He waited until the microphone was brought to him. He cleared his throat and said, “Hey everyone. I’m Patrick. And I’m kind of an accidental business owner I guess.”
The whole room seemed to nod at this confession.
Patrick continued. “It’s like I just got an idea, and then a few people found out about it and wanted it. I’ve been going now for a year, and it recently hit me that this is a business.”
Everyone laughed in recognition before Patrick even began to ask his question.
They are him. He is them.
I can count on one hand the number of business owners I’ve coached or trained who started off with a fine-tuned business plan (or, for that matter, a bookkeeper).
That’s because, for most entrepreneurs, the driver in the moment is passion.
Passion for offering a solution to someone. Or passion for making another person’s life easier.
Before you know it, you have a business – or rather, you have a lot of chaos that is somehow making you money. (Eventually we all learn that this is, indeed, a business.)
This is exciting stuff! It’s territory of the Pioneer!
And though your business story may look slightly different in its details, it’s likely that some things were severely lacking when you began your business… namely a plan.
Well, you’re not alone.
And in spite of what most business books or stodgy coaches out there will tell you, I happen to think you’re lucky…
- The Pioneer is the one who gets an idea and wings it out there to see what works.
- The Pioneer is the part of you that can be sitting on a dreary plane ride and feel like you want to jump out of your skin because you just got what may be the best idea ever in the history of the Universe.
- The Pioneer changes lives, and requires no less than 100% enrollment of her heart and soul before even considering doing something.
- The Pioneer takes on the world, blazes a trail and has the conversations others aren’t willing to have.
We love the Pioneer!
It got you started!
It quit your lame job so you could get this business rolling!
It takes your chances!
A world of Pioneers! That’s what we need, right?
Well, not so fast.
There are some problems with that idea.
Namely things like plane schedules, train schedules, bus schedules — or anything involving a schedule for that matter.
Appointments, automation, mechanics, safety issues, certifications and anything involving a process all come to mind as well.
In fact, what Patrick was leading to with his question is the core question of the Pioneer:
How do I make this business run more predictably so I don’t burn out?
You mean the Pioneer isn’t all I need?
I can’t just “build it and they will come?”
I can’t “leap and the net will appear?”
I can’t “do what I love and the money will follow?”
(These are the siren songs of the Pioneer. We LOVE this shit. We could tattoo these mantras all over our bodies – and we do!)
The answer to each of these questions is “Yes! You totally can!”…
But if you don’t treat your business like a business, you will constantly deal with the following:
– confusion and chaos year after year
– income that goes dramatically up and down depending on the month
– hires that seem promising – but then fall flat
– invoices that don’t get sent
– bills that don’t get paid
– painful sales calls that don’t get the client
Is something wrong with you if you’re raising your hand at these symptoms?
It just means that you haven’t created a business where your Pioneer can thrive with consistency.
The body count of burnt-out Pioneers who have shown up at my door wondering if they’re going to have to give up on passion altogether or just go back and get a “real job” is in the thousands at this point.
And this is when I must introduce them to their other half…
In order for you to successfully create, build and grow your business, your inner engineer has to be invited to the table. (Or the funky cafe where you work. Or the IKEA couch where you sit with your laptop everyday.)
The engineer may not be your biggest strength, but let’s look at what the engineer can do for your business. (And for your pioneer.)
Your engineer will help you create three things:
1 – A Structure
You need a simple and understandable model so you can think about your business and have real clarity about how people find your business and then take action to pay you. And then, – how to streamline this process so it’s repeatable and reliable.
2 – A System
A do-able “here’s how this works” system for your business so you’re not reinventing the wheel and eating up valuable time each and every day. Your pioneer likes to “wing it.” Your engineer says, “Hey, let’s make that happen again!”
Once you have a system and structure, you must have a plan. Knowing which exact action will provide the highest return on your investment of time and energy, instead of always feeling overwhelmed by millions of real and imaginary tasks.
Let me introduce you to Joni.
Joni is a divorce attorney. Having gone through her own divorce, she made it her life’s mission to help people (primarily women) get every legal loophole covered and implemented– as well as be a strong emotional support to them as they went through the painful process of this life transition.
Joni’s Pioneer ran the show for a long time, which meant that:
- Sometimes she had clients, sometimes she didn’t
- She didn’t charge enough money for her services. (she was always empathetic.)
- She often forgot to bill for her hours
- Her clients created the standards and boundaries (and with highly emotional clients, you can imagine where that led.)
- Sometimes she converted prospects, sometimes she didn’t.
In other words, there was no consistency in her business or her life.
Behind the scenes, Joni was often as emotional as her clients, which left her embarrassed and confused. (Pioneers often believe that the nobility of their mission alone should be enough to make the business (and its clients) behave. They are dead wrong.)
Joni’s business was draining the Pioneering spirit and passion that had ignited her in the first place.
Then, Joni was introduced to her Engineer.
As Joni nurtured her Engineer, she was able to articulate her desired outcomes for everything from conversions to boundaries for clients to her monthly income.
Following the steps she learned in my Uplevel your Business program, Joni began to see results. Her role as a leader (not just a lawyer) to her clients grew. Clients stopped calling and texting her after hours. Her marketing became more systematized so the flow of income and clients became consistent.
And her Pioneer got strong once again.
This is why your Engineer must work side-by-side with your Pioneer.
Given the right steps to follow, your Engineer knows how to map out a plan based on the desired end result.
Your Engineer wants to set things up so that your Pioneer can thrive.
Your Engineer can give strategy to the endless parade of ideas that come to your Pioneer.
And your Engineer also knows when to hold off on an idea because it is more of a distraction than it is a direction.
Is it a balance? Absolutely. But both sides of your brain are needed to run a successful business. Eventually, when you make enough income to have a team, you will hire people to BE your Engineers so that you can live fully in your own unique ability as that Pioneering spirit.
For now, it’s crucial that you learn the exact steps for creating this amazing business of yours – taking care to nurture your pioneer. And letting the engineer build the sanity and structure.
I’m closing the doors on my Uplevel Your Business Program this week. Click here to find out how to build an Upleveled business that supports your lifestyle and makes you lots of money while you make a huge impact in the world.