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Your Business is Your Product

This is the fourth and final post in our series, Work On It, Not Just In It. You can read the first post here, the second here, and the third here.

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.

Topics: Management, Systemization, Leadership

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On Letting Go: An Entrepreneurial Perspective

This is the third post in our series, Work On It, Not Just In It. You can read the first post here and the second here.

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.

Topics: Management, Systemization, Leadership

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It’s Okay To Love Working In It Sometimes

This is the second post in our series, Work On it, Not Just In It. You can read the first post here.

Topics: Management, Client Stories, Leadership

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Your Business Is You—for Better or Worse

Take a moment to think about your business. Go ahead—picture your typical work day. What does that picture look like?

Does it look like you clocking into a job, immersed in the technical work of your business? Does it look like you putting out constant fires, struggling to check a single task off your to-do list without adding five more? Or does it look like you running a team, delegating tasks and keeping the wheels turning? A well-oiled machine that seems to run without you pushing a single button? Or does it look like something else entirely?

Whatever it looks like, this picture of your business defines how you’re doing business. Let me explain what I mean.

Topics: Management, Leadership, Client Stories

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7 Tips Every Business Owner Needs to Take a Real Vacation

When I started as an EMyth Coach in 1996, I had a client (let’s call her Kathy) whose biggest frustration was not being able to trust her people to take care of the business in her absence. She confessed that it had been ten years since she’d gone away for longer than a weekend. Just one week prior, she’d stepped out for two hours to take her cat to the vet and literally closed down her business during that time because she was so sure it would fall apart in the two hours she was gone. Two hours!

“I want you to set a goal for our work together,” I told her. “In one year, I want you to take a week-long vacation.”

Kathy laughed at me.

So I asked her, “Why not?”

Topics: Systemization, Managing Employees, Leadership

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How to Cultivate Leaders You Trust

Okay—let’s say you’ve taken all the necessary steps to build a self-sustaining business.

You’ve made a clear decision to do it, and you’ve let your desire build.

You’ve let go of unproductive beliefs and are thinking like an Entrepreneur. You’ve come to see your business as a process designed to produce a desired result without you.

You’ve envisioned a business that doesn’t depend on your personal production, and you’ve written your vision down. You’ve imagined a culture where your employees are committed to your picture of the future and share your view of what really matters on the way there.

You’ve freed up your time to work on your business, not just in it. You’ve built systems in every area of your business that stand for what you believe in, and you’ve continuously improved them until they generate consistent, predictable results. You’ve set standards that everyone on your team lives by.

In other words, you’ve created a world of your own that can operate without you.

It’s an incredible accomplishment...but are you done?

It depends.

Topics: Values, Leadership, Hiring

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Building a Self-Sustaining Business is a Choice

Let’s be honest: Building a business that doesn’t depend on you isn’t easy. It’s going to take lots of time, attention, and know-how. You’re going to be drawn into fighting fires you wish weren’t happening; you’re going to worry about having the right resources to create the right results; you’re going to have to make things happen that you don’t really know how to do. At times, you’re going to feel let down by the very people you depend on to free you.

Topics: Leadership, Values, Company Culture

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You CAN Build a Self-Sustaining Business

If you’re fortunate enough to have taken your company on a journey through all of its highs and lows for 5, 10, even 20 years or more, chances are you’ve had those moments when you wished your business weren’t so damn dependent on you. No matter what you’ve achieved, most business owners know in their heart that if they walked away—whether for six months or two weeks—they probably wouldn’t have a business when they got back.

Topics: Systemization, Leadership, Values

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The Financial Tools and Teammates You Can't Afford to Live Without

If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. A relationship with your numbers is a key ingredient of your success, but there are some tools you can leverage to reduce the technical work significantly.

Topics: Finance, Leadership

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Become the Leader Your Business Demands

If you’ve ever had the thought that you weren’t a good leader or didn’t know how to be one, you’re not alone.

Business owners rarely go into business for themselves in order to become the leader of a company. In truth, most are looking to secure a “job” where they can provide their product or service free of a boss. This orientation—the Technician’s mentality—inevitably creates a business built around their own ability to produce results. It’s the orientation of the vast majority of owner-operated businesses, and it has obvious limitations. You alone can only get so much done. You can only stretch so far. You can only produce the results that you can produce.

Topics: EMyth, Leadership, Values

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