This holiday, I put some time aside to enhance my skills by going back to the basics of business. I dug out some worn out CD’s, books, and programs I had purchased over 10 years ago when I really started getting serious about business.
One by one, I listened, read and digested everything I had once gone over hundreds of times before.
My first thought was “Man, this is good shit!”. Pears of wisdom were spread all over, and I felt like a kid in a candy store unsupervised and with free reign of it all.
I took down notes, many notes, of things I had once mastered but long since forgotten, but out of the pages, one note from Brian Tracy really stuck with me.
“The absence of a single skill can cause your business to fail.” – Brian Tracy
I stopped on that one and really let it sink in…
My first thought was “oh crap, I’m screwed!”, because if I’m going to really be honest here, as good as I am with marketing, I’m terrible at many other things.
But then I thought back to my other blog titled “Is It Worth Figuring Out?” where I talk about the balance between figuring out a new skill, or hiring someone who already has it, and I had a bit of an “aha!” moment…
It’s sort of like a relay race…
You see, too many people think this is a triathlon.
In a triathlon, the same person runs, swims and rides a bike. And weakness in any of these three can lead to failure, or second place.
Too many business people try to be the visionary, the leader, the manager, the prospector, the closer, the technician, the janitor, the marketer, the coprywriter, the social media manager, etc.
And weakness in any of these areas affects the entire business.
Instead, your business is more like a relay race, where one person does one job, then passes the baton to the next, and so on.
Now let’s not get caught up on logistics here, I’m assuming you’re mature enough to follow the analogy 😉
If you’ve followed any of the late Chet Holmes material, you’d know he was a huge advocate of putting people where they belong. Meaning, if you hate talking on the phone, put someone who loves it in charge of cold calls. If you hate closing, put someone who loves it (and it’s a given that we’re also assuming they are great at it!) in that position. If you hate prospecting, put someone who loves it out there in the field. If you hate Facebook, put someone who loves it there. Etc.
Entrepreneurs are often a confident breed, a my way or the high way, no one can do it better than I kind of breed. And that’s okay. But here’s the thing…
Your number 1 limiting factor in your business is YOU.
You aren’t alone in this, and you aren’t going to maximize your business alone.
Business is a team sport.
“I am not a self-made man.
Every time I give a speech at a business conference, or speak to college students, or do a Reddit AMA, someone says it.
“Governor/Governator/Arnold/Arnie/Schwarzie/Schnitzel (depending on where I am), as a self-made man, what’s your blueprint for success?”
They’re always shocked when I thank them for the compliment but say, “I am not a self-made man. I got a lot of help.”
It is true that I grew up in Austria without plumbing. It is true that I moved to America alone with just a gym bag. And it is true that I worked as a bricklayer and invested in real estate to become a millionaire before I ever swung the sword in Conan the Barbarian.
But it is not true that I am self-made. Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice; of idols who motivated me from the pages of magazines (and, as my life grew, from personal interaction).
I had a big vision, and I had fire in my belly. But I would never have gotten anywhere without my mother helping me with my homework (and smacking me when I wasn’t ready to study), without my father telling me to “be useful,” without teachers who explained how to sell, or without coaches who taught me the fundamentals of weight lifting.
If I had never seen a magazine with Reg Park on the cover and read about his transition from Mr. Universe to playing Hercules on the big screen, I might still be yodeling in the Austrian Alps. I knew I wanted to leave Austria, and I knew that America was exactly where I belonged, but Reg put fuel on the fire and gave me my blueprint.
Joe Weider brought me to America and took me under his wing, promoting my bodybuilding career and teaching me about business. Lucille Ball took a huge chance and called me to guest star in a special that was my first big break in Hollywood. And in 2003, without the help of 4,206,284 Californians, I would never have been elected Governor of the great state of California.
So how can I ever claim to be self-made? To accept that mantle discounts every person and every piece of advice that got me here. And it gives the wrong impression — that you can do it alone.
I couldn’t. And odds are, you can’t either.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger, taken from the foreword of Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
Okay, my morning coffee has come and gone and I’m going to wrap this up, but let me summarize real quick…
- Get back to the basics, and revisit them often. This whole blog came out of my time spent soaking in the basics that got me started. Don’t ever lose sight of the basics, the foundation.
- Don’t try and do and be all things. Master your strengths, and delegate, hire, outsource or completely trash the rest.
- This is a relay, not a triathlon.
At the end of the day, we are all in it together.
If you’re local, let’s grab coffee and talk shop, discover where opportunities lie, and see where cash may be hiding in plain sight ripe for you to profit from. If you’re not local, let’s schedule a call or connect on Skype.
To your success,