Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

When Preparing Is Really Delaying

Delaying can be a pitfall for any person, organization or business.  Here is an excerpt from my book 101 Winning Marketing Actions For Small Businesses to help you understand when you may be delaying something important.  For organizations and agencies, the most common things to delay are reports and evaluations and anything involving research.

 

Action #13

Guard against spending too much time on “getting ready” instead of “doing”.

When doing something that is scary, risky, takes a lot of time, seems overwhelming or is boring/tedious it is tempting to put it off by “getting ready”. Some common delay tactics that are easily disguised as preparations are:

  • Buying supplies
  • Making lists
  • Getting others opinions
  • Reading inspirational stories or articles
  • Looking for an “easier” way
  • “Finding” time

Whenever you are faced with something you know you should do to market your business and you find yourself struggling to get started or to make progress, ask yourself if you are postponing by pretending to prepare. To help yourself decide, plug your situation and your activities into one of the following examples:

 

Example A – Making a Dessert

You have to make a dessert for a pot-luck dinner. You really want to make something unusual and impressive. You look through your recipes, but you don’t find one that quite fits. You ask some friends for suggestions. You look online for just the right dessert. You visit a bookstore or library and look through several books. You call a local bakery and ask for suggestions and prices. Now you have so much information you can’t make a choice. Finally, the day before the event you pull out an old recipe you have used many times and rush to the store to get the ingredients. You prepare your tried-and-true dessert and take it to the pot-luck dinner. You are dismayed to find that three other people brought the same dessert. Your dessert certainly did not stand out, you wasted a lot of time and you have to take two-thirds of it home.

 

Example B – Building a Birdhouse

Your mother tells you she wants a birdhouse for Mother’s Day. You think that building one for her will make it extra special. You search online for plans or kits, but there are so many choices. For inspiration you visit a local gift store that sells birdhouses. You go to a local hardware store and talk with a sales clerk about materials and kits. You buy some materials and a blueprint; you take them home to get started. You wait a few days until you can find time to build the birdhouse, but you can’t seem to set aside enough time. Finally, the Saturday before Mother’s Day you go to the gift store and buy one of their birdhouses. When your Mom opens the birdhouse, she smiles and says, “My friend Ella has one just like this.”

THIS IS MY HOUSE! Using Entrepreneur Characteristics to Improve Your Life (Part 1)

Entrepreneurs are not just business owners.  They are everywhere – managing departments, directing organizations, running households, overseeing projects, handling customer bases, leading fund raisers and raising children.

According to Wikepedia an Entrepreneur is a:  “Type of personality who is willing to take upon himself/herself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome.”  The word comes from an Old French word entreprendre meaning “to undertake.”

Organization and agency directors seldom think this term applies to them because the term is normally capitalized – Entrepreneur – as if it is a title.

As an organization/agency director, getting comfortable with the Entrepreneur inside of you will help you improve all aspects of your life.  Honing the Entrepreneur skills you already possess will make you more successful in anything you undertake.

Here are some of the key Entrepreneur characteristics that can enhance the various parts of your life:

Ownership – Whether it is your organization, a project, a daily task or a campaign, understand that it belongs to you.  Treat it the way you treat anything that you own.  Accept the risks, nurture it, protect it, make it look good, enjoy the positives and overcome the negatives.  Ownership means you are invested in something and if you are invested you will work for success.  If you do not feel that you own it, the outcome will be totally dependent on someone else.

Organized – Organization is in the eyes of the beholder.  So use the methods and tools that work best for you and don’t worry if someone else tries to get you to do it their way.   But it is vital that you are organized in a manner that helps you accomplish the desired end result and retain your sanity.   Being organized usually involves having a plan, having appropriate information and/or tools and having a process that makes sense.   For instance: if you are in charge of a silent auction, a process will maximize proceeds and minimize frustration; if you are hoping for a donation a plan will make you proactive, which increases your chances.

Clearly Defined View of Success – Success is not the same for every person or every organization in every situation.  An Entrepreneur goes into a venture with a clear definition of what success will be.  If you can clearly describe what will be a successful project, day, event, assignment, negotiation, etc. you are more likely to attain that success and a sense of fulfillment.  If you do not have a defined view of success you will not know it if hits you in the face.

Flexible & Creative – Although you have already been encouraged to be organized, be careful not to be obsessive.  No matter how well you have planned and prepared, something outside your control will likely happen that will throw you off course or slow you down.  Do not stubbornly stay with your plan or process if it stops working.  We are often told to make lemonade when given lemons or to see obstacles as opportunities.  That is not always easy.  But if you incorporate flexibility and creativity into everyday life you can adapt any plan, process or situation to the current circumstances.  Again, less frustration – more success.

Self Disciplined – An Entrepreneurial organization director has no one else to blame, often no one to make decisions, and certainly no one to save the day.  If a director has no self-discipline, he/she soon has no organization.  Self-discipline is equally important in anything you may undertake.  If you are baking goodies for a bake sale you must exercise enough control not to sample too much or you will eat the profits and the evidence will show up on your thighs.  When you are working on a project that has a deadline you must be disciplined enough to not wait until the last minute to complete tasks, because something unforeseen will happen.

Be sure to read the second part of this blog.

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