"Why is working on your marketing so important to you today Tom?" I asked.
"Well," he responded, "We need to increase sales around here."
I didn't want to sound flippant yet I was compelled to ask. "Why do you need to increase sales?"
Tom gave me the blank, that's a stupid question stare back at me.
"No. Seriously," I continued. "Why do you need to increase sales? I think you are presupposing a solution to a bigger, more important issue. Like your business isn't serving your life."
"Well if I increase sales, I will increase the bottom line." He replied.
"And so why is that important?" I continued to drill.
"Ok you really want to know? It's my wife. She is driving me crazy. Somehow she thinks we are made of money and she is always on my case about not having enough. She's spoiled. Her dad is a multimillionaire and although he helps us a bit, we are really on our own. But her habits and tastes haven't changed. She wants a bigger house and an unlimited budget to buy whatever she wants. Our debt is racking up and I am stressed out."
"So now you know," Tom ended.
"Sounds like you need a new wife," I joked to break the tension for a moment.
"Yes. if you can help me with that then you could really solve my problems," he joked right back.
Tom's situation is not unique. Not the wife situation. The money situation. I have heard it over and over again. I have come to discover over the years that every frustration a business owner has comes down to 1 of 4 things.
Sometimes they are troubled only by one issue. Sometimes it is a combination or all four.
Here is the list of the 4 Biggest Frustrations:
1- Not Enough Money Personally. They aren't making the kind of money they want or need to make. I am not going to make any judgments on people's lifestyle or financial needs. Some people live well below their means and others have very expensive needs. It doesn't matter because every business owner has an idea of how much they would like the business to provide them financially. if you are good and content with your personal income, then bravo for you. If not, I would suspect that a lot of your energy and time goes into creating more revenue and sales for your business.
2- Not Enough Time Off. Specifically, how much time do you have to work each day or each week. I have met business owners who are working 80-90 hours per week and more. They have no life outside of business. When they are home, they are thinking about work.
In addition to the time at work, another frustration is the fact that they can't take sufficient, uninterrupted time away from the business for an extended period. Notice I said uninterrupted. Notice I also said extended. I am not talking about a 3 or 4 day weekend. I am talking about taking a week, two, three or even four without being in contact with the business. For some people they can't even imagine being away that long without the business falling apart. It's possible and many of the businesses that have successfully implemented Level 7 regularly take 3 weeks off from their businesses.
3- Doing the Work they Hate Doing. I have met many business owners that hate the work they have to do everyday. Sometimes they are caught up in doing a lot of administrative work and they don't like that. Sometimes they find themselves constantly putting out fires and solving problems. They don't like that either. Especially if they want to be working on developing new opportunities to expand and grow the business. Either way, when a business owner is frustrated, it could be that they simply don't enjoy the work they do in the business.
4- Disconnect Between Vision and Reality. The way the business works doesn't flow with their vision. Admit it. Most business owners have an idea in their head about how they want the business to work. They have a vision for its size and scope. They imagine how the customers will be treated and the impact the business will have on them. They often have picture of how their employees will act and treat each other. They imagine doing something extraordinary. When the business ins't really working the way they would like it too, that causes great frustration and discontent. Sometimes, the business is working great right now, but they want it to get to the next level and simply can't or don't know how to get it there.
Make A Change Today!
The first step in eliminating these frustrations requires first acknowledging the source of the frustration.
Next, establish and get clarity on the results you want in each of the 4 areas described above.
Then, ask yourself the question, how am I going to build a business that will support those objectives and develop your strategy.
Finally, spend time everyday implementing your strategy to transform your business and your life.
Need Help with Developing A Strategy?
In The Level 7 Implementation Program, we begin by addressing each of these four questions and getting clarity on the result the owner wants. Then a strategy is created to help the owner build a business that will support their goals and objectives.
Want to find out more about how to resolve these frustrations with a proven, simple approach to business? Check out The Level 7 System.