You can get advice anywhere, but all advice is NOT the same.
Buzz invented a barrier to address flooding when he was digging below the water table for real estate sites in Florida. The effect was a fast solution allowing him to complete projects where other construction companies could not operate.
His “advisors” declared this was perfect for emergency solutions, suggesting entities like FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) would be big customers. Buzz thought that made sense and he spent 6 months trying to get into government agency offices to sell his product, without success.
Why do so many Business Owners accept business advice from their lawyers or accountants?
Nothing wrong with lawyers or CPAs, but you need to understand what kind of advice you will get.
• A lawyer is focused on avoiding risk
• A CPA is focused on documenting the past
How relevant is THAT for a business builder, responsible for profiting from the FUTURE?
The same is true of seeking out advice from a venture capitalist or angel investors.
Nothing wrong with learning about the investor finance world, but only you have spent your entire career to become an expert in your business and they are just learning it.
It DOES make sense to learn from each of your “advisors” about their area of expertise.
Just don’t confuse that with advice relevant for how to build your unique business.
The best source of feedback for a Business Owner seeking to build a unique business is a Mirror; people who help you focus your OWN thinking. A Mirror makes you self sufficient, because only you will come up with the right answer for your unique business.
Who might be a Mirror? Someone who is
• An excellent listener
• Has no preconceived constraints (financial, time, talent, etc)
A Mirror takes information you provide, and reflects it back in a way that lets YOU see your own answers clearly.
Mirror candidates include:
• an “ideal” customer; a decision-maker who has the problems you are focused on solving, and is willing to pay for them
• a business owner in your eco-system whose business will benefit from your company’s success
• a fellow FUTURE-FOCUSED visionary: another business builder out to change the future. (Caveat: NOT all Business Owners qualify; avoid those in maintenance mode.)
Acting as a Mirror for Buzz, I asked what was unique about his product. Our conversation revealed that his proprietary barriers prevent potential problems from becoming emergencies. Construction contractors moving large amounts of earth need to address mud slides, flooding, pollution, blast protection and more. Buzz has a single barrier process which addresses ALL of these unpredictable situations.
Reflecting back to Buzz what he told me, Buzz got clear that his ideal customer was a contractor confronted with a vast number of unknowns demanding fast solutions to avoid emergencies.
Buzz immediately identified contractors in the Railroad, Oil and Gas pipeline, and Highway construction industries who would make repeat and consistent purchases. Offering a single solution which is ready to address a wide range of potential problems, in order to prevent them from becoming emergencies, was a compelling economic offering to these contractors. Now that’s an easy sale!
Buzz had the answers the whole time.
As a Mirror, a fellow business visionary who speaks entrepreneur-eze, I offered an objective reflection of his genius, so Buzz could prioritize his knowledge and clarify his actions.
Use a Mirror to reveal for yourself:
• what business are you really in
• Who is your ideal customer
• What is your business model
Buzz is on track to build a much safer, more predictable, and bigger company: he’s in the business of AVERTING emergencies. That is in sharp contrast to the re-active “emergency response” business his “advisors” suggested.
Buzz is building on what he does best- leveraging his own unique view of the world, which is different from what others can see. Now he is getting paid for his unique solution.
Get advice when you need it. Just be sure you get it from the right place.
Create a Mirror any time you need one.
Stefania Aulicino, president of CapitalLinkUSA ensures business owns get cash to keep control of a bigger, more profitable company, faster, safer than they ever thought possible- in any economy. Become a magnet for non equity and equity sources to fuel your growth.
Stefania’s Blog offers unconventional ideas and insights to convert your growth potential into profitable reality — with resources that keep YOU in control of your company: