“Sometimes I think it would be easier to go back to working out of my house,” he said.
Bob is an entrepreneur friend I’ve helped for the last five years. He came to me right after his company cut his territory and commission plan…again. He had the experience and network to start his own business, so I encouraged him to do it, and he did.
“Why would you want to go backwards?” I asked.
“Trying to build a business is loaded with people problems. I think I can make the same amount of money if it were just me and an administrator,” he explained.
“You have a gift from God which most people don’t have. Making money is easy for you.”
“Why do you say that?”
Seeing Opportunity at Every Turn
“Look at all the ways you make money outside your main business. Everywhere you look you see opportunity. Whether it be selling unique items on eBay or selling your advice,” I said.
“You know what? You’re right. So what’s wrong with that?”
“Like the rest of us, your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. Because you find making money so easy, you never build value.”
Building Value in the Narrow
Building value is all about being narrow rather than wide. You have to focus on one particular niche for a long time. You must go deep to build sustainable value.
People with my friend’s gifts are always fighting their attention deficit disorder. They are always chasing the “low fruit” because their eye is drawn to it.
In addition, these entrepreneurs are action oriented. They don’t sit around thinking about how they can make money.
They see there is money to be made and immediately take action. The rest of us sit back in amazement at how easy they make it look. “Why can’t I do that?” we ask.
Three Entrepreneur Types
I’ve observed three types of entrepreneurs over the years.
- Entrepreneurs, like my friend, who see how to make money in everything they do, even their hobbies.
- Entrepreneurs who focus narrowly on building value without regard to profit. They are always looking for the grand slam home run. These folks need VC funding to succeed.
- Entrepreneurs who build value by growing profitably year in and year out. They want to build value but rely on the business to generate enough cash flow to do it.
I convinced my friend to focus on his business. He is smart, hard-working, and knows his industry cold. If he can make himself stay focused, he’ll make the big money and build value at the same time.