Author Archives: Lucas Gonzalez

TRUSTED ADVISORS ARE CRUCIAL TO ACHIEVING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL

5 WAYS PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS IMPACT ENTREPRENEURIAL OUTCOMES

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My uncle is a successful construction industry entrepreneur who today owns 5 businesses. Nothing in his early life suggested that he would accomplish so much. He came from a challenging childhood environment; his family was not wealthy; he did not grow up in a family business; and he did not complete high school.

What he did have was a will to work. He applied himself diligently over many years and learned how the construction industry operates. In his early 40’s, with no formal education and little support, he started his own business. Following 10 years of success, the Great Recession hit him hard. But he rode out the storm, and even managed to grow his business during this trying time.

I witnessed all of this first-hand, because I worked for my uncle. I saw his struggles and fears, and was impressed by his strength and tenacity. I watched him grow and change as his business grew and changed. Perhaps most impressively, I saw him take his business and his life to the next level time and again by making some very hard choices. And one of the very hardest of those choices was for him to fully and enthusiastically delegate responsibility for key parts of his business to other people, especially experts in financial management and strategy.

I tell you this story because I believe that most entrepreneurs will never achieve their full potential unless they find the right advisors to trust and work with. This can be difficult, however, because entrepreneurs are used to relying on themselves and being in full control — the very sensibilities that led them to early success can later stand in the way.

Regardless of how counter-intuitive it might at first seem, learning to rely on others is absolutely critical to achieving your full potential. Since learning to trust others to do what they do best is key to you becoming your best, you may just have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Here are the top 5 ways I see trusted advisors adding meaningful value to the entrepreneurs they serve.

 

5 Ways Trusted Advisors Positively Impact Outcomes

When you first start a business, there usually aren’t a lot of people around to help. It’s all bootstrapping, and often there is no access to bank loans or other capital. As a result, you learn self-reliance and how to take independent action. This entrepreneurial mindset helps you get started. But later, it can get in the way of your successfully moving forward, especially as your business grows.

To take your company to the next level and to fulfill your potential as an entrepreneur, you need advisors who you can trust and who are experts in their field.  After working with dozens of entrepreneurs over the last several years, I’ve come to recognize that by working with the right advisors, you get to:

  • Focus on what you do best.
  • Delegate fully to enable others to do what they do better than you.
  • Reduce risks from complex financial decisions and management burdens.
  • Keep your energy strong to produce the best results.
  • Spend time on new business growth areas and personal fulfillment.

Let’s go through these one by one.


Key Take-Away

As counter-intuitive as it might seem, learning to rely on others is absolutely critical to achieving your full potential.


 

Focus On What You Do Best

If you are like most entrepreneurs, your business probably arose from a deep burning passion within you. Perhaps you wanted to be captain of your own destiny, or make a great living to provide for your family, or just do something as well as — or better than — anyone else has ever done it. You no doubt took a lot of risks and worked crazy hours. Your business is probably your baby.

You become a successful entrepreneur by focusing on what you do best. But at some point, the complexity that emerges in your business life and personal finances can overwhelm your ability to focus. Not only might it become difficult to get everything done that needs doing, but it may become particularly difficult to get to the special things that only you can do, the ones that spring from your particular passions, insights, and desires.

This is the number one reason you need trusted advisors, particularly in the management area, to keep growing. If you are not allowed to focus on what you do best — the things that only you can do — your greatest potential impact will be diminished.

You simply must find ways to set aside and protect the time and space necessary for you to do the “deep work” that only you can do. Failing to do this will not only hold you back — both personally and as an entrepreneur — but it will also hold back the growth potential of your business and everyone who works for you. With enough time and space to keep your passion and genius alive, your business will grow and you will create new opportunities for those around you.

 

Delegate Fully To Enable Others To Do What They Do Better Than You

Just as you do certain things extremely well, there are (or should be) other people in your world who do many other things very well.  Truth be told, they should be better than you at those particular things.

In my experience, then, there are many things that a skilled and trustworthy business and financial management advisor can do more effectively than most entrepreneurs, including:

  • Keep you out of financial trouble by making sure your books are accurate and up to date.
  • Maximize your profitability by closely analyzing operating expenses and putting the right controls in place.
  • Properly structuring your debt and asset ratios to give you maximum flexibility as business conditions change.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of business expansion opportunities, both the rewards and the risks.
  • Project your cash-flow requirements and operating expenses against income with great accuracy.
  • Protect your business from financial loss — both intentional theft and accidental losses — through financial oversight and proper insurance.
  • Compare your operations and costs to best practices from other companies like yours.
  • Bring you great ideas for employee retention, business growth, maximizing valuation, and succession plans.

In The 17 Indisputable Laws Of Teamwork (2001), John Maxwell puts forth what he calls “The Law Of The Niche,” which holds that “all players have a place where they add the most value.”  This holds both for individuals working for you directly, and those who are — or who should be — part of your extended network. Delegating to others what they do best — regardless of how well you can do it yourself — guarantees the best results from specialists while enabling you to continue focusing on your own priorities.

 

Reduce Risks From Complex Financial Decisions And Management Burdens

There’s no doubt that business owners frequently have to make some very complex decisions, especially when it comes to managing money and operations. There are several ways this can become challenging:

  • You may not have the expertise or training needed to make the best decisions.
  • You might be too close to any problems to see them from multiple angles, think outside of the box, or objectively evaluate your options.
  • You get the best results when you work with someone who has solved the specific issue(s) you are facing multiple times for multiple businesses. There is no substitute for experience.

Put differently, a key risk that all entrepreneurs face is trying to do too much. Most entrepreneurs, especially in smaller businesses, tend to wear too many hats, and they rarely have the expertise, time, and energy necessary to do a good or effective — no less optimal — job on everything that falls under those different hats. Being pulled in too many directions inevitably increases financial and business risk across the board.

But with the right advisors offering the best counsel in crucial moments, you can move ahead with confidence.  My recommendation is simply this.  The bigger the decision and the greater the impact of the decision, the more you need professional advice from people with specialized expertise.

 

Keep Your Energy Strong To Produce The Best Results

There is an inverse relationship between energy and fear and between anxiety and focus.  Clear-minded entrepreneurs who are confident make great decisions and get a lot of work done. The more your energy is good, strong, focused and free, the better you will be as an entrepreneur. Bottom line: you need great energy to produce great results.

Fear, uncertainty, conflicts, and the day-to-day grind of being an entrepreneur can all relentlessly erode your energy. Even in the best of times, it’s hard enough to run a thriving and growing business. But to realize your full potential, you need a trusted relationship with one or more professionals who can take things off your plate – particularly things that worry you, especially in difficult times.

A financial-management professional will help you eliminate one of the biggest worries that holds you back – financial concerns.  This includes the fear that you may have missed something obvious and essential for your business to thrive.  A good professional partner will help you make the best possible decisions and avoid regrets.  This keeps your energy and focus strong.

 

Spend Time On New Business Growth Areas And Personal Fulfillment

Every business owner needs worry-free time away from the office. When you take enough time away to feel rejuvenated and relaxed, two things happen.

First, you can move from just working “in” your business to working “on” your business.  A great vacation clears your mind.  It allows you to ruminate on all of the little things you’ve been thinking about but didn’t have time to ponder.   These moments away give you clarity about what really matters to you and what you want to accomplish.  When you get back to the office, this clarity can be placed into strategic business plans.

Second, enough distance enables you to think about you and your family — your long-term dreams and goals — and how those fit in to the bigger picture that includes but transcends your business. No matter how fulfilling you find your business endeavors, it’s good to put them into perspective.  It’s good to assess what you are doing and how you are doing it in relation to what ultimately matters the most to you and your family.

 

Next Steps

My uncle discovered that the right relationships with the right trusted advisors allowed him to achieve his full potential as an entrepreneur.  These relationships allow you to:

  • Focus on what you do best.
  • Delegate fully to enable others to do what they do better than you.
  • Reduce risks from complex financial decisions and management burdens.
  • Keep your energy strong to produce the best results.
  • Spend time on new business growth areas and personal fulfillment.

If you don’t have the right trusted advisors today to help you accomplish these goals, we should talk.

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POSTED BY

Lucas Gonzalez – CPA
Lucas specializes in business and tax consulting for small to medium sized businesses and individuals. He is a trusted advisor to his clients, addressing a wide array of concerns that impact the net worth of entrepreneurs.
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