you must like business to build one

Do you love running your business?

I mean the whole thing.
Not just creating and delivering your service or product.

A disproportionate amount of solo entrepreneurs have told me:
“I just want to serve my clients and outsource all the other stuff.”

That’s when my red flag metre goes into overdrive.

They are focused on the product and not on the business.

Why is this a problem?

To build a sustainable business you must put the business first.

I have yet to meet a single successful entrepreneur who didn’t learn to embrace the business side of business.

Sure, they may eventually have hired people to take responsibility for some areas in the business but they still oversee the business as a whole.

I’m loath to bring up Steve Jobs because he’s so overly used as an example for all kinds of things but that ubiquity makes it easy to keep using him as an example.

Here’s a summary from Investopedia of how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple.
The bolded portions are my emphasis.

“Steve Jobs got his start in business with another Steve, Steve Wozniak, building the blue boxes phone phreakers used to make free calls across the nation. The two were members of the HomeBrew Computer Club, where they quickly became enamored with kit computers and left the blue boxes behind. The next product the two sold was the Apple I, which was a kit for building a PC. In order to do anything with it, the customer needed to add their own monitor and keyboard.

With Wozniak doing most of the building and Jobs handling the sales, the two made enough money off the hobbyist market to invest in the Apple II. It was the Apple II that made the company. Jobs and Wozniak created enough interest in their new product to attract venture capital. This meant they were in the big leagues and their company, Apple, was officially incorporated in 1976.”

Jobs handled sales and (along with Wozniak) created interest in the product. In those early days especially, he was focused on the business and not on making the product.

While we romanticize Jobs’ obsession with the design of Apple’s products, he was first and foremost running the business.

For solo entrepreneurs, it’s a bit tricky because you are both the product and the business owner. So you must think about how you can spend as much time running the business as you are delivering your service.

This is vital to scaling your business so you can make the money you need to fuel your desired lifestyle.

What does it look like to spend more time on the business stuff?

  • You take the time to reflect on your business as a whole at least once a week.
  • You consider where you want your business to go.
  • You ask yourself how you could make things easier.
  • You look at where you might be doing busy work to avoid something else.
  • You stop looking for tactics as a quick fix and start trying things based on what you already know.
  • You limit your information consumption to only a few high-quality sources.
  • You continuously improve your communications so that they are clear and specific.
  • You determine what to outsource and delegate efficiently.
  • You figure out what will give your clients the best experience and results. 
  • You make decisions quickly and cut out more than you add.

This is the stuff that makes my heart sing.

What about you?

 

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