The passion & rhythm of business


Entrepreneurs and small business owners are usually very passionate about their product or service. They have a yearning to do something different, something new, something extraordinary – especially with what everyone else considers “mundane” or status quo.

Business owners face a lot of emotional challenges such as fear of rejection, the fear of failure, enduring through a bad economy, and boredom when faced with the housekeeping tasks such as bookkeeping and marketing.

That’s why it’s very important to develop healthy “emotional mechanics.”

There’s this force in every entrepreneur or small business owner that drives them out on their own and causes them to redefine the status quo. I borrowed this phrase from Bill Schley, author of the book “The Unstoppables”, and a recent guest on the Get More Business Show. Bill says there are two emotions that when combined create a third more powerful force that will see any business owner through the toughest of times.

Those two emotions are fear and love. Fear is quickly activated and an extremely powerful emotion – so powerful it has the capacity to give us superhuman physical and intellectual abilities. Love takes longer to develop, but it runs deep and it’s strong. Think “love of mission” and “love of people that you admire and care about.”

These two strong emotions when combined spark a third emotion – belief. Bill Schley says, “When both fear and love are harnessed and brought together in you, your team and your organization, the force that results is belief – a force that trumps any idea, business plan, or graduate degree.”

I say, these are the emotions that keep small business owners from falling back into complacency and accepting the status quo. By the way – you can foster emotional mechanics in employees – those are the people that make up innovative organizations like Apple.

What about the rhythm of business? That’s the stuff that needs to happen in business everyday – the bookkeeping, decisions about marketing & advertising; these are the things that deplete the mental energy, or sabotage the emotional mechanics from which entrepreneurs get their driving force – the passion of business.

Researchers have discovered that making too many decisions about mundane details is a waste of a limited resource: your mental energy. In the late 1990s, Roy Baumeister (a professor at Florida State University) and colleagues performed several experiments showing that certain types of conscious mental actions appeared to draw from the same “energy source” — gradually diminishing our ability to make smart decisions throughout the day.

In one of Baumeister’s experiments, subjects were forced to eat a pair of radishes instead of the freshly baked, aromatic chocolate chip cookies sitting on the same table. In another, subjects were instructed to suppress their emotional reactions to a comedic or tragic film. In both cases, those subjects were quicker (relative to control groups) to give up on a problem-solving task that followed, suggesting that their previous acts of self-control and self-regulation — eating the radishes or maintaining a stoic appearance — had depleted their mental resources.

Many successful people have learned to take these mundane, routine tasks and create systems that get the desired result every time, for anyone who works the system. These energy draining rhythms can be systematized so that virtually no choices need to be made other than to follow the system. Some of the really important systems are those that bring in revenue such as lead generation and conversion. Many brilliant entrepreneurs or business owners develop products and services they can’t support with enough sales because that’s the part of running a business that drains them!

Systems are what make the difference between a mediocre business and a million dollar business. In particular, systems must be for those things that generate revenue. Small business owners need to create these systems early, and review them often. Train themselves and their staff often.

    • How will we attract interested buyers? – System for Lead Generation
    • What will we say and do when we’ve got their attention? – System for Conversion
    • What else can we serve the buyer with? – System for Higher Profits
    • How can we serve them again? – System for More Transactions

Once a small business owner has this figured out growth can be exponential by duplicating the process. That’s how a little hamburger-stand by Dick and Maurice – The McDonald brothers, started. Their little restaurant grew when they developed the “Speedee Service System” and then Ray Kroc, one of their franchise owners, bought out the McDonald brother’s equity in the business and built on that system which led to its worldwide expansion.

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