There is a seemingly endless supply of advice to entrepreneurs on what and how to improve your enterprise. Some of it is insightful and very helpful and some of it, even with the best intentions, is a waste of time and money. It is a tragedy when well-meaning advisors and open-minded business owners head down a path that leads nowhere. So how do we avoid this waste of resources?
Lessons learned from hippos making ripples on the Zambezi
Oddly enough, the best ideas I have heard on this subject came from hippos making ripples in the Zambezi river. No, this is not some new age cult, Ripples from the Zambezi is Ernesto Sirolli’s book about passion, entrepreneurship and the rebirth of local economies.
This is an eye-opening, informative and very entertaining read. I strongly recommend you read this book.
Two key take-aways from the book are:
- If someone doesn’t want your help, don’t force it on them
- Passion is the irreplaceable ingredient to success
Sirolli eloquently explains how easy it is for us to clumsily push advice when it is not desired. We then try to motivate where there is no passion for the project. Failure being the inevitable result.
So, how do we get to what a business owner really needs and wants? Sirolli advises that we simply “shut up and listen”. For the full story check out this TED video. The message is simply let the business owner tell their story. Listen for where they really want help. Help them identify where they can get the help they need.
There is a subtle but significant difference between asking “how can I help you” and “where do you want help”. One is focused on my services and the other is about your needs.
I may not be what you need but tell me your story and let’s find you the advice that you really want.
I am a partner with B2B CFO®. I love my job because I get to work with business owners and help them remove barriers to their success. I do this utilizing my tools, skills and experience complemented by my access to the collective expertise of my 240+ partners around the country and collaborating with my network of the best trusted advisors in the Sacramento market.
My target clients are the owners of $5 to $50 million dollar companies who are passionate about their business and are driven to significant growth but that need help with a broad spectrum of accounting and financial matters. My ideal client is contemplating or is in transition and needs, wants and will pay for leadership in developing and implementing their strategic plan.
I rent gray hair. Building a competent accounting department, mentoring controllers and CFO’s, implementing systems, dealing with banking and funding issues, preparing for an equity event, I handle these issues so that the owner can focus their energy and passion on growing the value of their business with confidence.
Jim Bateman, Partner
Certified Business Transition Expert™
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NOTICE: B2B CFO Partners, LLC, dba B2B CFO® is an Arizona limited liability company that provides advisory and consulting services. B2B CFO® partners are independent contractors and are not officers, employees or agents of, or partners or joint venturers with, the companies they serve, nor are they Independent CPAs.