I remember posting on LinkedIn a while ago, asking the reader about the role they were playing in their business that day – were they the entrepreneur, the manager or the worker?
I had a reply to say that I’d obviously been reading ‘The E Myth’ by Michael E Gerber. I hadn’t – actually, I hadn’t heard of the book until that time. I’m not quite sure how the book had escaped my notice given it’s reverence, but needless to say, I placed my order and read it – and yes, it talks about exactly this and why each one is equally important at certain times.
One of the things I talk about a lot with my clients is the fact that it’s so important to give yourself time to work on your business. Yes, of course the client work needs to be done but equally, the success of your business will depend how you nurture it, respond to its needs, feed it and give it room to grow. Sounds a bit like parenting doesn’t it – but that’s how you need to think. Where is your business going? How will it grow? Because if you don’t know, no one else will, that’s for sure. And if you’re not thinking about where your business will be going, it won’t go anywhere fast.
Working on your business, is the need for you to be entrepreneurial in your thinking – it’s time to think big, be visionary – what could you achieve if nothing could get in the way? What path will you map out for yourself and your business and how will it look and feel?
I know this sounds like day dreamer’s paradise – who has the time to day dream about the ‘what if’s’? But we all should! If Richard Branson hadn’t been visionary and had stuck with his record stores, he certainly wouldn’t be enjoying his spare time on his private island now.
But yes, you’re right – there is a time and a place for everything, you can’t spend all your days dreaming up big things for your business. You need to look at the here and now and get things done. You need to be doing the day to day tasks that business requires of you – the marketing, sales, sorting out the finances, making sure the payments are coming in – and of course, actually doing the work. You’ll need to be the worker bee, working hard to get it all done to deadline, making sure you have a pipeline of leads so that work continues to flow.
And amongst that, you’ll need to manage what you’re doing to make life better for yourself. You’ll need to identify your systems and create processes, look at ways you can automate those processes to make for better time management, work flows etc. You’ll need to manage your clients to ensure you’re meeting their needs, keeping them happy, keeping them on board with your business.
Yes, you’ll be busy.
But you can see the differentiation here can’t you – between all the things required of you as a business owner?
So where do you excel?
Are you an Entrepreneur?
Some people are naturally better at some areas of business than others. Some excel at being visionary. These are people with natural entrepreneurial tendencies. Thinking big and being very clear about the long-term destination for the business – and all that needs to be done to get there.
The downside can be thinking so big that nothing actually gets done – constantly thinking about the next project or having various things on the go at any one time can mean you’re spreading yourself far too thinly to make an impact with any one business.
Are you a Manager?
Some love the systems and processes. Managing the flow of the business. Having a step by step process to achieve the visionary plans. Mapping everything out so that all activities flow beautifully.
The downside can be going in too deep with all the different apps and tools that can be used within business these days – trust me, there’s an app for anything if you need it. Processes are important – but don’t overcomplicate matters – and don’t spend so long refining the process that the actual work slips under the radar!
Are you a Worker Bee?
And other people love doing the work – never happier than actually getting the work done for their clients. Working hard and doing it so well.
It’s hard to say there’s a downside to such a conscientious worker – but of course, whist you’re stuck in the nitty gritty, you’re not being visionary and growing your business.
So, it’s incredibly important to see where your traits lie. Usually you’re not just one character, it’s likely you’ll have a mix – but naturally you will lean more in one direction than another. I’m sure you can see that you need to embrace all three characteristics to get good balance in your business.
For me, I’m not naturally an entrepreneur. I’m much more manager and worker – so I have to put time aside to think really big about my business. I currently use Friday’s as a non-client work day. This is a day a devote to my business, so I might be thinking big and learning new skills to support that new thinking.
All three characteristics are so important to the growth and development of your business – so recognise your strengths and your weaknesses and put time aside weekly to work on those weaker areas and see what results you get.
Do let me know your thoughts in the comments section of the blog. Which role is your comfortable place and where do you need to strengthen your skill?