Is business child’s play? – Dr Seuss’ wise words for entrepreneurs
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! I never imagined I would read business books, but in the early days of my business I devoured each one recommended to me. ‘The E-myth Revisited’, was a real game changer in the way I thought about my business,
‘SUMO Shut up and Move on’ for not taking things personally and effecting change for myself, ‘7 Habits of Highly Successful People’.
The personal development gained from absorbing and implementing what I was reading, coupled with the amount of time I spent relaxing in the bath reading these words of wisdom in no small part has transformed me from the person I was 18 months ago.
Self-Belief & Determination
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Everyone has advice for you, everyone thinks they can run your business better than you and most people will inflict their opinions on you of your brand, business card, strap line, offering, website… the list goes on.
I was persuaded in the early days to move away from my original logo, re-design my website and try to ‘be more specific’ with my ‘speciality’. My speciality is being able to do pretty much anything that falls under the marketing umbrella; a flexible marketing manager, organising, project managing, ideas, motivation, support, training and old fashioned getting stuff done.
My personality is 90% of the reason I get and retain business, it’s my company, my decisions and my entrepreneurial instincts that have got me this far and created the business relationships I am most proud of. So I will listen to advice but in the end, as I develop a new brand, it will be uniquely me - no apologies.
“I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.” ― Dr. Seuss
Whether it’s a spouse, friend, colleague or a business mentor find someone that will challenge you and your decisions, play devil’s advocate and push you to think and act outside your comfort zone. It’s a lonely life running a business on your own and as you are probably moving at 1000 miles an hour it’s hard for employees and family to understand what you’re going through.
A coach or business mentor will be able to objectively present your business and decisions to you, slow you down if you’re behaving like a headless chicken and stop you spiralling too fast, either up or down!
“If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too.” - Dr. Seuss
Life and business are always going to throw you a curve ball. Diaries are suddenly empty while clients are making decisions, opportunities for growth arise sooner than expected, large bills arrive you weren’t expecting. Whatever the day presents, use it. Unbillable time, utilise it for some well deserved time off – how many evenings and weekends have you worked? Spend the time ON your business; marketing, paperwork, communications. Sometimes you have to take the risk, take the leap and ‘go right along’, it’s rare you’ll regret an action more than an inaction.
Keep it Simple
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” - Dr. Seuss
K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid! Procrastination and over thinking doesn’t achieve results. Sometimes if you start with a simple answer to a problem you have at least tackled the issue, instead of letting it fester while you come up with and implement the perfect plan. A simple phone call, letter, meeting or change of process can solve a problem and give you the time to create ‘the perfect process’ for the future.
Believe in yourself
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!
All statistics on buying behaviour, attention to speakers etc… focus on the unquantifiable elements of being and personality - body language and being liked, so be you and imbue your organisation with your you-ness, ethics, ethos and personality. Surround yourself with those who share your values but have different skills because for better or worse there really isn’t anyone who is more youer than you.
"Running a business is scary it’s true, but there’s a whole lot of people more scareder than you" - Lucy Lavers