Ideas come to you in the shower. They wake you up in the middle of the night. They take you hard by the shoulders and shake you with excitement.
New ideas and creative thought is essential for successful businesses to not only grow, but just to keep you at the same level as the year before. Without ideas and creative thoughts, you would stagnate and spend the next few months moaning at networking events about how the economic downturn has ruined your business.
Pain and pleasure
However, as with most great things, there is always pain that goes along with the pleasure when over-indulged in.
There is a book that I highly recommend every business owner should take the time to read: Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Revisited. Gerber explains beautifully the challenge that entrepreneurs have over managing their three personas. The Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician.
Each persona is critical to be able to run a successful business. In larger organisations, these personas are usually separate people. The challenge lies when “you” are the business and balancing these three personas within one person. They naturally fight and argue with each other.
The Manager is forever setting targets and goals for the Entrepreneur to focus on. The Entrepreneur hates planning and rebels because they want to be free to create the fun stuff. And the poor Technician is left to do all the work in the day-to-day business and if not given enough hours in the day, it doesn’t matter how loud the Manager shouts or how brilliant the ideas are that the Entrepreneur comes up, if no-one takes the time to “do it”, then the business crumbles as clients drift off to competitors.
If I was to put down a bet on which of the three personas you like to be, I would put my money down on the Entrepreneur. It’s the persona who likes to take risks, gets creative, is extrovert and loves to talk to people.
And by being more of the Entrepreneur than either of the other two personas, this is the trap that so many business owners fall in to – the ideas trap.
The Ideas Trap
So many new target clients to go out and sell to. So many new products and programmes that would be fun to develop and sell. So many different ways of getting your message out and shiny new tools and widgets to try out.
It’s gets noisy. So noisy that you can’t think through the ideas and implement the action plan. The poor Technician gets ignored and the Manager shakes a stern finger at you when you check your last three months profits.
Its times like these that I realise I have to quiet down that Entrepreneur in me, too. There’s no point increasing your turnover, if your profitability doesn’t budge. (Remember the cheesy but oh so important saying “Turnover is vanity, Profit is sanity”?)
More of the less
And this is why my mantra for the next 6 months is “More of the Less”.
By taking the time out to reflect and re-focus on what is working really well in my business, I know that it won’t take long for the profitability to catch up with the turnover! A few tweaks and listening to the Manager in me and putting on the Technician’s hat, is time well spent.
Knowing that I am not alone in this entrepreneurial ideas trap (come one … you can ‘fess up here – you are among friends), I felt I wanted to share this story with you at this time.
Most of you reading this are selling “you”. You are a coach, consultant, therapist … you are selling your time. And ideas are critical to your long term success. Without new products or programmes, you will stagnate and lose your clients.
But there is a fine balance that, if not checked on a regular basis, your ideas will remain just that … ideas.
Without implementation and following through with your action plan, you will stay stuck in the shoulda, coulda, woulda world.
Take a moment and ask yourself, “What is working really well in my business right now?”
Could you do more of the less and give your profits a boost this month?
In the comments below, I would love to know what you think about the ideas trap. Do you get stuck in it? Or do you have a different take on this? Let me know by adding your thoughts below.