Note: I don’t walk perfectly in the realm of today’s subject. But, I’m learning and doing the best I can. And I encourage you to do so as well, dear reader.
Guy Kawasaki was an Apple guy, back in the old days when they made and sold computers and not “I-toothbrushes”. He wrote several books about business, leadership, and his time at Apple. A feeling of his that I agree with is that “when you let the MBAs take over, your growth is done”.
Neither he nor I mean growth in terms of market share or money. The MBAs are all about that stuff. The fear/observation we share is that the creative and innovative side of things takes a hit when the MBAs push their way in to talk about market share and profits.
I’ve known a number or artists, writers, and other “creative types” who seem to share that opinion, or just find the business aspects of the work to be somewhere between tedious and hideously boring. The thing is, we need to look at that stuff. The challenge is, we need to do it in a way that doesn’t kill our creative and innovative loves.
The business side of things, the worky icky part where we talk about things like SEO, marketing, income, expenses, etc. isn’t something we want to do. But we have to do it (or get it done) so that we have the time, money, and resources to do the stuff we want to do, the fun, creative and innovative stuff (the actual making stuff part of the job).
Practically speaking, we have two choices: we can do it ourselves (not fun) or we can hire things done. That hiring it done side isn’t as easy as it sounds (but I support it!). Hiring out the business side of things costs time and money. We have to pay the folks who do it. We have to deal with the searches and contracts involved in hiring those people. And, we have to be educated enough on the business side of things to know what the #@$@#@$@!!!! the folks we hired are talking about and be able to make the decisions we need to in order to be in charge of our business.
That’s the other challenge. We can’t let the business side take over our decision making any more than we let it take over our creativity. We have to make decisions instead of letting other people do it or “letting the decisions make us”. The folks we hire might make day-to-day decisions, but if we’re really in charge, we should make the ones that “guide the ship”.
The payoff is we get more time to do the creative/innovative stuff. We still need to learn and watch over the business end, but we can pay someone else to do most of the grunt work while we’re doing the part only we can do.
If we want to, we can go the other way and be a “one person shop”. That may be cheaper monetarily. But, if we’re doing all the business stuff, it cuts into the time we could have used for the “real stuff” the stuff we actually want to do. Or, the business stuff doesn’t get done and we never see genuine success (or if we do, it crashes and burns with alarming speed).
There are things we have to do: the creative and innovative stuff; educating our selves about the business stuff; and making the key decisions. But, there are things we can hire out: the book keeping, marketing work, the appointment setting, and even some of the research and editing stuff. It’s worth our time to figure out which is which and how to deal with them.
One of the most important (and most difficult) things to do is decide what we can (and should) do on our own and when, where, and who to ask for help. It’s perhaps the most important skill for us to learn because it touches every aspect of what we do.
Learn this skill, dear reader. Use it regularly and well. And, I’ll see you next post.
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