One of my executive coaching clients came to me with a really strong business idea. She had been dreaming about opening her own business for years. She had closely related experience and was pretty tech-savvy, which would come in handy when managing a remote business and working with clients virtually. But she lacked a few key tools for success. She had few contacts in the industry, and she seemed intimidated to meet people or attend events (network). She lacked knowledge and experience in sales and marketing (big components in starting and managing a business).
And one more fatal error: She thought she had things figured out. Ah, yes… the ego. In fact, she had already hired a graphic designer to create a logo. And she’d settled on her business name. During our first meeting (there were not many afterward), I cautioned her that both the logo and name would not attract clients. In fact, they would serve as deterrents. However, because of the money invested and the bruised ego, maybe, she decided to forge ahead.
Many months later, the business is still simply an idea.
Unfortunately, this happens sometimes. The primary soft skill all business owners must possess in order to succeed is humility, followed by willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty. When those soft skills and character traits aren’t present, there’s little hope for progress.
On the flip side, brilliant results follow when business owners admit they don’t know what they’re doing or that they have a problem, and they ask for help in solving the problem.
I am currently working with an amazing serial entrepreneur, a woman who decided to strike out and open yet another business. She is totally fearless yet proceeds with caution when starting new endeavors. She knows what she does not know. She seeks help with those things. Thankfully, she sought my help. We’re currently working to create her website, design a logo, write all her content, design marketing pieces (with the help of a graphic designer), and beef up her social media presence.
The difference between these two entrepreneurs is humility. The first lacked humility and clung to ego. The second humbly sought help and acknowledged her need for assistance immediately. The first was unwilling to admit she might be wrong and would not give up her ideas or creative work. The second is honest with herself and can see her own deficiencies. She is constantly revising based on feedback and doesn’t take constructive criticism personally. The first considered herself the ultimate expert. The second understands the need to hire experts in certain areas to save herself time, effort, and money.
Which type of entrepreneur or business owner are you?
There’s a reason the second entrepreneur in this article is a serial entrepreneur and that each business she has started has been very successful. I’d suggest emulating her.
If you want to get on the right path with your business, contact me to discuss executive coaching packages.