How My Business Changed Forever When I Stopped Using This ONE Word
I decided back in 2015, that I was no longer going to use the word “grind” in relation to my business. You probably have heard entrepreneurs say they’re grinding in their business. It’s almost as if it is some badge of honor. Entrepreneurs, hustlers, dreamers, proudly proclaim they’re grinding to show they are working on building their empire. Well, I believe words have power and should be chosen wisely so I stopped “grinding”.
It’s time to stop grinding in your business and start BUILDING your business. To grind means to “reduce to small particles”. To grind at something you’re trying to build is like trying to run a 100-yard dash on ice. When any two things grind against each other, there is pain, discomfort, and destruction. When you build, you “construct by putting parts together over time upon strong foundation”. Every successful business must be built upon a strong foundation. The foundation is the lowest load-bearing part of any building. It’s often unseen but it’s most important. There are many professionals who have great skills, talents, products, services etc., but they have no foundation. They seemingly come out of nowhere and take the industry by storm, but before you know it, they’re out of business and on to the next thing. Building your business for longevity will require you to focus on six cornerstones that will help you build your business upon a strong foundation.
Here are those 6 cornerstones:
SCOPE (What is your mission?)
Everyone goes into business with the hopes of making a profit; however, your business must have a greater mission than simply making money. Who are you serving? Who are you seeking to help? Why did you create your product or service? Those questions should drive your company’s actions, not simply increasing revenue. When money is the sole driver in your business, you will easily steer off course at every opportunity to make more of it. When you are driven by your mission, it keeps you focused on the true reasons you started your business in the first place. Without a doubt, when other people start seeing you become successful, they are going to start calling on you for other ideas and ventures that will pull you away from your own business. Keeping clear on your scope and mission will help you to always stay on course with your main goal.
SUPPORT (Who’s on your team?)
If massive success is one of your goals then you are going to need a team, a squad. First, start with your Mastermind Group. These are your Idea People. They make you better by the brain capital they bring to the table. These should be people with expertise in areas where you need the most help. Having different input and perspective will set you up for far greater success. Next, you are going to need your Doers. They will be the ones who bring your great ideas to life. Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down doing activities you could outsource or pay someone else to do. The quickest way to get sucked into becoming a solopreneur is by thinking you must do everything yourself. Thirdly, you need Ambassadors. These are the people who are going to be your public cheerleaders and help spread the word of how great your company is. Third-party validation goes much further than any first-person marketing will. The more people not named “You” who are sharing the good news about your company, the faster you will grow. People are your greatest resource. The more you have on board, the more momentum your company will build.
SYSTEMS (How do things get done?)
Systems are ways to do the job the same way every time (preferably without anyone having to physically do it each time). The better your systems, the better your business. A few systems you need in place include: CRM systems for managing customers and projects, sales systems to generate revenue, product delivery systems that give your clients what you promised, marketing systems that generate new prospects continually, and follow up systems that keep your company in front of prospects and clients. Brian J. Olds, Founder of Black Speaker’s Network, said it best when discussing the power and importance of systems, “You don’t need to replace your income, you need to replace the systems in your life that are producing an income.” To bring it home even more, as an entrepreneur, your primary focus shouldn’t be on revenue, but on the systems in your business that are producing revenue.
SCALABILITY (Be ready today for tomorrow’s growth)
You cannot wait until your company experiences growth to begin planning for that growth. From Day One you should be planning for growth and how you are going to handle it as a company. If you get a huge order, how are you going to fill it? If you get some sudden publicity, can your website handle the traffic? Don’t lose business over your lack of planning ahead of time for success. Today everyone wants to “go viral”, but what good is going viral if your business isn’t setup to handle the influx of traffic and sales from going viral. Your goal in business shouldn’t be to be popular, but to be profitable. I saw this recently on Facebook. One person started a Facebook Group that within 5 days went from zero to over 135K members. That sounds like amazing success to most. However, he wasn’t ready for that growth, didn’t have a team in place, had no system to handle the success, and has run into quite a bit of setbacks. While trying to make adjustments on the fly he’s lost the trust of many of his following. As the old saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” Plan ahead for your massive success so that when it comes, it doesn’t turn into another old saying, “Grand opening. Grand closing.”
SELF AWARENESS (Know who you are and be THAT!)
Know what your competition is doing but always be YOU. Excel at the things you do best and crush it in those areas. Don’t allow your business to suffer an identity crisis by trying to copy every new fad you see the competition doing. Consistency beats creativity every time. Customers look for businesses they can count on to deliver. Become the best in your field in what you are best at doing and let that be your calling card in the marketplace. You may find different ways to deliver your services, or market your company, but always keep the main thing, the main thing. People like to do business with brands they trust. If every year or two, your company is switching up things because you’re always trying the hot new thing, your clients will balk because they cannot trust you to be their long-term solution. Focus on what got you there and consistently improve on that.
SUSTAINABILITY (Are you building to last?)
A true business stands the test of time. Make sure you are taking care of all the invisible business killers (legal coverage, insurance, taxes) so that your business is here to stay. Make decisions that will position you to be in business for decades to come and not a fly-by-night company. The future is coming whether you plan for it or not, so you might as well plan. As we have all learned in 2020, we must expect the unexpected. While some businesses wait until catastrophe hits to then shift, others have built-in contingency plans and build business models that can withstand certain extraneous market factors and even thrive in them.
The bottom line is if you are going to put any amount of energy and resources into building something you are passionate about; you should build it so that it lasts. Building it should be an enjoyable journey. You should be able to look at all you’ve created with pride and joy. No, the journey won’t be easy, but it should be fulfilling. When you change one little thing- like shifting from grinding to building, you will experience a level of success and happiness, you never knew was available to you.