Few business owners start out as entrepreneurs. Just like building a company, becoming an entrepreneur is a process full of growth, both personal and professional. And the truth is, no one can do it alone. We all need guidance, mentorship, and inspiration. So here are six lessons from great leaders that will help any owner on their path to becoming a true entrepreneur and creating a sustainable, profitable, and thriving business.
It’s tax season, a time when finance—and finance management—is on all my clients’ minds. So I usually take the opportunity to ask them: “Are you abdicating or delegating your finances to your accountant?” In other words: Do you defer to your accountant, waiting for them to give you financial results that’ll help you better lead and manage your business? Or do you already know the results they’ll give because you know how to read the financials yourself?
Most clients start by abdicating—and it puts them in a risky position.
Managing a business partnership may be the only thing more difficult than managing a business. Partnerships are hard for the same reasons that any relationship is hard. It takes diligence and work to bring together personalities, communication styles, and ideals. And if you want your partnership to serve your business—rather than hinder it—you need to nurture the relationship upon which your partnership is built.
Business owners often face a frustrating dilemma: They’re so busy with the tactical work of their business, they can’t find time to create the structure needed to escape that tactical work. It’s an overwhelming cycle that—for many—feels inescapable. But I promise it’s not. It’s not easy to escape it, but it’s not impossible.
Business owners are some of the busiest people I know. So it never surprises me when I hear a prospective Coaching client say they just don’t have time to work on their business. They don’t even have time to spend with their family or exercise or volunteer doing something they’re passionate about, so where are they going to find the hour per day (at least) that we recommend be spent working on their business to transform it into what they want it to be?
The truth is, it’s not easy—but not for the reasons you may think.
Unless you’ve had personal experience with it, business coaching is probably a bit of a mystery. Do business coaches just walk in and fix the broken parts of your business? Are they only there to motivate and support, or do they get down in the weeds with you? In our 40+ years coaching owners to be entrepreneurs, we’ve cleared up a lot of confusion about what coaching is—and what it isn’t.
When you think about your business, what do you see as your product?
Is it the commodity you sell? The service you provide? The community you help build?
Or is it the business itself?
In all my years as an EMyth Coach, I’ve seen my clients make many crucial shifts to their mindsets, but one of the most transformative is based on this idea: If you want to create a business that works—that can grow to provide the life you’ve always dreamed of—you have to think of your business as the product.
If you sent your team a text today telling them you were never coming back, what would happen? Would your business be able to operate just as well without you?
If the answer is “no,” it’s safe to say that you’ve built your business around your own ability to get things done. If that’s true, your business may be giving you the satisfaction of being “the one” everyone depends on, but at what cost?
Maybe you’re frequently frustrated that your people can’t seem to do things like you do.
Maybe you’re spending a lot of time working without feeling you’re getting anywhere.
Maybe things are just too chaotic and unpredictable.
These are big prices to pay—too big for the investment you’ve made to make your dreams come true.