I am going to start today’s article with a question.
What is it that Richard Branson (Virgin), Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Bill Gates (Microsoft) have in common? Not sure?
Ok, let’s add a few more. How about Tony Robbins (empowered 50 million people worldwide), Warren Buffet (an investor with a net worth of 121Bn), Ray Dalio (largest hedge fund manager), and Oprah Winfrey (TV personality)?
Still not sure?
Ok I will help you out a bit. They all had business mentors or business advisors.
So, when I get told (often) that they, as a business owner, do not need a business advisory, I often just shake my head.
I am a business advisor. And yet, I have several people I turn to when I need advice. You would think that if I know this stuff, I can do it on my own. You would think the same when it comes to Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, and Waren Buffet. After all, these are masters in their field, and yet they don’t do it on their own.
In the past, my advisors have been my brother and my uncle, but more recently, people who have achieved what I would like to achieve.
Often, we think that we know our businesses better than anyone else. We often don’t. But I also believe we don’t achieve what we want because we know too much. Confused? You shouldn’t be.
That is because we are programmed in a certain way. We accept customs, believe our industry is different, our business is different or just accept that our industry/ business can only operate in a certain way.
Advisors who at times have no idea how your business operates just make you think and look at things in a different way. And those breakthroughs are the ones that accelerate businesses to a new level.
I know nothing about security guarding. I know nothing about steel fabrication. I know nothing about IT coding. And I have no idea about the manufacturing process of signs, trophies and names badges.
Yet, every month, I meet with owners to discuss their business and how to improve it. Those who do this consistently and religiously are the ones who benefit. In one case, profit has doubled in the last two years to over $600,000, with take-home pay increasing by a further $200,000. Over the next two years, we expect turnover to be over $10M with profits over $1m. The icing on the cake was when working hours dropped from 80 hours a week to 35 hours for the business owner. Two years ago, the business owner did not think it was possible and gave me several reasons, including how the industry operates. But as I knew very little about the industry, I was prepared to question things considered normal.
But here is the thing. No matter how busy they were, they never missed a meeting, never rescheduled, or made an excuse.
And, speaking honestly, the only thing I did was meet for about an hour a month and sit at the board table talking. The hard work is still done by the business and the business owner.
Recently, I was told by a business owner that they wanted more income, wanted to rely less on key people, and have a better lifestyle. It is also an industry heavily reliant on support, which I wanted to concentrate on to reduce costs. They told me their industry norm was for high labor support costs, so not much can be done. But just because this is the norm in an industry does not mean it should not be questioned.
Will they be successful? I think they will, knowing them and their mindset. But it is going to be a tough ride. That is because it is like working out how to bake a cake when you know the ingredients but not in which order they will be used or the time required for baking. By trial and error, you can get there but will waste a lot of ingredients, time and not to mention the frustration.
Or you can pay someone for a recipe. Your cake may still not be ideal but at least you have 90% of what you need to be successful.
If I have learned anything in my 30 years as an advisor, it is this.
Life is too short for trial and error. If you know someone who can show you a better way, even if it is only 70%, you should consider taking it. Yes, business advisory costs money, and there are never any guarantees. It is the main reason business owners will refrain from engaging business advisors. But money will come, and money will go. Time only goes and never comes back.
And this is what I will tell you about business owners who should have taken advice. When they retire or are sitting on their rocking chair contemplating their life, most would say they wished they had taken the advice if it saved them a few years of trial and error. And that is because they could have diverted those precious few years from working out how to bake a cake to actually eating it with the ones they love.
Running an efficient lean machine is step 3 of our 9-step process to reduce your working hours, and generate daily money, freedom and long-term wealth. If you would like more information on our 9 steps, please contact Hitesh at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ros at email@example.com or call 1800 440 316.