In considering the US election results I am reminded of the old adage “Plans get you into things but you’ve got to work your way out.” – Will Rogers. It is of course important to have plans but it is important as well to be able to execute and get results. The amount of money that was spent on advertisements and educating the public on who they should consider voting for still couldn’t overcome the hardest part of any endeavor – executing and getting results. After the smoke clears and the hype dies down all that is left are results.
In working with entrepreneurs and business owners the same logic applies. It’s fine to have a business that employs people and delivers a product or service to the market place but it is even better to build a plan and get up everyday to execute. My experience tells me that entrepreneurs and business owners have vision for their product or service but often lack the tools and resources needed to execute. Because we are involved in the financial aspects of a business it is here that we tend to see the greatest lack of vision and traction. Much like the POTUS, you have to have good people around you and those people need to know how to do their part to contribute to the whole.
Some of the easiest questions to ask yourself is “Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How are we going to get there?” While maybe an obvious set of questions surprisingly our experience tells us that entrepreneurs and business owners tend to carry around the statement “This is what we do and how we do it”. Maybe that comes from all of the start-up and business advice around knowing your elevator pitch and being able to quickly tell anyone and everyone about your business. My thoughts are that even if you were in the business of producing buggy whips and could explain your business in 30 seconds or less – no one would care. Why? Because all of us know that buggy whips are a dying business (if not already dead). Of more importance would be explaining to someone in 30 secs or less where your business is now, where it needs to be and what is being done to get there. Engagement and participation follow the leader who is able not only to explain what a business does but more importantly (in my opinion) is able to explain where everyone is going from where they are now and how they are going to get there.
So entrepreneurs and business owners need to deliver. They need to execute to create products and services, employ people and ultimately do more with what they have including their knowledge, experience and relationships.
“The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have.” – Charles Schwab