Every morning, as part of my routine, I head to Starbucks with my laptop and write while enjoying my morning coffee. In fact, that’s what I’m doing this very moment.
For the past 3 weeks or so, I’ve started getting into rather “deep” business (and life) conversations with a very wealthy business man.
At first, it was just small talk, but soon he started to realize that despite his current level of success, I had a lot to offer – and things got serious.
The questions became specific, his attention to my every word was at the highest of levels, and he started bringing me specific challenges he was facing for my opinion, advice and guidance.
It was only days later that he put “two and two” together, and realized I had a LOT to offer, and he wanted to bring me in “officially” for consulting. Up until then, as much as I knew my time was valuable and I should “advise” for free, business is my passion and I just can’t help it sometimes 😉
He was excited, I was excited, and the future looked bright. Many areas of his business we’re booming, but like any business, some were underperforming – and my job was to fix them and bring them up to his goals.
Of course, being a large company with multiple locations, he had an in-house marketing director that he wanted me to interact with and coach.
All was looking good – until things came crashing down.
The next morning, as per our usual routine, I ran into him at the coffee shop and he told me his marketing director had no interest in meeting with me, and to his surprise, downright refused.
As he was telling me this, I could sense that he didn’t agree with his staff and felt troubled by it and didn’t really know what to do. For the record, this staff HAD done great work. The business was doing well, and they were staying “on top” of things.
I started to realize he wasn’t sure what to do. Does he listen to his staff? Continue on the path they were going? I mean, business WAS good.
I looked at him square in the eyes and said…
“Listen, I want you to know first hand that I am NOT here to take anyone’s job.
In fact, I want to help you, your marketing director, and your entire company improve what they are doing.
But let me say this, what got you to this level won’t get you to the next. And if you want to build a business that’s bigger than yourself, that’s bigger than your staff, a business that matches the dream you have in your mind, it takes a team.
It’s not a one-person-one-marketing-director show.
The truth is, employees, no matter how good they are, tend to get placed into a rut, a line of thought, that most if not all, their specific industry abides by.
The reason outside help is so valuable is because I’m not stuck in your industry.
I’m not limited to the thoughts, limiting beliefs, constraints and ‘norm’ of that industry. I bring ideas, experiences and strategies from a wide range of industries to the table.
I’m not in the ‘box’, I’m out of the box, and that’s where the magic happens”
Needless to say, the door to consulting for him weren’t just opened, they we’re blown off the hinges.
It’s sad, but I run into this very often.
Sometimes it’s the staff, from marketing directors to general managers to partners in the business, and sometimes it’s the owner themselves.
And typically, that resistance to outside help comes from a lack of confidence.
A deep, inner fear that they are going to be made to feel inferior, or worst, lose their position – something that simply does not happen.
But here’s the thing… Even if your marketing director is increasing sales every year, heck let’s say their increasing sales by 50% year over year, what would happen if outside help could triple that? 4 times that? 10 times that?
There’s a reason that brainstorming sessions are best done in groups.
There’s a reason that two heads are better than one.
There’s a reason Dell, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and basically any mega business is constantly bringing in outside counsel.
Thinking that you “know everything” or trying to do it all yourself is severely limiting your potential.
Heck, even if you DO know everything, what if outside help could execute it twice as fast?
Again, if your goals are to build a business bigger than yourself, you need to reach out and GROW.
One last point…
If you are a business owner reading this, and you either personally are afraid to bring in consultants, or have staff – general managers, marketing directors, vice presidents – that strong arm you out of it, you AS THE LEADER, are limiting the growth of your business, which in turn limits your clients who enjoy your products, your staff who gain employment thanks to your growth, your family that rely on you, your vendors who grow when you grow, their staff, and on and on.
Contrarily, if you, as a business owner, do bring in outside help, it’s not the outside help that gets the credit, its YOU. You brought in the help. You orchestrated the growth of your business. You were savvy enough to seek consult. Remember, even top level medical doctors seek outside counsel – and they are held in high regard and at the top of their field.
You are the conductor of your own orchestra, and you alone decide whether to play all the instruments yourself, or direct the team, the hired help, as a whole, to create an absolute masterpiece.
As a final thought, I’d encourage anyone in business to pick up the E-Myth book series by Michael E. Gerber.
To your success,