When you own your own business you have a fantastic opportunity. Do you realize what you can and should build?
“When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia.”
Derek Sivers’ book Anything You Want is less than 100 pages but it’s packed full of wisdom on how to build a business. I’ve run my own business for five years and I’m starting to see my utopia become real. Here are seven things you can do to build a business utopia.
- Don’t start with a business plan – Start with the question, “How can I help people and are they willing to pay me for it?” Make a business out of the answer to that question.
- Stop being comfortable – If you aren’t doing something that scares you in your business then you’re not going to grow your business. Seek projects and execute on ideas that scare you. Comfort won’t make you smarter, more wealthy or more reliant on God. Pursue ideas bigger than yourself and you’ll improve. You won’t always succeed but if you pay attention you’ll always improve.
- Trust your gut when saying “No” – If it doesn’t feel right then it usually isn’t.
- Don’t trust yourself when saying “Yes” – Before you say yes to an opportunity, client or project make sure you have a filter in place. Before I do an interview I make the interviewer complete a questionnaire. Before I submit a proposal I ask my sales coach for advice. Before I spend more than $100 I ask my wife if it’s a wise purchase. Before I start a new project I consider the time commitment to build, launch, grow and possibly end the project.
- Get awesome at something – People are drawn to awesome and you’ll never be awesome unless you do the hard work of building a skill. Strengthfinders is a great book for identifying the talents God wired you with. Talented people who add focus to their abilities become skilled. You want to be awesome? Get focused and get to work.
- Become the best in the world – When you grow in many different areas you are building your sweet spot. Scott Adams of Dilbert fame teaches that we can take three areas of passion and combine them into a unique service that no one else in the world can do as well as we can. When our passions overlap they have the potential to create a unique product or service only we can offer.
- Once you have enough customers stop trying to get more – It’s easy to think you need to go get new people to keep your customer pipeline full. You don’t need to do that if you take care of your current customers. “It’s counterintuitive, but the way to grow your business is to focus entirely on your existing customers. Just thrill them, and they’ll tell everyone.” Sivers is right. The same people who paid you money for your product or service will become your sales team when you treat them right.
Question – What does your business utopia look like?