Part 1: A River Without Banks is a Big Puddle
I love hearing this from potential clients:
“I should know how to run my business… I mean, I know how to be a ________ (therapist, consultant, chef, acupuncturist), but I’m just not into the marketing part, and I don’t have enough clients.”
Why do I love hearing this? It’s not that I’m cruel.
It’s because I get to hear them breathe a massive sigh of relief when I tell them that running a business is an entirely different skill-set than being a therapist, consultant, chef, or acupuncturist.
And that it’s completely normal that you need help with it.
You are very good, perhaps excellent, at your craft, so there’s likely no problem there.
Of course it is important to continue to hone your gifts and improve your level of craftsmanship, as your Craft is one of the three main pillars of your mission-driven business.
But I’ve found that this is generally not your biggest issue, so I’m not spending a lot of time on it in this post.
The more common issue is that you don’t know tons about running a business.
- Or you just don’t like that part very much.
- Or you’ve got some skills, but you’re hitting a wall and need to know more.
- Or you’re overwhelmed by how many different ways there are to do it and can’t focus.
- Or by the sheer number of business coaches telling you that his/her way is the only way to do it (the reality is that there are many ways to make a business work).
First, I just want you to know it’s OK.
How would you know? Did you go to business school? Probably not (and even if you did, would that have helped?). You probably went to liberal arts school or culinary school or coaching school or dropped out of school and followed your passion and found your way into doing meaningful work offering your greatest gifts to the world.
And you may have picked up some business smarts along the way – many of you have great intuition and/or knowledge about this stuff and have built solid business so far – but some of you need more.
A River Needs Banks!
As a person naturally inclined toward structure and process, it’s always been apparent to me how any big vision requires an incredible amount of step-by-step, logistical work and systems to go from idea to reality (whether it’s planning a family reunion or creating a new website).
Of course this goes for your business too: Every business requires clear strategy, structures, systems, and a plan to make it happen – on top of actually having something to sell.
A flowing river of passion, talent, gifts and visions needs banks to guide it along and help move it forward.
Structure creates a directed and powerful flow of energy.
Imagine if there were no riverbanks… there would just be big puddles everywhere.
Puddles of passion, sure… but still, puddles. (Not a lot of energy in puddles).
Some people naturally gravitate towards structure, and some people don’t, and that’s just fine.
If you’re someone who doesn’t, or even if you do, but you simply want to spend more time on your craft and less time trying to figure out the business stuff, then you’ll probably want to get some help and training.
The good part is that it’s not actually that hard to implement smart business strategy once you learn it. As my coach says, the only thing between you and success is missing information.
So now we’ve established that there are at least two distinct parts to building a business…
1) YOUR CRAFT, and
2) The BUSINESS SKILLS.
And most people are not stellar at both. So it’s natural to need help.
Then what’s the third piece?
Stayed tuned for my next post where we explore the Groundwater… The Inner Work That Underlies It All…
Are you currently focused more on your Craft or your Business Skills? Do you need to shift the balance?