Why being clever can backfire in small business

Why-being-clever-can-backfire-in-small-business Why being clever can backfire in small businessSmall business people are an intelligent bunch. Most often, you have built a business from scratch, maybe on your own, so you take pride in what you have created. Your decisions so far have brought you the income you have and the type of business you run. If you are happy with where your business is at financially, and you are happy with the business model, the lifestyle it gives you, the time freedom it allows you, the enjoyment it brings, and the speed of growth you have experienced, then good on you for achieving this.

If, on the other hand, you are not one of these people, then you are not satisfied with something about your business. How long has this been a problem? What have you tried to change? Who have you consulted?

What I have experienced in my own business, and with many of my small business clients, is that we get in our own way of business improvement. Below is my summary of the problem:

Your fragile ego is your own worst enemy.

For example, when you think you’re right, you tend not to seek advice from experts, or feedback from your stakeholders. For years I thought I knew how to run a business with a psychology degree – I look back at my old self and say – dude, what were you thinking? I made it harder for myself than it needed to be. I then got a business degree. I learnt about finance, strategic planning, marketing, international trade, and so on. But it didn’t stop there, my ego that is.

  • Now with the business degree I kept trying to do everything myself. Here is a brief list:
  • Writing my own copy for advertising
  • Creating my own brochures
  • Creating my own website (design and content)
  • Doing my own accounting
  • Not needing a mentor for strategic planning
  • Answering the phone, invoicing, making appointments, cleaning the office…

Trying to bail out water from a boat with a teaspoon would have been easier than running my business that way. Is any of this familiar to you?

  1. Here is a few things I have learnt:
  2. You may not be able to see things the experts can. Fresh eyes are valuable.
  3. You may not have thought about your business the way some experts can.
  4. You may not have the problem solving tools the experts have.
  5. You pay them because their advice is likely to be better than from your friends and family
  6. If the expert can do it in a fraction of the time for less than what you can earn in that time, it’s a no-brainer – get them to do it!
  7. Asking for help is in no way a reflection of your lack of competence as a business owner.
  8. Listen to others who may know more than you about a particular subject. You are not supposed to know everything, and even if you tried it doesn’t all come from the books you read or videos you watch.

So tame your proud, stubborn ego, and learn to open your mind and adapt to change. And if you need some help doing this, my coaching psychology could be of help to you. Feel free to call or email me with your enquiry. And let me know what you think of this blog by leaving a comment. I hope this blog helps you to start doing something differently, all the best…

4 Responses to “Why being clever can backfire in small business”

  • finance business

    You’ve given me some great tips to take over to my business.


  • gadgets technology

    Thanks for sharing this information so freely. You ought to think about writing a book.


  • Shae B.

    This is great. I cannot believe that I didn’t consult with you sooner, Peter. Your point about having a ‘set of fresh eyes’ looking at the business was the most important. Of course, its only natural to gloss over any mistakes your business might be making or to continue on with inefficient practices.

    Highly recommend your services to other small business owners!


  • condom

    Fantastic blog post.Thanks Again. Cool.


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