This is a tale of two business owners.
Business Owner #1 is very driven. He moves fast, making connections, making deals, and making decisions. He believes that faster is essential, or he will be left behind. There are thousands of opportunities out there, and every one is his to pursue. His mottos are, “More, more, more” and “Faster, faster, faster.” Woe to the person who says, “Wait a minute” (to think, decide, act) to Business Owner #1 because he is on a mission. He has no time for details. They only slow the pace. He has drawn a line from Point A to Point B and has taken off to hit the target.
Business Owner #2 is also very driven, but in a different way. His focus is not so much on growing fast, but growing strong. He’s a thinker…not to the point of analysis paralysis, but to the point of making solid well-considered decisions before taking action. He is a master at creating efficiencies at all levels, and building “line upon line, precept upon precept.” His pace is slower than Business Owner #1, which is often a source of annoyance.
Now the question: Which is the bigger business?
In this particular example, Business Owner #2 has ten times the income as Business Owner #1.
To be fair, this is not always the case. But there is a lesson here.
The fact is, we live in a society that moves at warp speed, running around like their hair is on fire (if they haven’t pulled it all out, that is). There is a frenzied pace that makes the dotcoms of the nineties and the housing boom of the millennium pale in comparison.
And where is it getting businesses?
In many cases, nowhere.
Why is this?
It is great to have goals and determination, but if you as a leader take off without a solid plan, you are not likely to make it to a destination. Take off without a proper contract? You could lose millions in class action lawsuits. Take off without consideration for quality control and crisis management? It could be disastrous. Take off without communicating with your team? It could result in balls dropped, and important details missed.
If you are the chaser of shiny objects, take a few lessons from our S- and C-wired planners, who are quietly building some of the most successful businesses out there today:
- Slow down just long enough to create a plan before you go.
- Look for the best ways to do something rather than just doing something.
- If details are not your thing, then hire someone who does do details.
- Take the time to build out one to three profitable lines of business at a time instead of creating twenty unfinished and unprofitable ventures.
- Be YOU. Don’t waste time looking at what everyone else is doing and trying to emulate everyone who crosses your path. Define yourself and what you do – and do that. And don’t be surprised if those you’re following now end up following you. It happens more than you think.
- Lead in your strengths. If you’re a great planner, then PLAN. If you’re a great connector, then CONNECT. If you’re a great doer, then DO. And find those with opposite strengths to fill in the gaps. This is the efficient way to do business. It’s also pretty wise.
Successful business must move fast, yes. But it does not have to be a frenzy in order to be successful. Measure the pace, and master the plan.