Posts

Do Entrepreneurs Thrive on Chaos?

chaos“If everything is under control, you are going too slow.”  ~ Mario Andretti, world champion race car driver.

___

George KruegerI posted this quote on Twitter and Facebook last week and got a number of responses. I found this one by David Kasprzak (@flexpencil) particularly interesting: “And if nothing is under control, you are going too fast.”

___

Mary-Lynn FosterIt’s the Goldilocks principle – you don’t want too little; you don’t want too much.

___

Play

Employees want stability

Entrepreneurs thrive in the midst of chaos. It’s a reality. However, it shouldn’t be a goal. For some entrepreneurs, it seems it is the goal. They try to go (and grow) too fast. The result is nothing is under control as David pointed out.

The problem with growing too fast is that most people (that means your employees) want stability at work. Stability equals security. So you need to make sure you provide as much as possible, even if it’s not something you need.

Here are two ways to help your people deal with chaos:

1. Direction. Speed without direction leads you off the track. You may go far but you won’t get where you want to go.

2. Priorities. Speed without priorities means you’re racing in a circle. You’re driving a lot but you’re not going anywhere.

Bad chaos and good chaos

Direction without speed won’t do you much good either, especially in today’s hyper-competitive business world. If everything is under control – if there’s no chaos – you’re not going fast enough.

But chaos can be good or it can be bad. It depends on its source. Consider these three examples:

1. An employee can create it. They don’t get on board with your vision and values. It creates a negative energy. You need to let them go.

2. Lack of structure may create it. In the early stages of a venture, culture trumps structure. As you start getting a handle on products and markets, you need to develop systems. But we entrepreneurs resist and it creates chaos. The result is poor customer service and inefficient employees.

3. Success creates it. Your customers love your products and your company. You’re scrambling to keep up with their demand. This is the kind of chaos you want! Keep pushing for BIGG success!

Podcast player for iPod/iPad
[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00674-022211.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show: Do Entrepreneurs Thrive on Chaos?”]

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00674-022211.mp3

Image in this post from mzacha

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3

tribes
On The Bigg Success Show, we’ve been talking with Seth Godin about his incredible new book, Tribes. So far we’ve discussed:

Part I: what a tribe is, what the leader does, and why quality trumps quantity

Part II: why Seth became a leader, the power of one, and the importance of leverage
 
Today we wrap up our conversation. Let’s get to it!

___

Play

___

Change and chaos creates opportunity

___

georgeSeth, one of the constants we see in your new book is change. I teach Entrepreneurial Finance at our local university. One of the things we talk about is that entrepreneurship is the science of change. There’s a quote in your new book that I just love, “The rush from stability is a huge opportunity for you.” Change does create opportunity for all of us, especially small business people.

___

___

seth_godinWe can look back, before the Industrial Revolution, to when there was a king so the politics never changed. There was a farm and a craftsman so technology and markets never changed. It was almost impossible to cause your station in life to adjust in your lifetime. When someone would come along, like Josiah Wedgwood, and go from being an itinerant potter to a multi-millionaire, that was a once in a lifetime experience per country. Now it happens weekly. Now we’re seeing that all of the change and chaos creates opportunity. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to see newly minted millionaires all over the world because of this chaos. We’re going to see newly influential musicians because of the meltdown of the music industry. If the music industry had stayed the way it was, the only way that you were going to become popular was by running into Neil Young’s A&R guy and hope he liked you. Now someone like Jen Chapin can come along, become popular, and have a following just because she deserves it, not because of someone she knows.

___

You know it don’t come easy

___

marylynnIt’s very empowering. When the status quo doesn’t work anymore, it forces you to be innovative. Innovation is exciting and that creates that passion that you talk about that creates that tribe that wants to follow you and talk about you.

___

___

seth_godinThat’s it, but I’m nervous about one thing. We may be fooling people into thinking that this is easy. Just because it’s happening a lot, just because it’s powerful, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Most people who want to make change are fine with that. They’re fine with the fact that’s it going to take time, effort, dedication and risk in order to make this stuff happen. They just want to know it’s possible. And it is possible if you’re willing to do the work. My blog was not popular for years and years and years. As an entrepreneur, I have failed literally dozens of times before I had success. But I knew it was possible. Once I knew it was possible, then it was worth all the effort.

___

How Seth picked himself up from failure

___

marylynnSee now that’s interesting because you talk about how it failed. How did you pick yourself up from that and not give up?

___

___

seth_godin
I think there are a couple of ways. One is to remind yourself how horrible it is to be a bank teller.

___

___

marylynn
Now wait a minute, there are some bank tellers out there who enjoy what they do.

___

___

seth_godinI think that’s true. But most of them don’t want to be entrepreneurs. If you want to be an entrepreneur – if you want to run your own decision base – then the thought of the alternative helps you focus. But the other thing is, my friend Zig Ziglar has this phrase which is, if he’s only going to succeed one out of ten times, that means every “No” gets him one “No” closer to nine. Nine “No’s” is great because the tenth one is going to be a “Yes.” I felt like, as long as I kept surviving, that was success. Entrepreneurs who survive long enough, sooner or later, are successful.

___

___

george
But also, read The Dip, so you know whether to get out, right?

___

___

seth_godinWhat The Dip would say is you should abandon tactics all the time. A tactic that’s a dead end, that isn’t working and that isn’t helping you be the best in the world, should be abandoned. I would include in that a career choice – like sticking with a particular radio station. That’s a tactic. But a strategy – a strategy that says I’m going to be a successful solo entrepreneur or I am going to make it as a musician – isn’t so easily abandoned. That’s what keeps you pushing through the dip.

___

Please stand up

___

marylynnBefore we let you go, we have to ask about one more thing. Toward the end of Tribes, you talk about how some people are going to rip on you about the style of this book and the way you’ve written it. George and I absolutely loved it. It’s such an easy read; it flows so nicely. What’s the problem with it?

___

___

seth_godinFirst of all, thank you. That was very nice. The problem with it is I don’t tell you what to do tomorrow. I don’t say, “If you’re a dummy, here are the twelve steps.” I don’t give you a checklist. I don’t give you a list of tactics or tools or copy you can lift and use as your own. Part of the essence of being a leader is that you’re going to have to lead differently than the guy before you. Part of the essence of being a leader is that every tribe demands its own style of leader. No one else can do that. You have to figure it out. That’s frustrating for some people.

___

___

georgeThat’s interesting, Seth, because with my class, I purposefully leave it a little more unstructured than the students would like. The reason I do that is because then they put that structure in place. By doing that, they learn how to be an entrepreneur. It’s helpful I think. With your book, you read it and create those checklists yourself.

___

___

seth_godinI think that’s a great way to look at it. This summer, I had some interns. The way that I ran the application process is that I invited the 160 people who applied to join a Facebook group. Then I didn’t tell them what to do; I just watched. It was really interesting because, of the 160, twenty immediately took charge – planning activities, posting interesting notes, and starting conversations. The remaining 140 waited to be told what to do. And I imagine you can guess who I considered hiring.

___

___

marylynn
The leaders stood up and stood out.

___

Thanks so much Seth! It was fantastic talking with you. We wish you bigg success with this great book.

Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes. It’s full of great freebies like podcasts, excerpts and more! We highly recommend Tribes to you!

Next time, we say the less money you have, the better. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00255-103108.mp3

Related posts

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

Your Emotions and Your Money

expert-session_joan We’ve all witnessed the ups and downs of the stock market. Recently, it seems there have been more “downs” than “ups.” There are a number of ways to respond. We’ve heard from many people that they’re afraid to open their quarterly statements.

In another Bigg Success Show Expert Session, we talked with Joan Sotkin. Joan is the creator of the popular web site Prosperity Place and the author of the award-winning book, Build Your Money Muscles. Joan has been helping people understand and improve their relationship with money for over 25 years.

___

Play

___

5 Feelings People Associate with Money

Joan has an interesting take on money. She says that the emotions you bring to your money – those underlying feelings you have – greatly impact how you manage your money.

During our Expert Session, Joan told us about the five major feelings that people associate with their money: 

___

joanWhat you bring to your numbers is based on who you are – how you think, what you believe, and how you feel. In my book, I identify the five major feelings that people act out through their money – anger, shame, deprivation, a sense of being trapped, and a sense of aloneness. One of the main feelings people act out with their money is their sense of aloneness. “I can’t run out of money; I can only run out of people, because money is always attached to people. So if I owe you money, you won’t forget about me.”

___

We found this very interesting. Owing someone money may enter our minds as a good thing, because it means we have a relationship.

Another thing we like about the Expert Session is Joan goes into the feelings about retirement plans. She digs in deeper to explore feelings of anger and fear.  

Why more money may bring more struggles

A lot of people find that the more money they make, the more difficulties they have. Why is this? Here’s what Joan says:

___

joanThere are nine exercises in my book. I start with turning the toilet paper around in a new direction so you can get used to changing. People have to adapt to the process of change because it’s very uncomfortable. When you change, you go through a period of disorientation. When you move from one house to another house you want to be in, stupid things happen. You don’t where anything is. You lose your keys or your wallet. You bump into walls. I call those the “moving stupids.” When you start changing how you “be” in the world – when you start responding differently to things – your life is going to change. That gets uncomfortable. I spoke to someone the other day who said, “I’m just at that place again. Every time I start making more money, something happens and I get back to the same old point again.” Because you have to learn how to deal with more money. It feels different. It’s amazing how much feeling comes with money — $10,000 feels different than $1,000. It’s that disorientation of change that makes people give up what they’re doing and go back to their old ways of doing things.

___

Even before this financial turmoil we’re going through kicked in, we read that there is the psychological profession is experiencing growth helping people understand the psychology behind their money decisions. We applaud Joan for being ahead of her time, because she’s been looking at this for years!

___

We dig even deeper in our Bigg Success Show Expert Session
called
Finding Peace in Financial Chaos.

___

In addition to what we’ve already discussed, Joan talks about how your financial identity and the vocabulary you use affect your results. You’ll also learn how to connect to your feelings so you manage your money better. And there’s so much more in the forty minute discussion in one easy-to-download track!

Next time, we’ll talk about time vampires. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00251-102708.mp3

Related posts

Squirrels, Nuts and Business Cycles

6 Easy Steps To Financial Freedom

Getting Aggressively Passive: Creating A Passive Income That Sets You Free

Are You a Victim of Your Own Success?

stress You’ve made it! You’ve arrived! You’ve reached that next level of success! You’ve achieved your dream!

___

Play

___

But you’re swamped. Now, you have a seemingly endless list of things-to-do. And it all just keeps coming. Minute after minute, day after day, week after week. It’s sheer chaos.

You find yourself busier than ever. You’re more successful than ever. But are you happier than ever?

It seems that you’re a victim of your own success – too much to do, too many clients, too many constituents. So what can you do about it?

Congratulate yourself

Take a deep breath and a little pause. Enjoy it for a bit!

Get away from it all for a day

We know … you’re too busy. But here’s the thing – you’re too busy not to get away because, on your day away, you’re going to contemplate. What’s most important? What’s least important?

After you’ve thought about those two things:

Hire an assistant, outsource, partner, joint venture … you get the idea

Delegate – in some way, shape or form – those things that aren’t most important.

You might be asking, “Can I afford to hire someone?” But you’re asking the wrong question. The question really is, “Can I afford not to?”

Because the most important things – the people who are most important for you to spend time with, the projects that only you can and should do – will get pushed aside by the less important things if you don’t take this step.

Set the expectations for the people in your life

You need to establish boundaries for all your people. You may set certain times when you’re available to employees, vendors, and even customers. We think customers can’t be trained, but even they can. 

___

georgeIn one of my early businesses, my second biggest customer was constantly calling with demands for immediate service. Finally, I presented them with an option – they could work within our time frame for the price we negotiated or I could offer them quicker turnaround for a higher price. They chose the better price!

___

Finding your model

Now you’re only working on the most important things and you’ve communicated your boundaries to the most important people in your life. You’re ready to do those things you do in the most efficient way possible.

So let’s look for a model. Think about a manufacturer’s assembly line with products coming down it. What are your products?

___

marylynnFor us, it is shows to produce. Articles to write. E-mails to return. People to reach out to. Products to create. Services to deliver.

___

Your production cycle may flow over an hour, a day, a week, or a month. Think about all of the important things you do – that’s your product – and engineer your processes to move that product down the line in the most efficient manner possible.

Engineer your processes

What is the best way to do it? Think about it logically. Step back and look at it again. Walk yourself through the whole process, step-by-step as it exists today. Now, start looking for ways to save little bits of time.

___

georgeOne of the guest speakers for my class became a billionaire by turning his little business into a Fortune 500 company. One of his secrets was finding ways to get more done with the same people. For example, they discovered a way to change how they labeled packages for shipment. It saved them 55 seconds. That’s time they could spend on something else!

___

So if you find yourself a victim of your own success, start with effectiveness – make sure you’re doing the right things. Then work on efficiency – doing those things the right way.

Doing the right things the right way … before you know it, you’ll be an even bigger success without being victimized by it!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

Next time, we ask, “Are you afraid of success?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

Moving Beyond Personal Productivity

One More Thing to Add to Your Schedule

(Image by brainloc)