Your Business is a Biped

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Your Business is a Biped

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Have you ever really stretched to see how big a step you can take?  As you put one foot farther in front of the other, you become less stable, so that the slightest wind or irregularity in the terrain can cause you to fall over.  Plus you can’t move ahead evenly if one leg is injured or a lot weaker than the other.  It’s the same with your business.  For most of us, the two legs are the dynamic (getting the business) and the systemic (doing the work, fulfilling the promises, rendering the services, etc.).

Most business owners are much better at one than the other.  Some are so good at getting business that everything grows very fast at the start, then starts getting a little out of control, then finally crashes.  They are great visionaries and great salespeople, but aren’t good at doing the same thing over many times and making small incremental improvements each time, each month, or each year.

Others are very good at rendering a particular service,  but not good at going out and getting more customers or clients.  One attorney I know bills his time out at $400 per hour, and he’s worth it, but he is only “billable” about 12 hours a week.  He doesn’t know how to make things bigger, better, or easier on himself.

The answer, to most mere mortals, at least, is easy — get help on the “other half”, the things you don’t naturally do well.  A lot of business owners have figured this out, and invest in training, installing processes, hiring complementary people with the right skill sets, etc.  The problem however, is often with the best and brightest.  Because they are very, very good at sales, or dentistry, etc., they tend to think they are (or easily could be) good at the “other” half of the equation as well.  Or worse, they aren’t aware of the “attitude versus aptitude” dichotomy.  They think that since they learned, for instance, dentistry by rigorously applying themselves, that they can learn marketing and management the same way.  Wrong.  More often than not, they went to dental school because — at some level — they realized that they would starve trying to make a living as a salesman.

Ditto for the super salesman.  He knows he would probably flunk out of dental school, and he would have hated the boring dweebs he would have had as classmates.

So, whichever side of the talent fence you are on, if you are aware of how severe your limitations are on the “other half”, the traditional solution has been to try to learn what you don’t know.  That’s the traditional business principle of a chain only being as strong as its weakest link.

A new school of thought is emerging however, that says that most of the time a person who is gifted in one area, for instance sales, will never be similarly gifted (naturally good) at the systems of the implementation.  In such cases, some are co-venturing with others who are also very good naturally, but in different areas.  Even a few dentists have done this.  In states where the law allows, there are dental practice co-owners who aren’t dentists.  They are marketers, etc.  A gifted marketer plus a gifted practitioner will often come up with a much better finished product than either could have done on his own.

Any kind of co-venture like this has its own issues and dangers, but there are those out there who have solved those problems and are doing very well.  Something to consider?


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