What should you do as a business owner?
Where do we business owners begin and where do we end? I’ve noticed that many business owners get bogged down in their businesses against their will. They are used to doing certain things that they can’t seem to let go of. The main reason for this is that not everyone knows what a business owner should actually do and what they should delegate.
In this article, I will try to give every business owner a blueprint for their journey, including the final destination with an “Exit” in view. So, if or when the time comes that an owner discovers their business is no longer interesting, they will know how to walk away from it safely and not die beneath its ruins.
I think a car travelling along a road is the perfect illustration of any business journey, where the car is a company and the road is a market.
Usually, from the very beginning, every business owner starts as an enthusiastic mechanic. They have a goal, but to achieve it, they need to create some kind of vehicle (a company). So, most of them start looking for some sticks and bricks to use in their car construction. They assemble these, at first glance, incompatible things that are always falling apart, hoping to create something workable. Oh, what a “wonderful” time! I think many business owners still relive those days in their nightmares.
After many attempts, disappointments and tears, the most persistent business owners finally succeed. Their first car is ready. It doesn’t look like a Ferrari, but rather like the Flintstones’ car. However, that doesn’t matter. It drives, and that’s what is important.
Our mechanic can now slowly move towards the goal. But the car breaks down and gets stuck all the time, so the mechanic mostly needs to focus on the car and not on the road. That’s why they are almost always making wrong (marketing) decisions and missing the right turns. They also don’t have enough time to create an accurate map (marketing strategy). All they see are their dirty looks in the mirror and the fragile parts of the car they have to maintain constantly.
Then they wake up one morning and decide that enough is enough. They don’t want to always be fixing things. They just want to drive the car they built, keep their eyes on the road and try to find the best way to reach their goal. But to do so, they need to start delegating all the tasks related to the car’s smooth operation (company operations) to someone else. So they read the article ‘Which tasks to delegate first – 5 core principles’ and get rid of all “cheap”, tedious or complicated tasks one by one. By the way, for many of them hiring an e-commerce assistant in the first place would be the right decision. This is how our mechanic transforms into a driver.
As the driver, they just need to observe the road (market), speak to the people around them (customers, market experts), watch out for obstacles along the way (market changes) and try to create an accurate map with the best route that will take them to the goal. They have a control panel in the car, so if some of the indicators (KPIs) start signalling something weird and other colleagues can’t solve it, they have to stop the car to find out what the underlying problem is and how to fix it. But such situations don’t happen as often as they used to in their mechanic days.
Driving is fun, but it can also be quite stressful. You have to make strategic decisions and, inevitably, repeat mistakes that significantly impact the future of everyone on board. That’s why our driver gets a bit tired of it after some time. They understand that they are still required to drive, but they’re starting to feel there may come a time when they won’t want to drive anymore. And it’s better to be prepared when that moment arrives. If they can find someone to drive the car in their place, how much easier life will be. They will just take the passenger seat and enjoy the view while the car drives to the destination (the company’s goal).
After several attempts and disappointments, the dream finally comes true. The driver finds a good substitute for themselves and shifts to another seat. They are now simply a passenger riding in the car they created from scratch one day. What a change! Now they have plenty of time to think about new projects and enjoy other things they are passionate about. Maybe this is what financial freedom looks like?
They don’t know what’s next for them. Will they keep riding until the end, or will they sell their ticket (company shares) to another passenger and use the “Exit” door? Only time will tell. But looking back, they realise that every moment of this journey was exciting. And their wish is that every business owner will be able to experience the business journey to the passenger seat as they did.
Your passenger seat is out there somewhere.
Dedicated to everyone who is on the road.
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