What is The Biggest, Huge-est, Most GIGANTIC Mistake Business Owners Make?
- It’s not about having an inferior product or too much competition.
- It’s not having too little capital
- It’s not having some wacky idea that no one wants and then trying to get every friend relative and innocent passerby to “drink the kool-aid”.
- It’s not having a great idea that people don’t “get” or a great idea that’s ahead of it’s time.
- It has nothing to do with how smart or creative you are.
- It’s not starting a business with absolutely no clue how to sell (although that’s a biggie and if selling is a problem for you check out www.ReluctantSales.com )
- It’s not any of the dozens of personal and professional challenges most self employed entrepreneurial types struggle with.
The Biggest, Huge-est, Most GIGANTIC Mistake Business Owners Make is simply this:
Trying to do everything. Not knowing how to delegate. Not having systems in place so that other people can do the things you are not good at. Spending precious time on tasks and projects that could be delegated instead of focusing your energy on what you do best and on what brings in the money.
When you try to do everything in your business you are bound to fail. Even the smallest business is a ravenous, many headed serpent that one person can never hope to keep fed.
Note: Even though a key concept of NLP is that “there is no failure only feedback”. In Business, the “feedback” of less money coming in than going out or of the owner rushing around from dawn until the “wee hours” can only go on for so long until something has to change. Either
- the business ceases to exist due to lack of money or
- the business owner gets totally exhausted, burned out or sick or
- the business owner finally wakes up and does something different.
We also have a saying in NLP: “The most flexible communicator controls the system.” As the owner of a business (even if you are a Reiki master if you are working with clients you are a business owner), it is your communication to yourself, your clients and the people who work in and with your business that must lead and control the direction of your enterprise…(beam me up Scotty! I just wanted to help people!)
Here’s the catch 22!
When you are starting a business on a shoestring and a prayer, how do you get the kind of help that can enable you to grow your business if you have no extra wads of cash laying around?
You need the help to grow your business but you can’t pay for the help until your business grows! Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! (In NLP We call it a “double bind”)
Can i share a personal example?
Last year. September of 2007 this idea hit me really hard between the eyes and it wasn’t pretty. For 25 years I’ve been self employed and always struggling. In retrospect I was close to major success and breakthroughs several times but I literally got worn out and burned out to the point where I just couldn’t personally sustain things and then it would all fall apart. Then I would give up in disgust and go start a different business from scratch and make the same mistake all over again.
July of 2007 I taught my first full blown NLP practitioner certification training to a small group of students. It was great! I loved teaching the class. I loved sharing the powerful life changing concepts of NLP and Hypnosis and Time Line Therapy™ but the gargantuan effort of preparing for the class, creating workbooks, cd sets and ordering all the other supplies and finding a place to have the training and getting the students in the seats and all the registration procedures and then correcting the exams and creating certifications and sending them out and then preparing the Master Practitioner level program and teaching that one weekend a month in addition to performing and booking all my own gigs and cleaning my house and seeing private clients and going to networking meetings and taking courses on how to do all this stuff better…
and while I was so busy doing all of that stuff. I didn’t always have time to keep an eye on the bottom line and so all of a sudden even though I was working my brains out…I was out of cash flow….oops! :o(
Does any of this ring a bell with any of you out there? Are you getting the picture? Can you grasp my concept here?
I mean you can have all the Modern Jedi Mind Mastery training in the world, but if you try to run a business, any business, all by yourself you will eventually crash and burn….
Yup. I know what I’m tawking about…uh huh and it ain’t pretty…
Now, there is no failure. There really is only feedback and so we “passionate ones” pick our selves up off the ground and dust our selves off and start asking ourselves some really good (if hard) questions.
Like “What is the weakest link in my business?”
Now stay with me here because I will get you to a powerful solution and it’s going to solve a bunch of your challenges all at once.
So last year, I started a master mind group. Michael Guerin and Rob Bronson were the charter members and we began meeting every Monday just to run ideas by each other and to challenge and support each other and to learn with each other and to help each other see the stuff that we were too close to see in our own businesses.
And it made a huge difference. It was the first time in 25 years that I wasn’t alone trying to figure stuff out. I had a team.
For example: At one point Rob Bronson “pushed” me kicking and whining and complaining to move all of my websites to GoDaddy.com and saved me $6,000 per year. At one point I pushed Michael Guerin repeatedly until he fired his web designer and started taking charge of his online marketing. Mike and I “pushed” Rob Bronson to get his butt out of a really negative situation in his life and business and on and on and on…
So at some point you must form your own Jedi Council or Master Mind Group.
This was so cool that I started inviting some other people to join us and one of them was this amazing woman named Julie Braun, she calls herself the “Marketing Guru”. www.juliebraundesign.com
Julie was doing huge, major, multiple marketing projects on a scale that made my head spin. She was doing events and PR and entire marketing campaigns for small to medium sized businesses. She was providing services that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But she wasn’t working with Fortune 500 budgets. She was affordable. How did she do it?
It turns out that years ago Julie mastered the art of engaging INTERNS. UNPAID INTERNS.
Now these are not slaves. These are not college kids who come to your business to do all the yucky work like filing and photo copying (you just may have to pay for that kind of stuff. Do not even think about doing that crap yourself. You can’t afford it any more).
Julie was setting up specific projects, real honest to goodness projects and allowing students to truly get hands on experience. So she was able to do often times 10 times the work that she would be able to do alone.
She had learned a way to not only leverage her knowledge and expertise but her time and resources in a way that enabled her to Work “on” her business as well as “in” her business. Her only investment was her time and attention and she developed exactly the skills working with interns that all of us entrepreneurs MUST develop any way if we want our businesses to succeed. The ability to delegate intelligently. The ability to manage other people. The ability to lead. The ability to generate and incorporate intelligent feedback.
All without a huge financial risk putting pressure on your learning curve.
I got so inspired by that I immediately found a Yale student who wanted to learn NLP, he ended up editing my first year’s NLP training audio series. He got to expand his knowledge base and I got a project accomplished that I just didn’t have time to do. That was my “big toe in the water experience”
Now over the years, Julie has really fine tuned all of the details and concepts of using unpaid interns in her business to the point where it was just obvious she had to share the goods with those of us who were struggling with this whole “solopreneur” thing.
So Last summer she and her business partner Michelle Demers www.totalbusinessfitness.com created SuperInterns.com it’s what I call a “Turbo Booster Zoooom course” designed to get you up and running with unpaid interns fast.
To be honest, I signed up for the first one but because I was too “burned” out from teaching my 2nd NLP training and some personal stuff going on in my life, I never got to class. BUT they recorded every call and I finished the course later while driving in the car. My point is you can learn this no matter how busy you are.
(BTW Michelle met Julie in a different Mastermind group – are you getting that you need to “mastermind”?)
The Super Interns Crash Course will be offered again in a few weeks and if you are in business for yourself (or if your employer doesn’t have the budget to hire the help you need to do your job right) THIS IS REQUIRED. You owe it to yourself to take this.
“Save Your Business (And Possibly Your Sanity) 101”
Are you with me on this? I know we all have the attention spans of 2 year olds these days but this is vital so PAY ATTENTION:
Whether you take the course or not this is so important that you MUST at the very least know about it. I could not live with myself if I didn’t share this information with you. It’s that important to your success and sanity.
So I’ve invited Julie and Michelle to share their stories with me on a telephone call next Wednesday, January 14th from noon to 1:00 PM eastern time.To Register Click Here
They are also doing an informational call of their own that evening, January 14th at 7:00 pm eastern time. to Register Click Here
- The Call at Noon will be me interviewing them (you will also be able to ask questions).
- The call in the evening is totally their show. So you have some choices.
The calls are free and whichever one you can make, it will be well worth your while to take an hour to find out how you can get some relief from the grind of being the sole practitioner or sole proprietor or solopreneur. It could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars and possibly enable you to truly catapult your business to the moon. It’s also one very creative way to move forward even in spite of the dire economic forecast and the worst economy in 100 years.
It is also of interest if you have college age kids or know some college students of any age because many colleges require internships precisely because the right internship could make all the difference in whether your children get a dull, low paying, soul crushing job right out of school because they have no experience in the “real world” or get to work closely with the CEO of a growing international company.
I sat down one day and figured out that I need about 10 interns in my business right now.
so if you know anyone who is interested in or is actively studying these or related fields:
- Arts Management
- Internet Marketing
- Psychology, NLP, Hypnosis, Personal Transformation and Change
- Music,Theater, Storytelling
- Graphic Design
- Direct Marketing
- Sales Skills
- General Business
- Health and Healing
- Peak Performance
Call me! 203-495-8808 or e-mail me at mark [at] markshepard.com
Registration page for 12 to 1 pm call –
“How to Get Free Help for Your Business” hosted by Mark Shepard Click Here
Registration page for the 7 to 8 pm call – “Unpaid Interns to the Rescue!”
(Super Interns general call) Click Here
Just for registering for either/both calls you’ll get a free ebook “251 Great Internship Projects!” .
If You already “get” that you need the course you can click here to: Register for the Super Interns Crash Course: How To Put Unpaid Interns To Work For Your Business – early bird special ends Friday 1/9!
BTW when you do decide to take the course, be sure to mention my name and you will get $50 bucks off of the already too cheap price of the course.
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