With these topics one has to be “pragmatically critical”! Frankness is at its place. It was such a necessary wake-up call. It ain’t rocket science, but hassling with daily operations had lost the bigger picture from my sight. I did my Financials once was applying for (Enterprise Estonia) grant, but it’s about time to apply my “new knowledge and expereince” into it. Thanks again for waking me up from sleeping mode and reminded what’s actually important.
Hannes Kunart – tarumaja.ee concept CEO, owner
We all are feeback junkies, admit it
Receiving such nicely wrapped feedbacks makes me wonder. My clients are highly intelligent, smart, ambitious, visionary people, yet they need outer support to achieve their goals. Why’s that? Because we all are human and we are not machines. As he gently put it, “thanks for the wake-up call!” Saying he knows it all himself, he has just lost hs tracks due to daily hardship and would appreciate someone’s other pair of goggles to clarify the context and finetune his focus. Hannes is most probably not the person in a need for holding accountable, he knows himself what, why, how, when, whom. Yet who knows – being a single entrepreneur is very tough, eventhough he has been business owner since 1997, and it gets more tougher every single day as terms and context keeps changing.
And for the record, I presented his feedback only because this is my own fuel, the reward that keeps me going and helping others, like I was once helped by number of great people I forgot to thank and admire. But am still learning and reminding myself to remain humble for these opportunities I had to learn and great timely advice received to grasp the wisdom of the moment.
But it wasn’t the reason for the blog post.
It’s not secret – if you want to have a predictable monthly and annual income you have to build a predictable business that relies on predictable invoicing for predictable service for predictable problems a very specific set of clients predictably have. Or the way around: pick a very specific problem, solve it well enough and hammer hard to find all of that 1 segment all over the World with minimal costs. Any step aside means unpredictable results that lead hectic results in your revenue stream. In short your sales job is to follow your ICP and eliminate all mismatching clients from the sales process as soon as possible.
But isn’t it so boring to deal with 1 segment of clients only? Nothing new, always THE VERY SAME ALL THE TIME!!! How can people put up with this? …you might wonder. But actually the reason is very clear – to generate predictable and steady growth for yourself, employees, investors. Wasn’t that what you were after? And why you might ask?
Because it builds trust – people can see you achieving goals steadily. Banks see your growth and you become trustworthy – now they WANT to offer you loans that you could grow faster and MAKE THEM money on the way (which might be really a good idea if certain criteria is met). Investors trust you to put in large amounts as they are able to predict what your results might be as the model is clear, it is predictable. You find it easier to attract highly qualified and nice personnel, willing to follow your strict guidelines.
And you are able to start hassling with side businesses to find NEXT BIG THINGS to support your growth once the current MAIN BUSINESS starts to reach to the end of its LIFETIME.
Passion & Process
…what about it? I, for instance, am not blessed to follow that route – building big predictable businesses. I am more about to make things happen fast, to figure out strategies and plans. I go in with passion. I can’t wait till it becomes perfect. I push hard to reach to the point when it makes sense and creates huge leaps forward. But final fine-tuning, polishing to brilliance is not anymore for my type of person. That’s the moment I have to hand over the bar to next people who would do what I don’t enjoy. Designing growth processes along and aside of main businesses is somewhat rare concept, yet we all do it anyhow. Perhaps not knowingly. Doing it knowingly might boost your growth and having supporting processes for that – it certainly helps tremendously.
People & design
I wasn’t much of a theory lover years back. I went through the hardship myself to learn theories backwards, and paying for these learnings with lost time, lost income, lost personnel, lost clients, lost profits, lost time with my family. At their 30-ies people tend to start realising that well, to manage others one gotta manage oneself at first. How to manage someone you don’t know and understand? Really painful, right. So once you get who you are, you understand what roles are more suitable for you and why. And yeah – it applies to other people as well. Now, imagine you all have to do something you are not designed for by nature – takes a lot more time and the results are not close to best. But what if you design your business & processes in a way that people execute jobs they are designed for and are willing to do? Nooooo, not what says their CV about previous experiences and knowledge. Who cares about that? Some narrow minded old fart only, perhaps. Ok, agree, some newby HR people right after school trying to earn out their trust. But NO!
What’s the plan
Hire because of attitude, speed to learn, ability to notice, communicate, provide value. Following rules is so yesterday – we already got robots that take over when it becomes “non-thinking routine”. And yes, automate as soon as possible. But use right people for right tasks. And before that design your company, as this is your biggest responsibility as a founder and/or CEO! Then let them execute and offer support if needed.
And feel free to disagree with me providing exact details and examples. I’d love to discuss that matter further.