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I am a huge fan of Marcus Lemonis and CNBC's The Profit. It amazes me that while each situation is different, there are four business owner behaviors that stand out as reoccurring. Behaviors that, had they not existed, could have allowed the businesses be successful. Behaviors that I observe far too frequently as I work with clients myself.
1. BE PRESENT. The number of business owners that show up at their business infrequently on the show and in life is staggering. Television and the internet have painted an unrealistic picture of where being a business owner means playing all day and all night while the money just keeps rolling in. Or a business owner sitting on the beach drinking a Corona or margarita while his family or secretary dives off the yacht with dolphins jumping out of the water in the background while checking his bank balance to verify the money is rolling in. In addition to creating employee resentment (the defense I hear is "but it's my business" or some nonsense such as that), a ship needs a captain. A train needs a conductor. a plane needs a pilot. You get my drift. The truth is that the vast majority of successful businesses took years to get there - with the owner(s) spending thousands of hours grinding it out.
2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ENTITLEMENT. Certainly not being present is one behavior that speaks of a business owner feeling entitled. Among others are raiding the cash drawer, requiring disciplines or behaviors from others that the owner does not do themselves, talking down to partners, employees, vendors or clients and having the wrong person doing the work over ego.
3. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE. Somewhere along the way far too many business owners leave their human-ness at home when they show up at the business. Employees, partners and colleagues are first and foremost human beings - who thrive on being informed, being allowed to be heard and to participate. Long gone is fear through intimidation in business.
4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. I am amazed at the number of business owners on the show and that I work with myself do not know their margin, cost of sales and their profit. Without that they are truly sailing without a rudder. Given the low cost of financial software such as QuickBooks, there is absolutely no excuse for not staying informed and managing to the numbers.
The thing is, running a business is a serious thing and it takes hard work. And it's easy to get in our own way sometimes.
I often give clients the assignment of watching The Profit and then sharing their take-aways. I've yet to see an episode where they didn't see themselves somewhere in the show and identified an area to work on.
Here's to your finding the keys that unlock the door to your success. Hint ... try the one with "Work" inscribed on it.