Thanks to Patrick Schwerdtfeger’s #Entrepreneur & Small Business Academy Meetup Group last night I had a revelation about my own business from the amazing Christine Comaford.I’m limiting my thinking, my creative options, my potential – and worse, I know better. But sometimes you need a slap in the face, right?
If you don’t know Christine Comaford, she’s one of the original investors of Google, has built, lost and rebuilt many fortunes, retired at 40 to do philanthropical work (and not that phony movie star stuff, but helping altzheimer and hospice patients – soulful and hard work), started a biz helping over 153 entrepreneurs become millionaires (http://www.christine.com/thanks.html) all this after dropping out of high school.
And I learned more from her in an hour than all the business training I ‘ve had in 20 years!
Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of her wisdom, but today, start by thinking how you may be limiting your potential. Here are a few ways I limit myself:
It took me years to justify to myself hiring my genius Assistant Jaimie Harris to offload the work that eats my time and at which I stink like database updates, recording online sales, quickbook updates, etc. Jaimie is far superior and faster than I at those important business activities. [and a master ‘architect’ at organizing, too!]. It’s so obvious that we need to do what earns our business money instead of those things we suck at doing. So, why does it take us so long to hire these “MVP”s (most valuable people), as Ms. Comaford calls them?
I’m reasonably good at finding experts to help my clients in areas where I’ve no expertise (i.e.; copywriting, design, web programming, quickbooks, printing, etc.). But I haven’t found a perfect mentor to help my own business blossom. Like most entrepreneurs, I feel I should be able to do that myself. I teach business, for heavens sake, so I should know WHAT to do! But I’m not doing it. So, hence the need for a mentor. Ah, but who to ask? How to approach them? Christine suggests you write a list and just ask for their advise. I’m so very stuck! Am I really the only one with this issue, or is there someone who wants to be my ‘find-a-mentor buddy’ on this?
Here’s the funny thing:
I used to mentor hundreds of people while part of a career advisory network for a large center in San Francisco. I was one of their most requested advisors, in fact (probably because I worked in the over-glorified film industry at the time). I LOVED mentoring, and even have become friends with a few mentees.
Ms. Comaford says that mentors love to be asked for their advise. (true, we do) But they’re also nervous about whether their advice will really help you or not. (true, I always wondered if those I advised had the results I expected. So few ever bothered to call me back to let me know – and as a mentor that’s your only reward, really).
So what holds us back?
Below are a few ‘issues’ of mine (and almost all entrepreneurs I know), but I’d like your insight, too. You might have that revelatory answer we’re all seeking! And if you’re stuck like the rest of us, perhaps this might start you thinking, too:
1. we believe as entrepreneurs we should be able to get all the answers ourselves.
2. we fear a mentor will think we’re idiots, or say no, or be too important to waste their time on us.
3. we’re not sure who to ask to help us (my issue): who has the knowledge and experience I don’t (like Christine Comaford) that I’d trust to advise me?
4. we know we’ll be held accountable and fear we’ve no time to get their recommendations implemented.
5. how come we can’t do for ourselves these things we so easily do for our clients. What is that ‘issue’ and when the heck will I ever learn to overcome that? Geez!
What am I missing here? How have you overcome it for your business? Oh, please do share with me and my readers your comments.