not get back up”. And so it is in business. Learn to accept “no’, to have plans altered, and to be disappointed. That is part of the “game”. The best part of the game is to stay in it, and keep “playing”.

THE ONLY REAL LIMITATIONS ON WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ARE THOSE ON YOURSELF.
We can have” abundance” or a “scarcity” mentality. The choice is ours. To me, seeing the world as a place of abundant opportunities has allowed me great freedom, provided great opportunities, and generally has made my life exceedingly joyful. Allow yourself the opportunity to experience life to the fullest, by not setting any limitations on yourself. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said,” the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

YOU ALREADY POSSESS THE ABILITY TO EXCEL IN AT LEAST ONE KEY AREA IN YOUR LIFE.
Having good self confidence is essential to a successful business career. Each of us has “days” when we wonder if we “have what it takes”. The good news is that we do, and more importantly, we can get the knowledge that it takes if we come up short in some area. Again, it is perseverance that counts, along with a passion for what we are doing.

THERE CAN BE NO GREAT SUCCESS WITHOUT GREAT COMMITMENT.
One of my favorite quotes is from the German philosopher Goethe: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now”. In my experience, the hard part is first making the commitment. Once done, it is surprising how opportunities start to happen and “things fall into place”.

YOU NEED THE SUPPORT AND COOPERATION OF OTHER PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE ANY WORTHWHILE GOAL.
I remember the Paul Simon song who’s lyric goes, “I am a rock, I am an island”. It is a great song, and if you listen carefully, you realize that no one really is an “island”, and we are not alone. We just have to have the proper attitude, and all matter of support and synergy is at our command. Nothing of any great significance can be done without the cooperation of other people. The challenge is to find the key people, engage them, and make sure they receive their reward which is not always financial. Often it is just recognition.

MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Incorporate these core beliefs in your life, and you can be assured of being successful, no matter what your definition of success is and what your endeavor is. Enjoy the journey, the fruits of which will bring you success and happiness.

CORE BELIEFS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE PART 1

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR POTENTIAL
CORE BELIEFS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
(Part 1 of 2)

Having spent the last 40 years of my life as a business owner, owning, managing and successfully selling 15 businesses, I have had a wonderful opportunity to observe successful and unsuccessful people. During these observations, certain “axioms” appeared to be consistent as they related to the successful people. I have called these “axioms” “Core Beliefs of Successful People”.

“WINNERS” ARE NOT BORN, THEY ARE MADE.
There does not seem to be any consistent relationship or correlation between success and education, unique talents, financial resources, or race/ethnicity. It seems to “boil down” to common sense, diligence (I don’t like the term “hard work”), knowledge and it application, and perseverance.

THE DOMINANT FORCE IN YOUR EXISTENCE IS THE WAY YOU THINK.
What we think about definitely affects the outcomes of our lives. I do believe that we have both a conscious and subconscious thought process. I remember a comment by Wayne Dyer to the effect that, what is inside of us comes out when we are “squeezed”. If we are felling angry, it comes out. If we are feeling positive it comes out. If we think positive and constructive thought, our life will reflect that.

YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY.
We are truly blessed to live in the United States of America! This is still the land of opportunity. If we want something strong enough, and are willing to make the necessary commitments and sacrifices for it, we can create our own reality.

THERE IS SOME BENEFIT TO BE GAINED FROM EVERY ADVERSITY.
As I look back on my modest business career, it seems that virtually all of the valuable lessons that I have learned were the result of “setbacks”, “failures” or adversity. I guess, for me, that is my method of learning. I would not say that is true for everyone, but I do know, that adversity really “hammers the lessons home”.

EACH ONE OF YOUR BELIEFS IS A CHOICE.
Everything that we do in business, or for the matter in life, is a series of choices. Therefore, it is best that we develop, early on, a strong set of core beliefs and values. They will serve well as the compass to make all of the directional choices in business and life correctly.

YOU ARE NEVER DEFEATED UNTIL YOU ACCEPT DEFEAT AS A REALITY AND QUIT TRYING.
I can remember lying on the football field, face down, wet, mud in my face, knees in excruciating pain, and the person I was supposed to tackle running for a touchdown. Vince Lombardi’s words rang in my head, “ It is not failure to get knocked down, it is only failure if you do not get back up”. And so it is in business. Learn to accept “no’, to have plans altered, and to be disappointed. That is part of the “game”. The best part of the game is to stay in it, and keep “playing”.

THE ONLY REAL LIMITATIONS ON WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ARE THOSE ON YOURSELF.
We can have“abundance” or a “scarcity” mentality. The choice is ours. To me, seeing the world as a place of abundant opportunities has allowed me great freedom, provided great opportunities, and generally has made my life exceedingly joyful. Allow yourself the opportunity to experience life to the fullest, by not setting any limitations on yourself. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said,” the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

YOU ALREADY POSSESS THE ABILITY TO EXCEL IN AT LEAST ONE KEY AREA IN YOUR LIFE.
Having good self confidence is essential to a successful business career. Each of us has “days” when we wonder if we “have what it takes”. The good news is that we do, and more importantly, we can get the knowledge that it takes if we come up short in some area. Again, it is perseverance that counts, along with a passion for what we are doing.

THERE CAN BE NO GREAT SUCCESS WITHOUT GREAT COMMITTMENT.
One of my favorite quotes is from the German philosopher Goethe: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now”. In my experience, the hard part is first making the commitment. Once done, it is surprising how opportunities start to happen and “things fall into place”.

YOU NEED THE SUPPORT AND COOPERATION OF OTHER PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE ANY WORTHWILE GOAL.
I remember the Paul Simon song who’s lyric goes, “I am a rock, I am an island”. It is a great song, and if you listen carefully, you realize that no one really is an “island”, and we are not alone. We just have to have the proper attitude, and all matter of support and synergy is at our command. Nothing of any great significance can be done without the cooperation of other people. The challenge is to find the key people, engage them, and make sure they receive their reward which is not always financial. Often it is just recognition.

MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Incorporate these core beliefs in your life, and you can be assured of being successful, no matter what your definition of success is and what your endeavor is. Enjoy the journey, the fruits of which will bring you success and happiness.

GET UP, GET OUT, AND GET GOING

Dales Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Get up, Go out and get busy.”
While less than 15% of the US workforce is self-employed, these entrepreneurs represent over 66% of our millionaires. Why is that? Are these people any smarter, or more talented” The answer is NO! They simply focus on opportunities and take action. They don’t over analyze. Furthermore, they take 100% responsibility for their results – no excuses and no blaming.
The wealthy entrepreneurs set their goals, take definitive action, monitor and own their results. They make adjustments as they go. In other words, it is goals, action, feedback, adjustments and more action! After all, nothing good happens until you take action, start moving. Action always trumps inaction. By taking action, these people learn from the marketplace and make real-time corrections based on current facts, not just speculation.
On the other hand, others focus on obstacles and analysis. They focus on “what can go wrong”. They are ruled by fear, comfort zones, and excuses. Their mode of operation is to delay taking action. They want to eliminate all risks and unknowns. They look for guarantees. This is unrealistic and will only guarantee a lack of success. Deadly analysis/paralysis takes over. Appropriate constructive examination of the facts is, of course the right thing to do. But then, take action. Why are you stalling in life? What are you putting off because of fear or imperfect information? What project is on hold for lack of ALL of the data? What dream is “on delay”
The successful entrepreneur’s solution would be to start now wherever you are with whatever you have. Take some action and learn in the process, then adjust your course.
Success in business is simply the application of common sense, understanding and implementing the correct principles, supported by the proper techniques, and taking ACTION!