Wed Nov 15 2017
Here’s the second in a three-part series ( read part 1 here ) written by inspirational entrepreneur James Rix. If you want sugar-coated business advice, this isn’t for you. James tells it like it is – prepare to think, laugh, reconsider and strive for ‘yes’ a lot more.
Pedal to the metal…
I hate being called lucky. But people often do call me that. I suppose it’s a sign that something’s working – at least from the outside looking in.
If people around me think I'm lucky, then maybe I should lie back and enjoy it all a little more. I must be doing something right, if they look at my life and think they’d love to be living it… even if they greatly underestimate the work involved to get it.
Which leads me to my next point…
Lots of people work hard, but for other people. Funnily enough, I work hard too – and for other people. The difference is I’m working hard for the people who are working for me. I’m working to make sure we get the money coming in to pay our staff and support their mortgages, kids and way of life.
I get up each Monday and the first thing we have to do is pay everyone else. As an entrepreneur, you work your ass off, and some months you won't get paid because everything’s gone to pay your staff. Then some months (hopefully lots) you will earn more than you ever dreamed.
Being an entrepreneur is a strange thing. You never finish work. You don't leave work and forget about it – you carry it with you all the time. You think, you innovate and you get inspired. You work evenings, weekends and while you’re on holiday.
You network in a bar on the other side of the world because you’ve happened to bump into a great person. You see an empty space and think what you could do in it; you have a poor customer experience and you think about your own company and your customers’ experience.
Your business becomes an extension of who you are. You never ‘go to work’, because if you love something, why wouldn't you be happy to take it with you everywhere? Good luck explaining that bit to people who don't do it!
It’s really easy to get lost in the day-to-day stuff when you’re running a business. Try not to.
The truth is, this is something I'm still working on today. I’m doing what I love because I really am damn good at it. But ( watch out for the ‘buts’ !) there are things I'm not great at, which have to get done. If I'm not careful, I end up feeling like a lot of my time is being spent doing the bits I'm not very keen on. At that point, business stops being fun and becomes a chore.
That’s the point when you have to be honest with yourself. It’s OK to admit you’re not good at certain things and ask for help from your team. Remember, you’ve hired people you like and you’re encouraging them to grow and find out what they’re good at. Find the right person to take on the tasks you can’t or don’t want to do (let’s face it, if you can do something but don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it well).
It’s OK to say I'm not good at this and get help from your team. They won't think you’re a rubbish boss – they’ll realise you’re human.
This is part of our Mindset & Planning series – content dedicated to practical advice for SMEs when it comes to getting in the right mindset for business growth. Other articles in this series include: