Opportunities and Mistakes: Balancing Business
with David Baker
with guest David Baker #MakingBank S5E19
When it comes to the journey of entrepreneurship, the ride is never smooth. Opportunities arise from some of the most unexpected places, and the highest successes can be followed by the lowest of lows. It’s never in a constant state, but as an entrepreneur, the only thing that you can control about your business is you.
David Baker, author, speaker, and advisor of entrepreneurial experts joins us on this episode of Making Bank. David learned how to be resourceful, flexible, and investigative, leading to his major success in a 25-year career of advising experts in their field. Helping the best of the best, David explains some of the most important things that he’s observed in his career.
The main things that David emphasizes are the opportunities and rules put into place as you practice business and common mistakes that entrepreneurs run into that slow success.
Opportunities and Breaking Rules
When you’re in the workplace or going about your everyday life there are a certain set of rules that you follow. These rules help regulate your days and ensure success. But sometimes, to reach certain heights, you have to push the boundaries of the box and question things.
“A lot of us have these expectations that we have to follow these sorts of rules to achieve success. And part of that is fed by the fact that there are all these experts. In some cases, I included, who are telling people, you do these seven things in this order, and you’ll have success, but constantly there are a small minority of people that are breaking those rules and figuring out a different path to the same sort of success,” David says.
Just because something works for one business doesn’t mean it’s a universal guide to instant success. David encourages people to question and think in different directions. This can lead to different experiences that might work better for your own business.
Jumping on opportunities when they come is one of the most important things when being successful. “You have to look for those really small opportunities and jump on them,” David also encourages.
And sometimes, these small opportunities can lead to discovering talent, a passion, or a potential business idea.
Accidental Mistakes Entrepreneurs Run Into
When starting a business, sometimes the business grows too fast for the entrepreneur. When you’re good at doing something, that success can build foundations for growth. However, sometimes it can hinder the whole business when experiencing massive growth with an entrepreneur who doesn’t know how to market a business.
“One of the big things is that people are accidental entrepreneurs in the sense that they know how to do something specific, something technical….what they don’t bring to the table is the ability to make smart business decisions about how to wrap that into something that makes money that…follows the right benchmarks, that markets itself,” David says.
People can be good at one aspect of their business, but when they try to market and expand that particular business, it can backfire. This can cause a misunderstanding of growth and end up leading them to never saying no – which means they’re constantly trying to find ways to take the opportunity and making it better. Eventually, it will cause exhaustion.
“They tend to grow too quickly and then they wake up one day discovering that they are running a business, or they should be running a business that they don’t want to run. They want to do the work. They don’t want to manage people,” David explains how entrepreneurs sometimes get in over their heads.
This point is deciding whether you’re comfortable in letting your role migrate from doing the work, to be a mentor or coach. If you can make that transition, then you’re set to keep growing. If you’re not, then you need to find people for your business to achieve that growth.
Discipline and Critical Feedback
Another common mistake that entrepreneurs make when trying to expand their business, “is people being bad at disciplined at consistently sending out the right message so that they always have more opportunity than they can accept because otherwise, they’re going to turn bad clients.” David says that these entrepreneurs are going to try and turn bad clients into good ones, and it simply won’t work. It’s a waste of time and resources.
The business can create a life of its own, and it can become something that you don’t recognize. There is a mistake in doing too much and not being able to focus on specific growth and exploration of the business. You have to think through the messages that you want your business to support and choose what you want to market instead of saying ‘yes’ to everything immediately.
Having boundaries when creating goals and recognizing the capabilities that you can your team can do is vital for entrepreneurs to stay balanced.