David owned a custom sprinkler installation and repair company. He had too many clients, and couldn't keep up with the all the work that was coming in. At the same time, he found himself about ten clients short of making ends meet every moth. He hated to turn away business but he physically couldn’t take on any more work. He could barely even keep up with the administrative side of his business!
David is a Solopreneur, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as: “a person who sets up and runs a business on their own.” There are millions of David’s out there – people who are very talented in their field, and setup a business around their skill set. In my last post, we discussed The E-Myth Revisited roles of the Entrepreneur, the Technician, and the Manager and how all three roles are vital for the success of a company.
Of the three roles, David was clearly a Technician – and a good one at that. He also had a pretty developed Entrepreneurial side, evidenced by his overflowing client base. Unfortunately, David was not aware of these three roles, or that it was specifically the Manager role he was deficient in. As a result, he quickly found himself in over his head and ultimately had to sell his business.
This could have been prevented! If only David had gotten help, he would still be the owner of a thriving small business. If you find yourself in a similar situation, there are a number of ways to get help! First, identify the area you are naturally gifted in. A good diagnostic question is, which one gives you the most energy? Doing the Technical work itself? Doing the Entrepreneurial visionary/dreaming? Or, task delegation and the action planning of the Manager?
Once you have identified your strengths, consider the following:
- Consider hiring or outsourcing for a specific role (if you can pay someone $20/hour to do your paperwork while you generate five times that doing the technical work itself – it’s a worthwhile investment)
- Join a mastermind group and seek wisdom from people who are gifted differently than you
- Find a coach who can help you identify the best way to address your natural weaknesses
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” – Luke 14:28-30 (ESV)