Over the course of my lifetime I have come to learn certain truths about business. These truths apply to all business; however, they have a significant impact on small and family businesses. Here are the three biggest myths I see every day are:
1. Owners believe they have time
Passion, freedom, and flexibility fuel their desire for achievement. Hard work equals success,….right? So, they develop habits of working IN the business and completely ignore what they need to do to work ON the business. Days, weeks, months, and years go by and they keep telling themselves they have time to figure it out. They may be struggling financially or developing the “right” staff to support them or planning for their retirement. Whatever it is, they must tell themselves that “the time in now”. The truth is they will not have time to figure it out later.
2. Owners believe they know everything
I have yet to meet a small business owner who is not a Lion in their own right. Strong willed, intelligent, confident, head strong, and dare I say…. a little stubborn. Strangely enough, all these characteristics were the reasons why the small business owner was successful in the first place. Unfortunately, when a person’s ego begins to grow they tend to develop habits that kill creativity and innovation, not to mention turning off employees and customers. The truth is that 50% of what a small business owner needs to run their business in 5 years does not exist today. Check your ego - it's killing your business!
3. Owners believe they are super human
Small business owners have a love affair with wearing many hats. In most cases it is essential to success. Over time this love affair will become a grind but it’s part of running a small business… right? Wrong! Pouring your heart and soul into your business is important; however, so is family and friends. Small business owners can not be everything to everybody and they must stop trying. These owners are famous for developing their own hell by becoming isolated. The truth is that for their business to grow they are going to need to develop a support staff around you. Employees, consultants, advisory board, friends, and mentors are all key elements to their success.