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Community Blog / 3 Keys to Building Your Business By Brad Elson, CEO Cornerpiece Consulting

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I am writing this article, not because I am a prolific writer. I am writing this article because I hope that the lessons I have learned as an Executive Coach and Consultant can help one of the many business owners, large and small, who are struggling to build a strong foundation and grow their business. 

We all know that being a business owner or CEO is hard work, so I don’t want to make things any more difficult by giving you a complex framework to remember. Simply put, building the foundation of your business boils down to three things: 

  • Get Off the Island
  • Embrace Culture
  • Plan Big – Work Small

Get Off The Island. What is the biggest struggle when you are at the top? For many it is the fact that nobody in the organization or in your life can truly understand where you are coming from. For some business owners they are a company of one and thus, they can only lean on their friends and family for support. This can quickly deteriorate relationships and cause undue stress at home. This is why you must Get Off the Island. 

Many business owners/leaders, whether for financial or personal reasons fail to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities for help that exist in todays ever connected world. For some it is because their Type A personality cannot let go of their baby, for others it is simply pride, but the successful ones quickly realize that getting in the life raft truly saves them. Find a coach, a mentor, a network that you can trust. That is what makes MeetAdvisors such a tremendous resource for business owners; it puts those resources at your fingertips. 

Use the resources to help yourself get a better grasp of what YOU truly need. Perhaps it is because both my wife and my business partner are clinical psychologists, but it is amazing how helpful taking a deep look at yourself can be when a typical business analysis is causing you stress. 

Embrace Culture. You may have the best product, service, or solution ever made, but if you don’t have the right people on your team you will struggle to grow. Ask any successful business owner/leader and they will tell you how costly a bad hire was to their business. Take the time to create, understand and nurture the culture you want and need for your business. Get to know your candidates. Find a process that works for you and use it. We use assessments to help our clients benchmark their open positions to the ideal employee. We begin by comparing behaviors and motivators and can add additional assessments as the candidates move further along in the process. Remember that despite how counterintuitive it may be to slow things down, it will pay off in the long run to know you have the right person for your culture.

Plan Big – Work Small. Very few companies open their doors with all of the customers they could ever want. Most hope and need to grow to succeed, but many fail to plan for that growth. Many business owners/leaders “wing it” for as long as they can. They usually admit this after they have become successful and implemented the necessary systems to support their growth. They also admit that life would have been a lot easier if they had thought about the systems first. This is what I mean by Plan Big – Work Small. Plan for the business you want, with systems that work with the size company you currently have. Taking an hour to think about the process can save you countless hours of inefficient work and mistakes down the road. For many creative business owners/leaders – systems are their worst nightmare – they feel confined by them. This is a Get Off The Island moment. Bring somebody on board that can help you find a happy medium. Change is hard, but well worth the efforts.


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