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Small Business Mistakes…”Liking” but not “Doing”

Rick Barber

Are you guilty of “liking” but not “doing”?  Most business owners will most likely answer, “absolutely NOT”.  After all, it takes a great deal of work to start and operate a small business.  Laziness isn’t in most small business owner’s DNA.  They can’t afford for it to be…right?  Unfortunately, this is only partially true.  My experience has shown that business owners are lazy in several areas of their business.  Not to say they don’t work hard every day, because they do.  Not to say that they don’t work long hours, because they do. They just work hard and long hours “doing” wrong things and only “liking” the right things.  Let me give you an analogy that I think you can relate to…Facebook.

On Facebook, you also see this behavior of “liking” but not “doing”.  It may involve politics, charity, training…whatever.  But for this example we will use a charity.  So, your browsing your news feed on Facebook and you run across a picture that captures your attention.  It is a heartbreaking image of a homeless and starving child that a friend or family member has posted.  The post reads something to the effect of, “Donating just $17 provides this child food, medication and clothing for a month.”  Additionally, your friend or family member has shared the post with additional commentary that they have worked with the organization personally, knows how strong the need is and requests people join her to support the cause.  What would you do?  What do most people do?  Well, let’s assess the post:

  • The cause is worthy…”Like it!”
  • The endorsement comes from someone you know and trust…”Like it!”
  • You have the means and ability to participate…”Like it!”.
  • You are incredibly moved by your friend or family members commitment…”Share it!” and recommend others participate.
  • Click through to take action and support the cause…”Uh…well…I would but…”

Answer: Most will “like” the post, possibly “share” and endorse the post, but most likely not “do” what the post or person posting calls for.  Not because they don’t value or believe in the cause or need…but they would prefer to “like” than “do”.  Unfortunately, this is the reality of our culture today.  Facebook has an estimated 1.23 Billion users from which to measure such behavior and their statistics show a huge (and consistent) gap between the percentage of “likes” and “actions”.  Majority of people are simply more willing to express their opinion about thing they see and would prefer other people do, or don’t feel it is important enough to do themselves.  Again, the statistics apply to all themes of posts, not just charitable causes.

For business owners this could example could easily be switched out with any number of important business topics.  Most business owners will tell you they like being protected and understand the importance of reducing risk in a business.  They have friends that have made recommendations.  But they don’t elect adequate insurance coverage.  They don’t document company policy, nor do they manage cash flow.

Most business owners will say they like learning about business and agree on the importance of continued education and business development knowledge.  However, these same owners won’t read a business book, seek advice or invest in training workshops.  But surely there is good reason for this?  There has to be some factors not being considered that would prevent owners from doing such important items.  If you are thinking lack of time and/or money…your right.

Small business owners will say they like all those things and know they are important but simply don’t have the time or money to do them.  Are you one of these owners?  Can you appreciate their position?  I know I certainly can.  But let’s be honest.  We all have choices in our schedules and the ability to prioritize what is truly important to us.  We choose where to spend out time and money each and every day.  In fact, where people spend their time and money is the only true way to know what is important to them.  Think about it, the most precious resources available to us today is our time and our money.  Often times, one is a trade off for the other.

The success of any small business is usually measured in the physical and financial freedom it allows the owner.  If a business owner has no time or money to do the things they like and are important, it would make sense to me to evaluate where they are already spending their time and money and make a change.  The most successful business owners have learned not to waste time on things that don’t lead to more time and money and start focusing on the things that do.  These owners “like AND they “do” what they like because it is rewarding to them.  After all, if you not doing what you like, then you are most likely doing things you don’t like.

Give a Kid a Chance

Give a Kid a Chance

“Liking” but not “Doing” is a major small business mistake being made today.  It causes increased stress, additional work, wasted time, exposure to risk and an unrewarding business.  Business owners get locked in a world of working really long and hard, for very little return.  If this applies to you, I encourage you to assess your life and business.  Identify where you spend your money and time, then be willing to respond to what you are “doing” vs what you say you are “liking”.

Lastly, this mistake, as big as it can be for a business, is still not one of the Top 12 Business Mistakes made.  Consider making the short 1/2 day & charitable investment to learn what the top mistakes businesses make are.  Plus, it is supporting a great local cause which you also can support by attending, or directly by clicking on this image to the right.  I have worked with this charity for several years and they help fill an enormous need in our community.  So I encourage you to participate…or, you could just “like” it.  😉

 

 

 

Top 12 Business Mistakes Workshop Sponsors: Honza CPAMassengill Schanfish PC

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