I like the old Motorola definition of PRIDE, “Personal Responsibility in Daily Effort.” Many years ago Motorola had pins made up and everyone was caught up in the PRIDE movement.
For business owners, this interpretation of the word PRIDE is a good one; unfortunately, it is often interpreted as meaning “I can do it all alone.” If I don’t know how to do something, it’s my responsibility to figure it out. If I don’t have enough business, it’s my responsibility to figure out how to get more. If my accounting…… you can add the rest of the problems that come up in all businesses and how the owner feels that he is a failure if he doesn’t have a solution.
Being too proud to seek or to accept help is, in my opinion, the major reason for the high number of business failures. It may be time to eat some humble pie and to allow the expert to lend a helping hand.
Just as you are an expert in your business, in your product or service, there are others who have expertise in marketing, business planning, finance, human resources, etc. who can help you grow a profitable and sustainable business.
The term “can’t afford it” is not acceptable. Most of us in the “helping” profession can either structure an agreement that works for everyone or can refer you to volunteer business support groups where mentors/coaches are assigned at virtually no cost.
The second big obstacle in the mind of a business owner is “who can I trust?” Your GUT instinct has proved to be right for most of your life; it brought you to this point of owning a business. Start your interview process and rely on testimonials, references, experience level and most of all, your GUT instinct when you are interviewing a prospective partner (coach/mentor). There has to be enough trust at the beginning so that an open and honest communication system can grow.
Confidentiality is another issue. How do I know that my idea won’t be stolen? Again, trust your GUT instinct but back it up with a written non-disclosure agreement.
Another concern I frequently hear is “I have so many issues, how can one person know all the answers?” Like most good coaches/mentors I have associates with whom I have worked and who have the same high standards and values that I have. Within my support system I can reach out to many experts to handle business problems for companies from one to 1,000 employees.
Reach out and make a friend, gain a support mentor and see the difference a little trust can get you.
The questions you must ask yourself; do I believe in the best of others?
Nick J. Petra CFP