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Do Entrepreneurs Thrive on Chaos?

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

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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.”

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

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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!

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The Coming Age of Small Business-Part 2

small-businessMalcolm Gladwell wrote a great article for The New Yorker a while ago. He talks about how David beats Goliath. It’s a great read full of stories about underdogs.

The main story is about a girl’s basketball team that made the national championships when they shouldn’t have won a game. The other stories – from David to Lawrence of Arabia – all support why these girls were able to achieve what they did.

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He cites a study that showed that small armies beat superior opponents a little over one-fourth of the time (28.5%). However, when these underdogs ignored the conventions of war and fought on their own terms, they won nearly two-thirds of the time (63.6%)!

So you’re two times more likely to win if you set the rules of the game!

Set your terms to get your terms

Bigg success is life on your own terms. So it turns out that it’s a circle. You set the terms (your strategy) so you get the terms you desire (your mission).

You are the entrepreneur of your life. You’re in charge. Set the terms for the battles you engage in so you’re more likely to win those battles.

Small businesses, the Davids of the business world, can trump the Goliaths. Not by trying to compete head on. Not by following the conventions.

By crafting strategies that may fly in the face of wisdom and engaging the Goliaths in unfamiliar ways, Davids can be victorious.

The price for bigg success

If you plan to go head-to-head with the Goliaths, there’s a price you must be willing to pay.

It takes effort. You have to be willing to work longer. You have to work harder. As Gladwell says, effort trumps ability.

He cites the girls’ basketball team. Their secret? A full court press. Not just when the game was in its final minutes like a lot of teams do. These girls used a full court press for the entire game.

It rattled their opponents who hadn’t practiced for a full court press. Their standard plays started at half court. By engaging their opponents on the whole court, these girls put them on unfamiliar turf.

There are many ways today for small businesses – even solopreneurs – to trump large competitors. In many cases, they don’t involve money. They involve time. But that’s okay because you know that effort trumps ability if you focus that effort on unconventional tactics.

That’s how to make your small business a bigg success!

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Thank you so much for checking in with us today. Next time, we’ll chat about why women shouldn’t compete with men. Or is it the other way around? Please join us next time to find out. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Related posts

The Coming Age of Small Business – Part 1

How Smart is Smart Enough

BackIt’s Back-to-School time so we’ve been talking about lifelong learning. This is the eighth show in our ten-post series. We wondered:

How smart do you have to be to reach BIGG success?

Latent intelligence is useless by definition.

Theoretical intelligence may help you frame an issue, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Applied intelligence drives results.

You have to be smart enough to apply your intelligence.
Read more

Creating Wealth in the Next Generation Economy

balance Last century, we saw wealth created by large companies using economies of scale to keeps costs low so they could dominate markets. In the next generation economy [pdf], new wealth will be created by entrepreneurs through a network of great relationships built on trust.

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Trusting relationships will save you time and make you money. The question is, “How do you build this trust so you can build relationships?”

There’s a concept called equal consideration of interests – you place your interest equal to the other party. That sounds so simple, but we believe it deserves emphasis.

Win / lose. “I win, you lose” doesn’t work because it doesn’t build the trust that is necessary to have good relationships in tomorrow’s business world. Yet there are a lot of people who place their interest above everybody else’s.

Lose / win. “I lose, you win” ultimately fails because fulfilling relationships can’t be one-sided. Eventually frustration leads to anger and the relationship (if that’s what you call it) dissolves. Yet there are a lot of people who place everybody else’s interest above their own.

Neither one is the best path to building fulfilling relationships. There is a better way …

Win / win.
This is the perfect combination in today’s business world. Win / win is equal consideration of interests. Even if it benefits me, I won’t do it if it hurts you. We’ll work together to find a better way that is mutually beneficial. That’s the key to innovation – another 21st century necessity. What works today won’t be good enough tomorrow. By working together, we can find a better way than either of us could find on our own.

Moving quickly on a new venture

We just launched a new offline venture. We had an idea for a product. We talked it over with people in our network. Based on their recommendation, we revised it … a lot! But it was much better. We reached out to potential strategic partners and got them in place. Last week, one of those strategic partners began selling our product across the nation.

It probably would have taken us six to twelve months to do this if we didn’t have the right relationships in place. Instead, this all happened in about two months. That’s another 21st century mindset – once you spot an opportunity, you have to move very quickly.

It’s hard to do that if you have to develop the concept from scratch. You need to reach out to people and firms who have the infrastructure in place to help you capitalize on it. If they aren’t already in your network, it will take longer. So building trusting relationships is essential. But there are (at least) two points to consider …

Relationship building is a long-term investment.

It takes time to build your network. We have years of goodwill built up with some of our strategic partners. This helps get revenue-generation going quickly once you have the right idea. Don’t wait to build your network until you need it. It will probably be too late then. Make relationship building an everyday thing.

Trusting people solve problems quickly.

When you trust your partner and your partner trusts you, problems can be solved much more easily. As we’ve had issues, we’ve been able to deal with them very quickly. We can hear our partners considering our interests along with their own; they can hear us doing the same thing.

The best way we know to capitalize on an opportunity quickly is when two or more people, with trust already in place, consider their interests equally and seek mutually beneficial solutions. It’s the way to create wealth in the 21st century!

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Join us next time as we celebrate our one year anniversary! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00262-111108.mp3

Related posts

Relationship Building Blocks

Failure to Do This Harms Relationships

3 Keys to Effective Networking

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Are You Solving the Problem or Treating the Symptom?

diagnosis Picture yourself sitting in your doctor’s office. You feel terrible – so terrible that you finally went to get your doctor’s prognosis. Your doctor walks in, takes one look at you and tells you what’s wrong.

No questioning. No prodding. No poking. No cold stethoscope.

How much confidence would you have with your doctor’s diagnosis?

None at all, right?

Yet time and time again, we see this in the business world. Prescriptions are offered without a thorough diagnosis. So many times, we treat the symptoms of the problem, rather than solving the problem itself because we don’t take the time to discover the real problem.

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Ad hoc diagnosis cost this salesperson a client

We have a friend who sells television commercials. Recently, he told us about one of his new clients. This client had been running radio ads for his high-end grills. They didn’t work. So the radio salesperson put him on another station. That still didn’t work. So the guy switched to television.

Our friend produced a great ad showing people having fun around his client’s grills. Sales are booming! His client is thrilled!

But the radio salesperson missed an opportunity. By thoroughly diagnosing the situation, it could have been determined that the problem wasn’t the station, it was the message. Couldn’t you use sound effects to create a picture in the listeners mind? If you hear the sound of food on the grill, can you put yourself there? If you hear people having fun, do you want to join in?

The radio sales representative could have kept the client by thoroughly diagnosing the problem to come up with the right solution, instead of just trying something else (i.e. changing stations).

5 steps to diagnose the problem

With everybody looking for cost-effective solutions today, diagnostics are increasingly important. If you don’t get to the root of the problem when you prescribe a solution, you’ll damage relationships. So follow this simple five-step process to thoroughly diagnose the problem:

1. Ask probing questions

2. Listen
This is really part of the first step, but it’s so important that we felt it should be listed separately. Listen actively and attentively.

3. Clarify
Keep asking follow-up questions and making clarifying statements until you fully understand the issue. If your client offers a vague answer to your question, ask a question that digs deeper. Or repeat your client’s answer back in your own words. Now you’re ready to …

4. Define the problem

5. Offer the prescription
Now, and only now, are you ready to offer your solution to the underlying problem.

If you care about your clients, you will seek to build the relationship even if it’s not in your best interest today. Without question, it is in your best interest long-term.
 

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

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Next time, we’ll talk about tapping into your creativity this Halloween to have some bigg fun. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

Relationship Building Blocks

Do Your Customers Trust You?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00249-102208.mp3

(Image by DawnAllynn)