Mental Models To Start, Run & Grow Any Business
Challenge 4 of 5: “I’d like to start a business, but I don’t know how. Or I already have a business, but it’s not going well. What do I do?”
I’ve been in the trenches, you know.
I don’t only write books 🙂
I’ve been in the middle of the action, too.
Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
I’ve started and run several businesses, including:
- an export business (when I was 17 yrs old, exporting African crafts from Kenya, started with small boxes, grew to 20ft container load)
- internet marketing software (when I was about 23 yrs old, gave me my first taste of freedom to travel, digital nomad style)
- real estate agency (got to sales volume of $4 mill in second year of business, from scratch, in tiny Mombasa, Kenya, shocking many people’s expectations)
At times, I’ve done it the “el stupido” way, and I’ve done it the smart way.
I’ve been down and beaten and in panic and anxiety and broke-ness…
… and I’ve been blessed to work ‘on my laptop on the beach around the world’, literally.
Some sins have to be owned first, before they can be disowned, right?
Some of my businesses failed spectacularly, and some did very well.
But that’s not the point.
The point is, what is the smart way?
Well, first let’s look at the not-smart way.
The not-smart way is whereby you start off with passion and a dream of freedom and making cool stuff happen…
But in the end, you create a monster that owns you, that steals your time, your freedom, your relationships, overwhelms you - and sometimes even looses your original capital.
That’s the stupid way.
It’s stupid because you can achieve your goals - and even better - while keeping your time, freedom, relations, and sanity.
So why do we so often do it the stupid way?
OK, seriously, why do we so often do it the stupid way?
There is absolutely no good reason.
You see, our socialisation, our subconscious programming and conditioning, makes us do it that way (see trap #2).
Our sense of safety, control, survival… all come into play.
Our egomania, too. Addiction to drama.
We hear that “hustling” is the way to grow business.
We worship the “bursting your ass” culture.
We identify with stress as a status symbol.
And we think we gotta make it “all on me”.
We bring our drama to the business, and use the business to give us purpose and identity through our drama.
Conditioning makes us do it “el stupido”.
You can’t build a scalable, sustainable, stress-free, liberating business that way, based on “hustling it”.
Yes, you can be a millionaire that way, but you will still be trapped and stressed to the max, if you become a millionaire by “hustling it”.
You gotta stop having to personally exchange your time for money.
That’s the point.
You gotta stop living as if there is an invisible gun against your head, compelling you to “get out there and push, or else starve and break everything".
In other words, this is about how to stop relying on 'hustling' to grow your business.
It is about putting together a system, and automation, that creates leverage, growth and freedom (and by the way, this ties in with trap #1).
And therein lies the secret.
You see, most people think business is about hustling.
And sure, yes, hustling can generate money, lots of it.
But that's not the point here.
Its not just about money.
Its about being able to have a business that can function without you - perhaps even better without you.
And to do that, it pays to think of business as a set of parts, building blocks that come together to create a system.
Like a car or a human body is a system of distinct, repeatable parts that come together.
Its a paradigm shift in how you think about business and work.
OK, to better understand this, watch this free video.
BTW, the reason why franchises work so well is that they employ these very same principles.
Yet, these principles can apply even in a business where there is only the founder, and zero employees - size doesn't matter.
To better understand this, watch this free video.