If you are just joining in on this series, here is a link to the two articles you probably have missed;
In the second article of the Business Growth 101 series, I discussed the 3 ways of diagnosing the problem of low sales in business. The main focus was on the customers, your employees, the competition and your operating environment.
This is the 3rd article of the series and in this article; I want to talk about the most important factor that determines either a low or high sales period of any business. That factor is YOU!
You are the Driver of your business
Your business is like a car and you the owner is the driver. No matter how fast a car is manufactured to run, it can never go faster than the driver’s capacity to drive it. To go faster, the driver must accelerate more and that means more speed which largely depends on the driver’s driving skills. Why? Because, with more speed, comes more risk, hence the general maxim, ‘speed kills’.
Meaning, unless you are a highly skilled driver who can handle speed, attempting to drive a car at top speed will only end up in disaster.
The same is true for business. Your business can only go as fast as you can personally drive it as its leader.
Money is NOT always the problem!
In my five years experience both as an entrepreneur and as a business developer, one recurring complain I often get from most small business owners is this;
“My business is not growing, if only I had more money, things would have been a lot better!”
I usually smile after hearing such complains because I know money in most cases is not the problem limiting small businesses. I smile because I know with more money, their problems will still not go away, but rather it will multiply. The real problem is low business IQ!
Money all by itself cannot turn things around. Money just like every other resource is a tool for accomplishing certain objectives. And as with every tool, its efficiency and capacity to achieve those objectives is greatly dependent on the proficiency of the user – YOU!
A tool is only as good as the person using it!
Money in the hands of a fool is not a tool; the fool is the tool because the money ends up controlling him/her. Money in the hands of the wise is a tool, because the wise can put it to use productively.
In the end, you realize that it’s not just money that turn things around, but people. Money doesn’t make things happen, people do. It is the effective allocation [use] of money by the wise that ultimately turn things around.
Money’s potential to turn things around is largely dependent on the proficiency [wisdom, skill, knowledge, experience] of the person who has it.
You are KILLING your business if you are not growing as the leader!
A business cannot be better than who is leading it. Your business growth is limited by your personal growth as the leader.
The growth of your business is dependent on your personal development as an entrepreneur. When you know better, your business does better. When you become better, your business becomes better.
Your business’ growth potential is perpetually dependent on your commitment to grow or not to grow personally as the leader. To grow your business, you’ve got to grow [develop] yourself first as an individual!
Your business cannot grow faster than your capacity to manage it. Every time your business attempts to grow faster than who you are as an entrepreneur, your attitudes, actions and decisions will ultimately pull it back.
Because, the growth of your business is directly linked to your growth as a person. In essence, your first responsibility as an entrepreneur and the leader of your business is to perpetually grow [develop] yourself.
So here’s the big question; “How well are you growing?”
Knowledge is a competitive advantage
One of the world’s richest men alive, Bill Gates once declared that if peradventure all his wealth were lost, he would start again from the scratch and in 10 years make double of what was lost.
The world’s most celebrated real estate mogul Donald Trump did actually lose everything at some point of his business life with debts in the tune of billions of dollars. He not only bounced back stronger, he is a lot more richer and even wrote a book detailing the whole experience.
What’s the point of these 2 stories?
Knowledge is a competitive advantage. Why?
Because knowledge is power!
I’m sure you’ve heard people saying this lot of times. Knowledge is the power to do more work. Knowledge is leverage – the extra-advantage to get more work and achieve more results faster and better than others. It is entirely impossible to do a work you do not know how to do. So in the long run, the quantity and quality of work you will ever be able to do will always be determined by the level of knowledge you possess.
I can almost hear you say this; “Tito, are you implying that I have to know about every work I need to do in my business, isn’t that what hiring others are meant for?”
True, but don’t forget that you can only know ‘who’ to hire when you’ve first identified ‘what’ needs to be done. And that requires knowledge. It takes knowledge to put together the most competent hands in the most appropriate places doing the right kind of work that will bring about the result you want.
Donald Trump said in the book he co-authored with Robert Kiyosaki titled “why we want you to be rich” that it is very difficult for competitions to beat him in business because they first had to out-learn him!
To win him, you’ve got to be better than him knowledge-wise, experience-wise and learning-wise. This guy stays awake till 1am every night learning and wakes up as early as 5am. He only has 4hours worth of sleep everyday!
How could anyone possibly begin to catch up with that level and hunger for personal growth?
If you painstakingly observe and study the lives of the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders in the world, you will notice how much of a voracious learner they are. Their commitment to personal development is unparalleled. They are always in search of more and more ways of improving themselves thereby improving their businesses ultimately.
Their businesses keep getting better because they themselves never stop getting better at who they are and at what they do. They keep sharpening their mental capacity.
To remain competitive and ensure your business is capable of producing outstanding results, commit to your personal development always. You cannot grow as an entrepreneur and your business will stagnate, never. The more you grow, the more your business grows.
Stay up to date about your business operations, your customers, the market, your industry, the economy, best practices, technology, and your personal effectiveness as the leader.
Get a mentor even if you have to pay for their time. Attend business seminars not only because you want to network, but also because you want to learn. Read good business books and ebooks, pay for a skills development training, read magazines and subscribe to good blogs online. Hire the services of an expert or consultant when you need to make crucial business decisions. Do something that adds to your overall mental capacity everyday, because to create, you’ve got to consume [learn].
The success of your business depends on you, more than any other factor!
Over to you
How do you grow as an entrepreneur? In what ways do you invest in your personal development as an entrepreneur? How has your personal growth as a person affected the growth of your business? What specific areas do you focus on the most when approaching your personal development?
Share your comments below.
Avoid missing the remaining articles of this exciting series on Business Growth, enter your name and email below.