Small Business Leadership: 3 Ugly Myths Hidden In Your Business

By Alzay Calhoun

Edited Video Transcript:

You’ve done all the heavy lifting to create a profitable business. Why do things still seem so hard? We’re talking about that right now. Stay tuned.

Hey, it’s Alzay Calhoun with Coveted Consultant. This video series is focused on the opportunities that you have as a leader to create a best in class business. The rub is you can’t create a best in class business for you or for those you serve if you are firefighting low level tasks everyday. This series is focused on how you can transition from chief firefighter into chief executive.

Eliminate the myths for good

Download this short, 1-page guide to cut through the confusion and lead a more profitable business.

Download the Guide

Let’s get right into it. How is it that you’re able to build a profitable business? Things seem to be going well on the outside but on the inside you know that it’s an absolute mess, pandemonium, overwhelm, inundation. What’s happened? To introduce this whole series, I want to start with these ideas. There are some myths that come pre-installed in some of our businesses, and those myths end up revealing themselves as some very uncomfortable ways. Let’s highlight those so we know what we’re dealing with and what we’re solving for throughout the remainder of this series.

Myth #1: Academic Prowess = Leadership Prowess

The first major myth is that we believe that academic prowess equals leadership prowess. That just because you’ve got a high school degree, college degree, master’s degree, PhD … You’ve been certified, bonafide, trained. You’ve been stamped of approvaled. You’ve gone through all that gauntlet of academic study. The assumption is that once you’ve been trained up to your teeth, that your business will then thrive and grow because you know and you’ve been prepared so much. The ugly truth is that’s just not true. It’s a myth. Where school teaches you how to study and repeat, leadership requires you to understand and apply. That becomes the core difference of why what you’ve learned doesn’t just immediately transport itself over to how you execute.

Does that mean that all of your education is bad? No, absolutely not. Have you been prepared in some way? Totally. Are you prepared for business? Totally. It’s true that there are some things that you’re dealing with right now that you did not know were coming and that’s what we’re talking about. There are some things that school just can’t quite prepare you for. The truth is that as a leader you’ve got a much different job description and you have to embrace this brand new job description that only business can show you. Why is it frustrating? You’ve built your business on a myth. You thought that the training was going to be all inclusive and it’s simply wasn’t.

Myth #2: Making More Money Will Solve the Problem

Here’s myth number two is this ugly assumption that more money will solve the problem, so if you just get more customers, if you just get more clients, if you just grow. This focus on growth will solve these business problems. Again, not true. What do we know? We know that when you get more money, that means you’re now serving more clients. If you’re serving more clients, that means you’ve got more moving parts. If you have more moving parts, that means that you are dealing with more details. More money means more problems.

Your job as the leader isn’t just to grow it with reckless abandon. You’ve got to give your business a sense of scope, a sense of environment, a sense of context, a sense of leadership so that everyone knows what’s happening next and what growth goal we’re growing towards. A lack of clarity on that means that the business grows in any direction it thinks appropriate and there’s your frustration, right? How did you get here? Unfortunately, your business was built on this myth. That growth solves all problems.

Myth #3: Victory Goes to the Hardest Worker

Myth number three is that victory goes to the business that works the hardest. Now, is hard work important? Absolutely. Is hard work mandatory? Absolutely. Your job as a leader is to help the business work smart. Your job is to help the business figure out which customer segments are the most profitable, to figure out how to break up tasks, to figure out what bets are best for the long haul. Those are your big questions. Your job is to help the company think in a smart way through those kinds of challenges. However, if your personal mantra is I work hard to solve all problems, then your company takes on the exact same mantra. We work hard to solve all problems. Eventually, exhaustion sets in and you lose all of your efficiency. If you’re sitting at your desk and you’re banging your head against the desk trying to figure out how did we end up with so many of these issues? Why am I in the center and firefighting all these issues? Somewhere along the way you decided to work hard instead of working smart.

Look, you and I both know that there are plenty of myths that exist around business and plenty of myths around a leader’s job to grow a healthy business. The first step is just admitting where you are. Let’s use the comment box for that. Just type in the myth that is a stumbling block for you and we’ll use it as a place to begin some conversation.

Now, if you’re already on the blog, you can scroll down a bit, and you can get access to a resource guide that I’ve created that I believe gives the best contents for the kinds of decisions that you’re going to have to make as a business leader going forward. I am excited about this video series and the kinds of conversations it’s going to create for us. I look forward to seeing you all the way through this series. Now, just scroll down to the bottom. Type in that myth. Download your resource and I look forward to seeing you in the next video.

Eliminate the myths for good

Download this short, 1-page guide to cut through the confusion and lead a more profitable business.

Download the Guide
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