Stop wear­ing your­self out run­ning busi­ness

The Buffalo News - - LIFE & ARTS -

If you’re an en­tre­pre­neur, odds are, you’re tired.

Peo­ple of­ten be­come en­trepreneurs be­cause they want more free­dom.

Yet in the quest to make money, many en­trepreneurs work longer hours and treat them­selves worse than any boss would. As both the doer and the su­per­vi­sor, the en­tre­pre­neur gets two jobs, la­bor and man­age­ment.

Dorie Clark, au­thor of En­tre­pre­neur­ial You says, “The first chal­lenge is how do you be­come suc­cess­ful as an en­tre­pre­neur. Nine times out of ten the an­swer is you get suc­cess­ful run­ning your­self ragged. You work 7 days a week, killing your­self with di­rect ser­vice.”

I can re­late. In the early days of my own busi­ness I reached max ca­pac­ity quickly.

Clark says, “At a cer­tain point you re­al­ize it’s un­sus­tain­able. But you think, I have to be suc­cess­ful, what are the other op­tions?” Clark says the an­swer is, “You have to look at your model.”

When you re­al­ize you can’t run your­self through a magic du­pli­cat­ing ma­chine, the chal­lenge be­comes scale.

In writ­ing, in En­tre­pre­neur­ial You, Clark pro­files suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs, large and small, all over the world. She says, “I wanted to present a smor­gas­bord of op­tions, so peo­ple can at look what mod­els might work for their busi­ness, and how to get started.”

The sub­ti­tle of the book – Mon­e­tize Your Ex­per­tise, Cre­ate Mul­ti­ple In­come Streams and Thrive – speaks to the as­pi­ra­tions of ev­ery en­tre­pre­neur. Clark says, “You have to cre­ate pas­sive in­come.” Clark pro­vides a free En­tre­pre­neur­ial You work­book to help you flesh out your model.

Clark’s pre­vi­ous book, Stand Out, was Inc. Magazine’s No. 1 lead­er­ship book of 2015. In it she pro­vides a tem­plate for pro­fes­sion­als to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves.

Clark re­al­ized though, stand­ing out is not enough. She says, “What I came to un­der­stand in the course of trav­el­ing and talk­ing about Stand Out, be­com­ing an ex­pert in your field, while that is a nec­es­sary and im­por­tant step, it’s not the fi­nal step.”

She says, “Even if peo­ple are rec­og­nized for their ex­per­tise, many have a hard time figuring out how to mon­e­tize their busi­ness.”

In En­tre­pre­neur­ial You, Clark also tack­les the thorny is­sue of money. She says, “In our cul­ture, money is a very chal­leng­ing topic, there’s a lot of bag­gage around it. In the en­tre world there is a lot of chest thump­ing and bag­gage, with­out a lot of facts.”

An­other topic Clark ad­dresses is per­sis­tence. She says, “Peo­ple know it as a tru­ism, but I was struck by the dra­matic and ex­po­nen­tial ben­e­fits peo­ple get by per­se­ver­ing when ev­ery­one else quit.”

Clark says, “This is true of al­most ev­ery­thing in life. Peo­ple look at the large field of com­pe­ti­tion and say that’s way too hard. Mean­while it’s an il­lu­sion, there’s not that much com­pe­ti­tion. It’s much smaller if you are able to per­se­vere beyond the place where ev­ery­one else quits and drops out.”

Lisa Earle McLeod

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