Many see owning a business through rose-tinted glasses. Perhaps through listening to too much Tony Robbins, they think you can have a successful business and a fabulous income while only working a four-hour week.
But we all know that’s not true.
We’ve all heard of a successful business owner who claims to only work a few hours each week, but be in no doubt that what they're actually doing is ‘working’ four hours before spending the rest of the week doing things they love doing, that are very much to do with work but that they just don't count as “work-work”.
Even after more than a decade of celebrity culture we all know, deep down, that if we want to create something of value it takes graft, passion and consistency; day after day, year after year. And if we don’t do it, someone else will and we’ll miss out. Simple as.
Because times like these do create opportunity.
So let’s start by smashing the crap out of those kinds of b*******t-tinted glasses right here, right now.
That same rosy, BS tint of reverence surrounds professional services. You go to your lawyer or your accountant or a business consultant as someone who’s set up and run a successful business for yourself and you ask them to fix your problem. nd they say, “yes, of course I can fix your problem. I’m a qualified expert in your problem. Whatever that problem is. Of course, it's going to cost you, but I can definitely solve that problem”.
And because of those b*******t tinted glasses, you believe the expert sitting across the desk from you. When in reality the lawyer’s just selling you the allure of the expensive bits of paper that say they’re a lawyer; the accountant’s pointing at a set of scales while wishing you’d lose weight and the consultant will – as the old adage goes - take your watch off your wrist before telling you the time.
And that’s the brutal, technicolour truth…
Every small business owner who’s ever sat down with a consultant, already knows what's wrong with their business - and probably why - but for some reason they’re just not doing anything about it.
Every SME owner in front of an accountant knows that they’re being told what’s already happened; what’s in the past. And then they trying to claim that knowledge gives them some kind of view into the future.
And as for the lawyer with the expensive bits of paper; undoubtedly a godsend if you run into trouble, but day to day they’re delegating templated agreements and filling out timesheets – is that something that can take your business to the next level?
What all three specialisms fail to address is the hard work and graft, Monday through Friday, week after week, that actually drives a business forward. Don’t get me wrong, advice is useful and it’s good to talk. But if you're not careful, you just end up in professional-services-therapy, getting a big, fat bill while getting nothing done.
Look back over the last 10 years of running your business and I bet you’ll recognise that most of the major steps forward came from somebody rolling up their sleeves and doing something different than they did before. It came from picking up the phone again and again; being compelling enough to convince a customer that you really can add value above and beyond your competition, or maybe from cutting costs; going line-by-line through the detail of the P&L asking why you're spending money and what you’re getting in return - before working out what the right use of resources should be.
Because that’s what drives businesses forward; facing into the decisions that need to be made, every day.
And that’s why you need to smash the b*******t-tinted glasses.
Many people think running a business is easy. And for some people it can be. But if you want your business to be better, you've got to be better and work harder.
Working harder doesn't have to mean longer hours, but it does mean sometimes doing things you don't want to do and being focused on the thing that really matters at any given time. Having that perspective; knowing what it is that you need to do, is needs a helicopter view, looking at the disciplines that support and underpin your business and then working out where you need to focus today to move things forward.
Everything about The Uncommon Practice - from the name to the way we work - is about making sure SME business owners don’t miss the bigger picture while being really focused on what matters now. We look at the broader picture and unpick every element of your business to build a cohesive picture of what's actually going on – and what isn’t – so we can move at pace and spot the opportunities and risks and help you make better decisions quickly.
And that’s another truth no lawyer, no accountant, no consultant is actually willing to admit to is that the harder it is to fix your problem, the more meetings you have and the longer it takes, the more money they make….
At The Uncommon Practice we'll never make you come to our office to sit and drink expensive coffee and admire our artwork while we have a nice chat about your business. We want to be working, not counting the minutes. That’s why, amongst many other time and money saving ways of doing things, we’ll meet you at a time that suits you on Zoom or Skype so we’re not wasting time (and money) travelling to see one another.
It’s time to smash the BS tinted glasses around the usual professional services once and for all.
All hail ‘Business Unusual’.
Let’s crack on.