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After an entrepreneur STARTS a business

The dream of every entrepreneur is to start and run a business that will provide a rewarding, challenging, and fruitful life. Or maybe it’s reaching that pot of gold in three to five years—or someday. Most founders I know see overcoming the challenges as the fun part, where the journey is as—or more—important as creating the exit. For me, that’s true. It was never about the money, it was about the puzzle-piecing, the arranging the parts of the business in a well-oiled symphony of ever-expanding efficiency and production. The money just comes along with doing that well.

ACEmachineOK. Maybe that sounds a little dramatic. It is really true, though. If you don’t love the challenge of arranging and massaging each detail of growing the business, from engineering to manufacturing to eCommerce to the mail room, you may miss some critical component. A business is like a big machine, with gears and levers and belts and motors, all whirring in fine precision—at least it SHOULD be. However, trust me, if you don’t pay enough attention to that little gear over there, you could break the machine. Or, more likely, make it run inefficiently. It runs, but it might be losing power. The danger is that you don’t notice or understand why—all the gears seem to be whirring just fine.

Running a business is a delicate balance of gear management and detail analysis. As an owner, you can’t get so involved with any part of the puzzle that you can’t see the big picture or the other pieces in perspective. That’s one characteristic of a successful business-owner: PERSPECTIVE.

Another is OBJECTIVITY. You have to be able to see how sales is performing in relation to manufacturing or accounting or distribution, and vice versa. If you don’t notice that your manufacturing is only running at 50% and can’t see that the sales staff isn’t bringing in enough business to make manufacturing run efficiently, you might be too close to one of the puzzle pieces and not far enough away to see how the whole puzzle is coming along. It’s the “forest for the trees” syndrome.

Honestly evaluating all aspects of the business without getting too close to any one of them, is important for a successful business owner.

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