Entrepreneur’s #1 Problem

This is a real exchange that happened on Friday, November 30th. I had been “chasing” a suspect that had asked for a call 22 days ago.

I sent this email at 7:06 AM.

Please call me today to talk about:

  • why you asked me to call in the first place

  • why you haven’t returned my calls or replied to my email

  • Entrepreneurial CEO’s in general

  • whether I should take you off my follow-up list

He replied at 8:16 AM with this email.

I do want to meet with you.

My biggest challenge is trying to juggle business, working with people who do not appreciate what I do (or look at me as a commodity), and trying to be around for my family. I also would like to create a business plan. Although you are “Sales Development Specialists,” my sense is that you could help me in these areas.

In general, I am feeling frustrated by not having another me and doing my best to stay ahead of everything.

I apologize for not calling you back, but that is a reasonable indication of where I am at. I want it all, but I can’t do it all (whatever “all” is). I would like to discuss these items with you.

So I am going to call you now.

and at 8:25 AM with 28 minute phone call.

(Sound familiar?) On that 28 minute phone call, we established the agenda for the hour and 15 minute phone call that we scheduled for 3 PM (same day).

If I could figure out what happened here, I could probably help a lot of business owners take control of their businesses. How/why, after 22 days (or the months/years prior), did this move to the top of the priority list? How can I get other CEO’s to take a breath and realize how much time and money they are costing themselves?

How do I help a business owner realize that the $10,000 salary they save by hiring a mediocre employee might cost them $50,000 in their own time fixing the problems, or worse, it might cost them customers?

How do I help a business owner realize that if their business is going to get to the next level, they’ll have to drive it and until they have a plan, work their plan, and have somebody (like me?) to hold them accountable, they will continue to spend ALL of their time putting out fires, responding to emergencies, and wondering why they’re missing their kids growing up?

How do I help a business owner see that investing some time now into learning what and how to delegate can pay dividends bigger, better and more long term than the startup capital or sweat equity that they used to get their business started in the first base?

In general, I think that my new client hit the nail on the head when he wrote that “I am feeling frustrated by not having another me and doing my best to stay ahead of everything”.

That is the #1 Problem of every entrepreneur that I’ve ever met. How can they balance…taking care of customers, prospects, vendors, employees, investors, family, their health, weight, etc.?

So, here’s my suggestion(s). If you’re a blogger, comment on your blog and put a link to your post as a comment to this post. If you’re reading and you’re thinking of someone who should read this, forward it to them and copy me. If they don’t contact me in a week or so, I’ll reach out to them.

One thought on “Entrepreneur’s #1 Problem

  1. I was feeling the same way prior to working with Rick. In some ways I am still there but finally realizing that I cant do it all, I made a commitment to figure out my weaknesses and work with some people who have been there and done that. If you find the best people for the best jobs it helps. When we setup our company we found the parts of our business that took a lot of time and hired someone to work on that one part. We spent a lot of time on bookkeeping and paperwork so we hired an office manager. We spent a lot of time on running around and scheduling for our projects so we hired a project manager. We had too many sales leads coming in so we hired a salesperson. Etc Etc. Once you have time to focus on the business and part of the business you are great at the more your company grows and the more time you have to spend with your family because the people you hired are doing their jobs it releases some of the stress of day to day. We still are working on this and it will take a few more years to get it setup the right way.

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