Why Most Business Owners Struggle? The Cart Before The Horse Syndrome

Written by on April 18, 2017

The first question a business leader needs to ask is, “How do we create value in today’s market?” Most small to medium business owners don’t start with that question in mind. They build a solution and then go look for a problem. This is the cart before the horse syndrome or the Field of Dreams mentality. Just because you build it; that doesn’t mean they will come. The biggest mistake we see a business-leader make is that they fall in love with their product or service and not their client.

There are really only a few paths to business ownership. The most common examples that we see are the most dangerous. First, they are born into the business. Maybe their parents, grandparents, uncle, aunt or other family member started the business and they have taken it over. Maybe they married into it. Whatever the reason, they were brought into the existing business model and were taught how to run and operate the business based upon the previous relative’s experience of what worked. The problem with this model is that they are basically running a business on experience which may be based on an outdated map of the business reality.

Imagine that you were born into a house that had no windows. As you grew, the only experience you have is from what has been placed in front of you. Now, fully grown, you decide that you want to create your own house. For the most part, you will probably recreate the same house that you previously lived in. You may feel innovative when you place the bedrooms in different angles or rearrange the fixtures or even furniture in the home. But, for the most part, it will still be the same home. Ask yourself, how might we disrupt the entire industry? Are there other industries that we can disrupt by leveraging our ability to create or impact our environment? Remember the disruption that iTunes brought to a much needed music industry? They not only pulled their company out of bankruptcy, they revitalized and help digitize a whole industry. They rode a wave of innovation in. How can your company disrupt another industry with your skill-set?

This is one of the ways that I have seen owners leverage Tony-Robbins-Business-Mastery. They are cross-pollinated across numerous industries over the course of 55-75 hours of strategic facilitation from the world’s leading business strategist. The way that Tony is able to connect and facilitate is hard to explain until it has been witnessed.

The second most common way that a business comes into existence is through experience. Many business owners started out working in their industry through another business. Some of them bought their business from their previous boss. Others, broke off from their initial employer to start their own business. Even then, most times the owner is still working out of a map that was given to them from their previous employer. This is simply regenerating the same business by mitosis. The DNA, structure and path is usually the same as the first business.

The problem is that yesterday’s blueprint of what works no longer works. Doing business in today’s economic climate is much more costly and less forgiving than it used to be. Working out of a map that was handed to you by previous generations will not allow you the ability to read the terrain that you are operating in. You have to develop the tools and insights necessary to be effective in today’s shifting reality. Are you operating in an industry that needs it’s blueprint? What would be the ROI in this area of your business or industry? What resources would you need to elicit to either identify or create the needed leverage?

Third, the traditional American ideal for success; go to college, get a degree…then get to work. We see this path to ownership mostly in lawyers, doctors and the like. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn their art, only to be left out in the cold regarding how to run a real business. The dis-service received bleeds into the economy and their local communities. The opportunity here is these people are usually quick studies and able to implement effective concepts many times faster due to their conditioning

For a business leader to be successful in today’s ever shifting economic climate, it is vital that they are able to see the road ahead. The most successful entrepreneurs look for a problem, and then they create a solution to solve that problem. To do that, we need to be strategic regarding our position and understanding of what is really going on. When you do that, you will create a solution that has a perceived value to your client.

Peter Drucker said business is two things: innovation and marketing. Innovation simply means adding more value than anyone could ever expect. When you can do that, and communicate that value effectively, your client will reach around other products to get what you have to offer. So ask yourself, if you were to disappear of the face of the Earth, why would that matter to your customers? Why would they


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