How do you think about your business?


I’ve had great discussions with a few different clients lately…they are seeing a huge shift with the results in their business.  Both in terms of how much they’re making (more) and how much they’re working (less than they used to).

There are some specific reasons why they’re seeing improvements – some of it’s related to strategic planning paying off, some of it’s as simple as having the confidence to raise their pricing to reflect the value they generate.  But the biggest difference is that they have successfully shifted from a technician’s mindset to an Entrepreneurial Mindset.

Mike Michalowicz – author of the The Pumpkin Plan really nailed the definition of what an entrepreneur is:

“Entrepreneurs don’t do most of the work.  Entrepreneurs identify the problems, discover the opportunities and then build processes to allow other people and other things to do the work.”

Technicians…on the other hand are masters at their craft.  They are really good at what they do and their mindset is that they are going to be more effective at doing that work than anyone else can be.  That may be a true statement…but it’s a dead end trap for a business owner! The technician’s mindset leads to longer hours, capped income and eventually a state of burnout.

Contrast that with the Entrepreneurial mindset…focusing on finding the bottlenecks in your business model and resolving those issues in ways that don’t require your personal time.  It takes more time and effort up front, but as you clear things out, you will start making more money and spending less of your own time on working IN the business.

Ask yourself this question as you think about your planning for next year:

In order to make more money than you did this year, do you personally need to put in more hours doing the work / delivering your service or product?

If the answer is yes, then you’re stuck acting like a technician.  A better question would be:

How can I generate more profitable revenue AND free up my time?

It’s not easy, but when you make the shift to an entrepreneurial mindset and start spending your time resolving the business model, all sorts of things become possible.

Where are you in terms of balance between Entrepreneur and Technician?  Are you building your business through brute force and time…or are you building your business to operate without you?  We’d love to hear your thoughts – contact us or share them in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade   Kansas City Business Coach

1 thought on “How do you think about your business?”

  1. I had a great email comment from a reader – basically pointing out there are a whole group of Entrepreneurs who aren’t trying to add headcount – they have created a ‘lifestyle business’.

    Here’s my response:

    You make a great point, and one that I didn’t consider when I was writing this. I do think there’s a word for the lifestyle entrepreneur you’re describing – master craftsman…or artist! In many ways, my own business falls into this category – my goal is to be a business expert, and there isn’t an easy way (that I’ve found to date) to outsource that expertise or my years of experience.

    I think the real difference of the type of business owner you are still lies in the mindset. A master craftsman or artist (or expert) is first about continously honing their craft and getting better because they realize they are not creating a commodity. Because that mastery has been earned through hard work and experience, it’s worth a premium and it is different than other things available on the marketplace. Your work has a particular style that other photographers don’t have…maybe even more importantly, your approach with your customers, the experience you deliver is different (and superior) as well.

    As an expert or an artist, you have the capability of creating a viable lifestyle business. Someone who just switched careers and decided they like photography (without your experience or training) is going to struggle to make that business work.

    My purpose when writing this was to challenge those business owners who are not artists and are mostly doing the work that others could do just as well, with a lot less experience and training. They get tied into the day to day work and they are never able to break free because they have too much to do…and because what they do is more of a commodity (because they’re not an artist or expert) they can’t get paid enough per job to really make it worthwhile.


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