Congratulations, you’re a business owner! You know your craft and are filling your days doing what you love, giving value to your customers, and putting well-earned cash in the bank as a result. Everything is as it should be.
There’s a voice you keep hearing that says something like:
You aren’t nuts & boltsy enough, how can you be successful in business? You can’t even understand a profit and loss statement — how do you expect to make it?
Your inner critic can be harsh. It’s true that there are those who love running a business and love doing all the business-y things: cash flow projections, profit margins, bookkeeping, billing, documentation, etc. The question is, do you personally have to know all those things to be a successful business owner?
It depends on why you’re in business and what your business is trying to do. If you want a business that’s more of a lifestyle or a side-hustle, you might be able to get away with being a bit fuzzy on some of the details. But if you want a business that manufactures widgets, those details will need to be paid attention to. Regardless of what type of business you have, there are ways to pay attention to the details even when that’s not your forte.
Here are three ways to be successful in business, even if you’re not a nuts-and-bolts type person.
1. Do only what you do best.
When you do what you do best you’ll be more successful, period. You’ll be more energized by what you’re doing, which puts you into a state of flow, which makes you more attractive to potential clients, which leads to making more money, which means you can do more of what you love doing, which puts you in a better mood, which makes those around you happy. See how nicely that all fits together?
What about all those things that need to get done in your business that require more detail and focus? First, recognize what absolutely must be done in your business. Will the business burn to the ground without it? Will the IRS camp on your doorstep if you don’t do it? Can you go to sleep at night if it’s left undone? If the answers are no, no, and yes, then chances are it’s just not that important. Everything that’s left, the things that must be done, don’t need to be done by you. Outsource them to your neighbor, join a business circle and share tasks, or hire an assistant or other professional to take care of it.
3. Understand what matters to you most about your business and make sure it’s taken care of.
What are you trying to accomplish with your business? Earn extra cash on the side, have more freedom over when and how you work, pursue global domination? Knowing why you’re in business goes a long way toward keeping things in perspective. Make sure your business does the one thing that’s important to you; figure out how to get that taken care of, and let the rest go.
Being a good business person does not depend on you turning yourself into someone you’re not. Let the conversations go about you not being nuts & boltsy enough and embrace your strengths. You, and your business, will be all the better for it.