Henry Lopez - Small Business Coach

Topic: Two Responsibilities with Henry Lopez

Episode Description:

Making Decisions and Accepting Personal Mistakes – two responsibilities small business owners must embrace, with Henry Lopez. Henry shares his thoughts and advice on two of the most important responsibilities small business owners and entrepreneurs must accept and embrace. As a successful small business owner, you will be the person responsible for making all of the big decision. Making mistakes comes with making lots of important decisions. It’s equally important to develop the confidence to learn from your mistakes and move forward, instead of being paralyzed by the fear of make the wrong choice.

Episode Transcript:

The list of responsibilities for a successful business owner is long. It’s definitely longer than just two. Small business owners face, and must embrace, a multitude of realities every day. This requires a set of personal characteristics and skills that separate those who succeed in business from the rest who merely talk about starting a business someday. But there are two responsibilities in particular which are worth special mention and attention: making decisions and accepting personal mistakes.

There are countless books, and a seemingly endless supply of opinions on this question: what does it take to be a successful business owner? I agree with just about all of the content I have read on this topic over the years. If I narrow my list, however, down to the most critical responsibilities successful business owners must embrace it would definitely include making decisions and accepting personal mistakes.

In my experience, making decisions and accepting mistakes are critical to successful business ownership and the two are tightly interrelated. If you accept responsibility and accountability for decision making, and understand that a business owner has to make lots of big decisions, then you must also accept that not all of your decisions will be correct.
You must, however, have the desire and courage to make those decisions. To become a successful small business owner you also must accept responsibility for your mistakes, try to learn from your mistakes and keep charging forward. Hopefully, over time, you end up making more good decisions than mistakes.

Embracing Decision Making
Do you enjoy being the one person people come to for all the big decision? Do you embrace being in charge? Do you welcome having to make the hard choices? Your answers to these questions can help you determine if you are prepared for the challenges and responsibilities of small business ownership. As the boss and owner, you will be responsible for making the ultimate decisions that determine the success of your company.

In the corporate world, there are often executives above us who have to make the tough decisions. Or perhaps the decisions are made as a group after gathering consensus. A board of directors may be responsible for the overall decisions that guide a large company, leading to success or ruin. In the world of small business ownership, conversely, the decisions must be made by the owner – that’s you! Perhaps you may have partners or mentors whom you rely upon to help you make the tough calls, but most often it’s the lone business owner who bears this ultimate responsibility.

To succeed as your own boss, I believe you have to want to be the person who makes the difficult decisions. It’s not that you won’t feel pressure and stress related to decision making, but instead it’s more about your confidence in your ability to do so. Furthermore, it’s probably one of the things you wanted and which drove you to become your own boss in the first place. The freedom to choose your own path…to run your company the way you see fit.

There will certainly be times when you tire of being the one who makes the difficult decisions, and you sometimes will avoid having to do so. Like having to fire someone on your team whom you have grown to like as a person but is simply not a fit for your business. Or determining where to spend money and where to cut back, as you navigate the growth of your business.

The fear of making mistakes and failing is often what makes us apprehensive about becoming the ultimate decision maker.

Accepting Mistakes
All successful entrepreneurs will tell you that making mistakes, and learning from them, is an essential part of the process. As Henry Ford explained succinctly, “One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.”

I believe you have to plan to succeed, but be prepared to fail. That may sound somewhat self-defeating, but I accept it as the reality of being an entrepreneur. I can live with the probability that some of my ideas and decisions will be wrong, but I am confident that my experience and knowledge will lead me to more good ones than bad. Most days, I have confidence in my decision-making abilities and I trust that my instincts will guide me in the right direction. On the bad days – the days when I fail – I try to learn from my mistakes and look forward to the next day when I can start anew.

Small business owners must accept that mistakes are part of the process. If you are making enough decisions, then odds are some of them will be blunders. Hopefully, no one blunder is so monumental that it kills your business! Nobody is capable of avoiding mistakes if they are truly taking risks and pushing beyond the status quo. If you try too hard to avoid mistakes, then you will likely over-analyze every move and become paralyzed. You can’t be afraid of making mistakes. You must accept this, and find the courage and develop the confidence that most of your decisions will be right.

Others will probably be quick to point out when you stumble. I suspect those people are probably not small business owners! It’s certainly much easier to make no decisions and remain on the sidelines; all the while critiquing those who do make decisions, of course. It’s much harder, and courageous, to apply your intellect, experiences and skills to make the bold decisions – which is in part what our businesses require from us.

This absolutely does not mean that we enjoy failure. I hate to fail! But when I do, I try to get past the grieving and self-pity phases as fast as possible and learn from it. I understand that I am not perfect, I don’t own a crystal ball that works consistently, and I have learned that with making lots of important decisions come some poor results.
The famous football coach Vince Lombardi summed it up nicely when he said, “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough.”

And when we do inevitably make a mistake, it’s critical that we accept responsibility for it. Don’t blame others or the circumstances of your situation. Accept the failure, learn from it, make any necessary changes to avoid repeating the same mistake, and move on to the next decision. The future of your business depends on it!

Embracing Decision Making & Accepting Mistakes – 2 Top Responsibilities of Business Ownership
Embracing and enjoying decision making, and accepting mistakes, is essential to a starting and building a profitable small business. When you make decisions – particularly the hard ones that help determine the future of your business – you are going to make some bad ones along the way. Sometimes, you make a lot of bad ones in a row! The successful entrepreneur understands that this is part of the process, and keeps moving forward. You must develop confidence in yourself, and believe that you are capable of overcoming mistakes and making choices that keep you on the path to success.

Do you need some help either with making the transition into business ownership, or if with getting your small business organized and ready for growth? We invite you to schedule a free business coaching consultation with Henry Lopez. Simply text BIZCOACH to 31996 or [Learn More].

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