Starting Your Business: Avoiding the “Embedded Self” Syndrome

Many people who want to start a business have similar reasons for their ambitions. They typically seek autonomy from an employer, freedom, or control over their own destiny, which also means that they can determine their own income, work hours, job duties, and career path. However, when starting a business, it becomes immediately apparent why many entrepreneurs describe their role as “head cook and bottle washer.” This is another way of saying, in the absence of someone else to tackle all the major and minor tasks that need to be done to run the business, it is the entrepreneur who must do everything himself.

Sweeping floors, taking out trash, cleaning counters, answering phones, taking care of customers, packing, shipping, billing, receiving repairs, handling accounting, marketing – performing these tasks, as well as anything else that needs to be done, is all in one working day for the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur becomes an idiot of all trades and also falls into a trap. This scenario bodes well for a prediction: the business will never grow. This is because in the beginning, when the entrepreneur’s imagination should have been running wild with the possibilities of the “blue sky” popping up in his head, there was only one general compulsion, which was to rush and print the title “President” on the new cards. presentation of the businessman. The entrepreneur already suffered from the “Incorporated Self” syndrome.

The job description above also explains why some displaced corporate executives starting businesses are unprepared for their new roles as business owners. Now they have to do everything; but, they were trained as specialists who operated in silos. They never had to clean the toilet or polish the brass handrails at “Behemoth Worldwide.” Their jobs there did not prepare them to survive on the “petty streets of Entrepreneur Town.” They cannot deal with the ambiguity and uncertainty that surrounds entrepreneurs, who must create their own destiny and fly without a manual. His job was to keep his mouth shut, snap in, and say, “Yeah, boss, that’s a great idea. [which you stole from me, you wheezing, blundering, conniving, drooling…idiot]. “

Lest you get into a spiel about large corporations and the drone behavior they seem to thrive on (not to mention ethical violations and other shenanigans), let me stop here and return to the main topic of this article. . Suffice it to say that you want to start your own business and you have your own reasons.

Since I have explained the outcome of the “Incorporated Self” syndrome, it would be appropriate for me to discuss cause and effect, so that grief can be avoided. Let’s start with how you should think about your business in the beginning. Now wait with me folks, I’m going to be talking about imagination, crayons, scissors, and pasta, and being considered a bit over the edge for a few moments.

Before starting a business, there are no restrictions on what thoughts you are entitled to have. When you’re in the planning stages, this is not the time to silence anything that comes to mind. There will be plenty of time for you to deal with the impediments after starting the business. Feel free to doodle, draw, color, paint, cut out shapes, and assemble whatever you want. Draw other people a clear picture like a bell and show them what you are made of. It is your vision. Make it big and daring, and add a dash of pure crazy colored sugar sprinkles. Many extraordinarily successful inventions were created by people who proved to be geniuses rather than lunatics, only that was after they were successful.

As an example, suppose you imagine, instead of a sandwich shop, you start a chain of sandwich shops across the city. These shops could benefit from scale efficiencies. Did you know that anything you’ve printed – like napkins, menus, mugs, and sandwich wrappers in this case – is cheaper in larger quantities? If you printed 1000 of something, for a few dollars more, you probably could have printed 2500. Most things are “cheaper by the dozen.”

A few other examples of efficiencies are worth mentioning here, to get your imagination fully involved. I once served a group of franchised business owners who wanted to collaborate and buy advertising, acting together, rather than separately. First, I helped them draft a cooperation agreement. You should know that even though each provided the same services, customers would realistically do business with the franchise owner whose store was closest to them. In other words, customers who were centrally located did business with the downtown store; customers who were located on the east side of town did business with that store, and so on. Technically, these stores were competing with each other, but not really.

Store owners bought a large ad in the yellow phone book and divided it up to have enough space to promote not only their individual locations, but also their brand and the features and benefits associated with their services. Any single location could not have allowed to convey all of that; acting as a group of stores, they could.

Most of all advertising is local advertising. Family businesses advertise to consumers in their respective market areas. Your only sandwich shop, acting on its own, definitely can’t afford television advertising. However, with five or ten stores in a city, a chain of sandwich shops can probably do it. Television could be a great medium for displaying the satisfied faces of customers consuming your delicious culinary creations, if only your vision had required it. Shopping for supplies, advertising, food, and whatever else can probably be accomplished more efficiently when you’re acting on behalf of multiple stores.

Let’s also talk about the staff. Instead of rushing to become president, you should think about becoming CEO. In that role, your job is to be the visionary and the team builder. “What are the qualifications for becoming a successful store manager?” is the question you should ask yourself. In case you didn’t follow my reasoning, you need ten such store managers in our hypothetical scenario. You are the CEO, remember? Their role is to recruit and motivate, compensate, and grow the overall business. His main responsibilities are planning, consulting with other team leaders, taking the pulse of the markets in which he operates, understanding the economy, and meeting unmet customer needs. As an entrepreneur, by definition, meeting unmet needs is what you have to do in business.

“Where do I get the money from?” You can ask. Have you ever thought about the fact that you can “sell” the notion of a higher ROI more effectively when you’re handling a stronger, more imaginative plan? Many small businesses, affected by the “embedded self” syndrome, will do nothing but fight and exhaust their owners, who are doing too much, for too long, for too little. Eventually, both businesses and owners will plunge under the waters of insolvency and sink to the bottom of the corporate sea, or be eaten alive by larger, better-adapted predators.

It’s so easy to say, “All I need is nine hundred and seventy-three thousand dollars to fund the opening of ten highly competitive, efficiently run, heavily promoted, and professionally run sandwich shops” as is, “Mom, Dad, I was hoping. to lend me two thousand dollars for the first and last month’s rent at a ‘sandwish’ store. ” No, it is not a typo. I meant to say “sandwish” shop, because that’s what it is. It is an uncertain proposition by an aspiring entrepreneur without imagination, who has already demonstrated a lack of foresight or ability to think beyond himself. It’s one thing to start a business startup, but it’s another to proceed without any of your creative juices flowing. If you think “me, me, me” all the time, then you will not think about sharing the work, sharing the profits or forming a team.

No, you will do it all yourself. No, thanks to all the other people who have let you down. There is no one who can make a “sandwish” better than you. They also can’t run the cash register, accept a delivery, or do anything else as well as you can. “Oh baby, baby, you are the best!”

To avoid the “embedded self” syndrome, you must create strategic and tactical plans that represent your solutions for recruiting, hiring, training, developing, compensating, and retaining staff. You need to have external resources aligned to accomplish what is not done internally. You need a detailed marketing plan that includes the product, pricing, advertising, facilities, delivery, and customer satisfaction processes that you will use. Similarly, you need a financial plan, an operations plan, a technology plan, and contingency plans to manage business disruptions and risks. Whatever you were planning to write, just add zeros, because that’s what it costs to start a real business and run it properly, so everyone gets their money back, along with a profit.

You probably won’t have time to do all of this planning after feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities of handling all aspects of running your business on your own. By then it will be too late, because you will already be stuck in a quagmire.

Before taking the entrepreneurial step, decide what type of business you want to create. If you ask for something bigger and justify it, you may have a chance to make it happen. What is the alternative? You will be in charge of your own little fiefdom, never knowing how things could have turned out, if only you had thought a little more, a little harder, a little bigger, and a little less how you could do every little thing. all on his own, either planning to keep all the profits or avoiding reality thinking he could fly forever.

Ditch that “sandwich craving” and think beyond what you can do yourself, and focus on what you can imagine. The transcontinental railroad running through the United States was built one rail link at a time, but the plan was always to connect the east coast to the west coast (and a large part of this vision was to connect the east coast with the goods shipped). by traders from places like China and India). If you can imagine, articulate, sell, and implement a business concept that involves serving, employing, partnering, leading, and elevating others, you are probably cured.

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