Discipline – One Skill Every Successful Business Owner Has Mastered
I constantly get feedback and comments on how much sense the DE, Inc. SPARC Business Growth process and our approaches to business growth and business self-sustainability make for small business owner. However, I have struggled for years to understand why small business owners won’t apply the advice and the process to achieve their goals.
Recently it has become an even more nagging factor as we have added trusted advisor affiliates to our sales and distribution strategy. They too struggle to get small business owners to take the needed action to get the results they desire for themselves with their businesses.
So, it is time to take a step back and understand why. This week’s post is documents result of this analysis.
To start, many small business owners tend to be type-A drivers personalities. This is what gives them a level of success in the first place. Their willingness to take action. But as we all know, strengths can become weaknesses under the right set of circumstances!
A while back I posted an article titled Business Execution – 10 Things Make You More Effective. In it I described the characteristics necessary to create effective execution. Some might say execution is just a fancy way of saying action.
I agree. However, there is one critical difference – execution is FOCUSED action. That is, it’s working on the right things, in the right order, at the right time. This is an important distinction.
You see, one of the reasons that a small business owners’ driver personality become their nemesis is that their action is often not focused. They start working on a problem before they fully understand the “root-cause.”
As a result, they fix one problem and another one pops up. So, they rush over and begin putting out the other fire. If you work with small business owners you’ve probably heard them say “I feel like a firefighter.” They never feel like they’re making progress on achieving their goals.
It’s where many find themselves working in their business instead of on it. This is where discipline becomes critical.
What is Discipline?
In his book The Road Less Travelled, the renowned psychologist Scott Peck defines discipline as “the ability to delay gratification.” Think about that.
The drivers’ problem is they want to take action because it’s self-gratifying. The harder thing to do is to slow down; think about what’s causing the problem; then fix it! Doing so would probably take care of the “root-cause” which would mean the next fire wouldn’t begin to burn. Which would mean the driver would be further deprived of the gratification they get by fixing problems.
Think about this! They live to fix problems. It gives them satisfaction. But, at some point the problems are at a level which they don’t fully understand so they are relegated to fixing symptoms instead of REAL problems. In the end they feed their fix it addiction, but their life is unfulfilled because they’re not realizing the dreams that they set out to achieve when they started their business!
Will every driver believe this to be true? NO! But, for those that are willing to listen it may be a wakeup call. Awareness is the first step of taking corrective action and making a change.
This is the reason the first step in the DE, Inc SPARC process is defining your passion. If you know what you’re fighting for every day, you’ll take the time necessary to do the hard work; make the changes; and fix the real problems.
We find most business owners that have been in business for more than 5 years have lost touch with their original dream. If we are able to get their passion reignited again we can get them focused on learning and applying the right skills that creates discipline.
Are you ready to master disciplined and in turn achieve business success?
If you find yourself or someone you know in this situation, you may want to take a look at our Business Accelerator Assessment. This group of DE, Inc. tools helps small business owners get focused in 10 days or less! If they are disciplined enough to step away from their need for immediate gratification for a few hours they can be on their way to mastering the skill of discipline!