School is easy – Building a business is hard

Posted by Tom LarsenAug 12, 2015 Organization, Planning 0 Comment

When you were in school, whether you recognized it or not, your entire world was prepared for you. Before each term, you knew where to go, when to show up, the reading material you would need. You knew the mid-term and final schedule, you knew the class times and you got good at budgeting your time to effectively get a good outcome, often being getting a good grade. You likely spent 15-20 years in school getting good at achieving your good outcome in 5 or 6 subjects at a time regardless of the courses. You were focused and disciplined by the system that was created for you to succeed.

Your consumer product business is nothing like school. Running your business REQUIRES you to create your own calendar, choose the location(s), develop the curriculum, create or select all the other materials, plan all the field trips. It REQUIRES you to work on lots of courses at the same time with differing schedules. And most importantly it REQUIRES you to define what constitutes your good outcome.

Just because you got good outcomes in school has NOTHING to do with whether you will be able to easily or even successfully build a business from scratch. This is why franchises are many times more likely to succeed; they have an imposed structure. Your business is not a franchise.

The successful business builder realizes they are the teachers, the students, the administrators, the entire staff, all at the same time. Each day the business owner is looked to by the entire organization, internal and external, to set the agenda and keep it moving on to the next milestone.

That’s nothing like school. Staying focused and disciplined is the hardest thing to achieve in the chaos of business building. Lack of focus and discipline is why greater than 50% of businesses fail within 5 years, whereas High School dropout rates are at 8% and college success rates at top tier universities are 90%. School was easy, building a business is hard. Knowing you are writing the entire script is the first step at making it easier. Now, get others to help you in whatever ways you need.

Building a business is also nothing like creating a product either, but, that’s a different post.

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