You have three brains competing in your head.
All three are valuable. But only one of them holds the keys to thriving in tough economies.
If you let the other two dominate, be prepared to struggle.
The visionary Entrepreneur asks, “How can we make/do this better? What is the market demanding?”
The pragmatic Manager asks, “How can we systemize this? How can we control the chaos?”
The hard-working Technician asks, “How can I get the Entrepreneur and the Manager to leave me alone so I can just do it how I want to?”
During recessions, cash isn’t king; innovation is king. The companies who adapt and shift resources the quickest crush slower but more capitalized companies.
“But trying new and different things is risky.”
Not nearly as risky as maintaining the status quo, crossing your fingers, and hoping the economy will turn around.
“Think of risky undertakings as ‘experiments.’ Regardless of whether your experiment succeeds or fails, you’re going to learn something useful.” -Roy H. Williams
Change is Your Friend
The Entrepreneur faces reality and acts boldly. He’s never content with stagnation or mediocrity. He thrives on growth and creation.
But growth requires change, and Managers and Technicians detest change.
You’ve heard it before: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
Are you content with your current results? If so, stop reading this and get back to work.
If not, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to wait for the stars to align? Are you going to let external circumstances dictate your results?
Or will you take charge and keep innovating until you figure out what works? What other option do you have?
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” -Winston Churchill
What Do You Have to Lose?
If your business is declining or simply maintaining, then what you’re doing isn’t working.
So what do you have to lose? Money? You’re losing money already — and you’re only going to lose more the longer you wait.
This doesn’t mean you blindly throw stuff up against the wall and hope something sticks; innovation need not be reckless.
It means you set your box aside and brainstorm long and free to think in ways you’ve never thought before. It means you dig deep and analyze market trends.
It means you execute, watch your data, then shift your strategies based on what the data tells you.
The Manager and Bean Counter in your head will warn, “Now, let’s not be hasty. Those new ideas don’t have a track record. We don’t know if they will actually work.”
Never let your skeptical Manager make strategic decisions when decline is imminent and change is required.
Put your Entrepreneur in charge.
You may get a few scrapes and bruises along the way, but he won’t quit. He’ll pull you out of the wreckage of temporary failure time and time again. And eventually, you’ll succeed. It’s inevitable.
“The Entrepreneur is the visionary in us. The dreamer. The energy behind every human activity. The imagination that sparks the fire of the future. The catalyst for change. The Entrepreneur lives in the future, never in the past, rarely in the present. He’s happiest when left free to construct images of ‘what-if’ and ‘if-when.’” -Michael Gerber
The “Box” is Your Enemy
I was once in brainstorming mode while consulting with a company.
I threw out idea after idea after idea, only to be immediately shot down on each of them by one of the owners.
She was in Manager mode, so she only saw all the reasons why we couldn’t do them.
Whether or not the ideas were feasible isn’t the main problem in this scenario. The problem is the endemic skepticism. The immediate discarding of any idea that’s even remotely outside the box.
My question for the owners was, “Okay, if not all the ideas I’ve presented, then what? How will you grow? What are you willing to do differently than anything else you’ve ever tried? Because everything you’ve tried in the past isn’t working.”
What will make or break your business during recessions is how you make decisions.
Is your Manager making your decisions, or is your Entrepreneur?
By definition, Managers don’t use the thinking processes that instigate rapid, fundamental, and drastic change.
Managers and Number Crunchers are highly creative when it comes to proving why ideas won’t work, yet astoundingly deficient when it comes to generating the ideas themselves.
This isn’t a criticism–it’s simply not their job to innovate. But when innovation is critical, you must learn to defer to your inner Entrepreneur.
“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” -Dr. Linus Pauling
Crush the Box
When the economy is great, you have the luxury of being comfortable. You no longer have that luxury.
If you’re not dedicating people, time, imagination, money, energy, and other resources to a growth strategy, either accept the reality that your results won’t change or start putting resources to innovation.
Managers and Technicians have their place, but to innovate and grow you need to put the Entrepreneur in charge.
“The Entrepreneur is our creative personality–always at its best dealing with the unknown, prodding the future, creating probabilities out of possibilities, engineering chaos into harmony.” -Michael Gerber
Buckle your Manager in the backseat. Put your Entrepreneur at the wheel. Slam on the gas pedal of innovation.
It’s going to be a wild ride.