I have always been convinced that business is a game just to keep us busy for the twelve or so hours we aren't eating or sleeping during our lives. For those who practice it independently, it is one that we always want to win, at least in varying degrees. Being independent carries with it, at least if one is to survive, the responsibility and eagerness to continue learning, especially if the particular type of business is to provide enough income to allow for us to live appropriately and to retire at some point prior to the end of our short lives. We must always adapt, after all.
Each year, toward the end, I go through the final phase of a cycle. The beginning of this annual learning curve is the realization that so much of what we did last year did not work. Things must change if we are to continue.
The middle is, of course, the implementation. The end is the realization that we still made some customers unhappy, that we did not have a very positive income and at this rate, I'll be working the local variety store greeting circuit before long.
The ending of the cycle becomes the new beginning. I look back, am frightened by what I see and vow to move ahead, to do some more research, to pull up my currently sagging britches and wade through another approach as soon as it is identified.
That, plus a little bit of much-appreciated advice, was how I happened across E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. No, this is not an advertisement. This was, though, a very eye-opening experience for me and for Team Mates. It is also one that I'll share over the next few, hmm... days/weeks/months. I don't think that Mr. Gerber will be all that unhappy if I do. He's in business as well.
I have a burning question for people. So if you happen to read this (well, you would be reading it if you're here, right?), have you ever hired a consultant? We did, once. Okay, twice. The experiences were mildly positive.