I Heart Entrepreneurs
I'm sitting in the Norfolk, VA, airport (and a very nice airport it is), having just spoken at the annual conference of the Virginia Council of CEOs. I walked them through the Being Strategic model and skills – having them identify a real business challenge to work on as they learned – and then they got into small breakout groups for an hour or so to go deeper into their challenges, using the process.
Entrepreneurs are great: hopeful, can-do, high-energy folks, for the most part, who spend their days creating something from nothing. They grabbed Being Strategic as a useful approach and set of tools (I had the same experience at the Inc. Conference) and immediately began trying it out. Big fun.
The downside of most entrepreneurs (and I saw this, too) is that they often have a hard time stepping back from the action – even momentarily – to get a larger sense of where they're trying to go, and where they are now relative to that hoped-for future. Their tendency is just to leap in and start problem-solving.
Unfortunately, the problem that's yelling loudest to be solved is not always the one that's in your best interest to put all your (limited) resources toward solving.
Many of the participants acknowledged that the biggest stretch for them is to take a breath, step back, and ask – "Is doing this the best use of my time and resources? Will doing this really contribute toward us achieving the future we've envisioned?"
But it's such an important thing to learn to do — it's at the core of being able to grow your business sustainably. Good reminder for me as a small business owner, too!