I see patterns of failure in businesses. Over the life cycle of a business, the first reason for failure is lack of sales. The sales may not be there for a multitude of reasons, but at the end of the day, the sales are not there.   Business crashes.

Succeed in building sales to a sustainable level and the next hurdle will be finances. Perhaps it is trying to cash flow rapid growth, or maybe you are not monitoring your cost of production properly, but there will be a financial issue that comes close to killing your business. Solve it, and you advance to the next level of problems.

Make it this far and you will face a wellness issue brought on by the stress of running a business. It may be a heart attack, depression, divorce, substance abuse, or a multitude of other issues, but it will come. Be prepared, build a support network and have plans to take care of your mind and body as you run this marathon of building a business.

The next issue you face will be how to effectively managing the people you need for continuing growth. People skills are often overestimated and always in short supply.

Master the issues of managing people and guess what? You have to start all over again, because running a business with lots of people requires more sales, which changes your finances, adds to your stress levels and means you need to hire even more people. An ever growing circle of complexity for you to figure out.

The good news is, others have figured it out before, and have laid out paths for you. It is your job to apply these concepts to your business. Turns out, building a business is half art, half science.

Good luck!

Feedback Loops


An interesting read about “overnight successes”:

I found “Section 3: Realize that Feedback is the Only Shortcut” to be particularly thought-provoking. I often think of production metrics and financials as the feedback loop you set up to monitor your business. So the better job you do on setting up the metrics, the better feedback you get, the better your performance.

Hope you enjoy the read and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The Mental Game

Running a business is stressful; who would have guessed! So what happens to your decision making skills when subjected to long term stress? Do your mental skills improve? A pressure makes diamonds scenario? Or do you get tunnel vision and decision paralysis? It is important that you recognize your mental state and know when and what your body needs at what point in time. Know when to push through it, and know when you are making bad decisions and need to mentally recharge. I have seen too many veterans with PTSD to ignore the effects of constant stress.

Start with a good night’s sleep and load your tool box with skills to help you cope with stress. For some, it is exercise. Others find peace in meditation. Others turn to support groups, others to nature. Find what works for you, and pay attention to what your body and mind need before they hijack your business.