10 Years Experience or 1 Year Repeated 10 Times?
You might have been in business for X number of years but that doesn’t mean you’ve got the same amount of years experience.
You see, we are all good at what we do but that doesn’t make us good at running a business. Just because we have a profession doesn’t mean that we are equipped to manage a business effectively and efficiently. To be a success and stand out from the crowd, we need to focus on continual improvement whilst learning new and better ways to run our business. When we’re working in the business, we’re working on today’s income. When we’re working on the business, we’re working on tomorrow’s income.
Experience vs achievement
One of the things that we talk about with small business owners is that when it comes down to experience, a lot of them think ‘Hey! I’ve been in business 10 years, I’ve got a lot of experience. I know what I’m doing.’ Not true! If you’ve got 10 years experience, you’ve just got 1 year repeated 10 times. Why? Because we learn a trade or professional skill and when we start working we start doing it for somebody else in their business. We get sick and tired of doing it for them and we think we can do it better for ourselves, so we go off and start a business. The thing is no one ever taught us where to get real training or how to run a real business. We think we have experience – but we don’t necessarily.
A couple of my clients have been in business over 10 years installing kitchens in multi-million dollar homes. When we analysed the business we learned that it basically wasn’t making much more than a wage. It wasn’t making any real profit. They turned to me and asked how they could improve the situation. I replied ‘Okay, have you changed what you’ve been doing over the last 10 years? Has your business kept on improving? Are you continually doing the same thing this year that you did last year?’
The key is learning
It’s insane to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, nothing is going to happen. What we need to do in business is focus on how we can do things better. How can we do things faster? How can we do things cheaper? We’re going to focus on improving our business all the time, while learning new and better ways to run our business.
I went to a seminar a few years ago and Alan Weiss was the guest speaker. He said that he couldn’t believe how stupid he was two weeks ago. He said that the key to a successful business is that there’s always something to learn. When you get to the point where you think you know all the answers, your business is going to start going downhill.
Knowing this, I always encourage myself and everybody else to continually learn how to improve their business. Always look to better systems, always come up with ideas on how we can get customers and how to get better people as well as how to improve on our sales and marketing processes.
You have to ask yourself, what did you work on this week to improve your business? What did you work on today to improve your business? If you didn’t work on anything new last week to improve your business, you wasted the week! If you didn’t work on anything new last month to improve your business, you wasted the month. And sadly, if you didn’t do anything to improve your business last year, then you just wasted the year!
Be the right kind of busy
Some of you will be screaming at me saying Sam, you don’t know! You just don’t know how busy I am! The question is: you might be busy, but are you busy doing the right work that’s going to get your business better today than it was yesterday?
If you’re busy and your business isn’t any better today than it was yesterday, you just wasted the day. Do the right work, start working on your business rather than just in your business. When we’re working in the business, we’re working on today’s income. When we’re working on the business, we’re working on tomorrow’s income. So, if you spend too much time working in the business, you’re not going to have a good business tomorrow.
The key is to get the right balance. Once you get that balance right in the business, the key starts to turn. I believe in focusing on learning and doing the right things in your business and when you learn to do the right things in your business, your business is always going to improve.