What are the defining characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? Passion, tenacity, and flexibility all make the list, for sure, but how about being a bit of a control freak? That probably figures somewhere in there too. And undoubtedly, the determination to constantly succeed can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to let go of the reins, even a little.
However, learning to loosen your grip marks a coming of age for any business owner; it’s an essential part of growing a business. It’s those who cling on to controlling every last operational detail that are often the ones holding their business back from reaching its full potential.
So why is it beneficial to detach yourself from your precious business venture? The main reason – and it may seem a little at odds with itself – is that while you may be a veritable business-building machine, part of becoming a truly great business leader is recognizing that you possess neither the time nor the expertise to do everything by yourself.
One of the least understood aspects of entrepreneurship is why some businesses fail while others succeed. The painful truth, according to a recent study by the University of Tennessee Research is that most businesses fail for one of the following three reasons.
46% of businesses fail due to emotional pricing, reckless spending, nonpayment of taxes, lack of planning, record keeping problems, and no knowledge of financing. Companies that succeed take pricing seriously. The prices they set are influenced by facts instead of emotions. As you set your prices consider the cost of material, labor, and overhead. Also, remember to keep in mind competitor pricing. Does this mean that you have to be the cheapest to compete? Absolutely not. You don’t have to compete on price, but you can’t ignore how much your competitors charge either. You can’t succeed on pricing alone, but your business will fail if you can’t get your pricing right.
Ohhh I loved my pillow. I used to travel with it all of the time when I was a kid. This week, while I was at the Los Angeles airport on my way to see clients in San Francisco, I saw this guy with the worst comb-over ever traveling with his own pillow. I was expecting him to whip out a juice box and maybe even his special blanky. He had made up his mind to travel in comfort.
So, how comfy are you in your business? I mean really comfy? I’m not sayin’ that you should convert your office into a day spa. I’m talking a little less chaos and less flying by the seat of your pants. On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed are you when you come into the office? Believe me, I still have some of those days.
In the past year, I have worked with tons of entrepreneurs. Many of them aren’t comfy in one particular area – their team of employees, independent contractors, and even their vendors! They have the wrong people with the wrong skill sets in the wrong positions.
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Working for yourself is great, but at some point you’re going to miss the chance to talk to people who understand what you’re going through. If you don’t have a community to commiserate with occasionally, you can start feeling alone in your ventures.
While it may seem a little strange, you actually want to hang out with your competitors. Why in the world would you ever want to do that? Because, more than anyone else, they understand what we go through everyday. In the end, making nice with your colleagues can help spur friendly competition and keep everybody sane.
Not sure how to go about getting everybody together? Here are some ideas.