Are you terrible at business but great at your job?
An interesting situation presented itself to me in the last couple of weeks. I took on a client and from talking to this guy; he didn’t seem the sharpest. His business wasn’t doing great and his head wasn’t in the game. Put it that way.
He was a very nice guy in a personal sense, but as far as business goes, he didn’t impress me. So I said to myself, “Ok, we have a lot of work to do to get this guy up to speed”. Did I think we could get him up to speed? 1 million percent.
All the conversations I was having with him were all about his business. The position of his business in the marketplace, the position of his business in terms of sales, but it wasn’t where we needed it to be but I was confident that we could help him turn things around.
I will not identify this guy or share any of his personal details, but I’m going to tell you something. I suddenly needed the service that he provides. So I dropped him a text and said, “Can you call me? I may need your service”. He called me back, and I explained to him the situation that I found myself in and the difference in talking to this guy about the product that he was delivering versus the running of the business of delivering the product was like night and day.
This man came alive on the phone. The enthusiasm he has for doing his job and the skills and knowledge he has about his job were unmatched, so I told him “You’re going to have to travel to Dublin if I ever need you again because I ain’t going anywhere else”.
So he did the job for me. Everything went flawlessly, and I was delighted with his work.
So after he finished I said to him, “Look, when I’m talking to you about your business, it’s as if you have your hood up and you’re hiding in the corner, but when I’m talking to you about your product, you’re world class my friend and we need to handle that. We need to get the same level of confidence that you have in delivering your product across to your clients when you are talking about your business.
You are far better at doing your job that you give yourself credit for. You need to understand that it’s all about how you present yourself to the client and you have no reason not to be more confident in the running of your business, because the quality of the work you’re doing is absolutely world class.”
It was great that I’d got to know him to the point where I could have that frank and honest conversation with him, but I see that kind of thing all the time.
I see guys that are in a state of fear and they are making fear based decisions at all times about their business and it’s hitting them in the pocket.
So if you find yourself more confident in doing the job, rather than running the business, you need to be aware of it and a question that you must ask yourself is:
“How can I get better at that?”
And the simplest way forward is to hire a mentor and have him help you learn the skills that you need to know in order to become as good at running your business as you are at doing the work.
It’s a big problem for tradesmen going self-employed and setting up a business, but then continuing to think like a tradesman.
If you’re a plumber and you’re out there working away and then you set up on your own, you might be the only employee in that business but you are now a business owner and there’s a difference in thinking like a business owner than there is in thinking like a tradesman.
I made a short YouTube video about this very subject
You can check it out using the link below