THE INVISIBLE ENTREPRENEUR
INTRODUCTION TO ALL CHAPTERS
Making a Commitment
No-one else can create your future but you
In this chapter you meet Louise, Bob and Sophie. Louise Woodbury, the author of The Invisible Entrepreneur, guides Bob & Sophie into freeing themselves from being slaves to their business to becoming invisible entrepreneurs despite the constraints of the economic downturn. But Bob sees other businesses going bankrupt and dissolving in the quagmire of the Global Financial Crisis and thinks that the last thing he wants to do is take 3 months away from his own business. How could it possibly survive without him there?
And yet, they go through the process of setting up the business to run without them and they pass the acid test to find that the business can not only run without them, but it has thrived. Bob finds taking three months off not only saved his business, most importantly, it saved his marriage.
Here you take a warts and all look in the mirror and face the obstacles that are preventing your ascent to the ranks of Invisible Entrepreneur ‒ they are not as obvious as you may think. The mirror also reflects that the core to these issues is found mainly in the entrepreneur's mindset ‒ not any external circumstances, the staff, or cash flow.
Energy, Enthusiasm and an Empty In-tray
Achieving what you set out to achieve
Here you meet Bob and Sophie again. They've done the hard yards and have come back from their 3 months off ‒ now you get to take an insider's look at how they were able to restructure the business to make it happen.
Discover how to cope with coming back to a business and having nothing to do. Recognise & understand the qualities within you that will allow you to climb your own Everest even amid the most dire of circumstances. Realise that there are skilled and attuned mentors and guides within Quantum Dynamics that will help you every step of the way. Find out how to recognise the difference between having a good plan that will turn your business around and plan that just looks good on paper. What are your blind spots? How do you tackle your fears?
The Take 3 Months Litmus Test
Every person has what it takes to conquer their own Mount Everest
Acid or alkaline? What does your business really look like? In this chapter you will discover the real face of your business, your team and your relationships. It's a test to expose the weaknesses within and the gaps that need attention. There's a comprehensive quick answer test that will reveal things to you about your business that you may never have seen before.
Discover the truth about YOU ‒ the Business Owner; Team; Finance; Marketing; Attracting New Client Relationships; New Business Conversion; Lifetime Relationships and Systems and Processes.
What does your business blueprint reveal about you and your management style? How can you turn it around? How do you find the lost enthusiasm that once burned within you? What is your motivation? How can you challenge what is happening now and move it up a level?
Understanding the Entrepreneur
When you really know who you are ‒ you can work to your strengths
One day, just as most entrepreneurs, Bob finds himself trapped in the role of being the manager, the area in which he is least skilled. How does he cope ‒ how would you cope? Discover your strengths as the entrepreneur ‒ what you bring to the table is individual and strong. Do you know what your skills really are?
What kind of Entrepreneur are you in the real world? You will discover that you are acting in one or more of four distinct roles ‒ the technical entrepreneur, the manager entrepreneur, the ideas entrepreneur and the invisible entrepreneur. What's the difference between them? Is one better than another? Where is your best fit? How do you typically operate in your business?
Notice the benefits of being truly accountable.
The Magic of 'What if?'
In the name of experience we play safe, shutting down our spontaneity and the possibility of new solutions.
Here, you take a good honest look at the rut your thinking has been trapped in. You are also given the opportunity to take a fresh look at the way you operate your business. What's your team like? Would they do a double take if you mentioned taking 3 months off, or would they be happy the cat was going to be away? This is where you grasp your courage and dare to think differently.
What if you took 3 months off? What if you were able to turn things right around? What if...? Discover the freedom of allowing your mind to encompass new frontiers.
The Silverback Male Gorilla and the Great Unknown
What's the worst thing that can happen to you if you fail?
Is your business style ego based? Are you too busy beating your chest, guarding the herd and fighting off potential challengers to run your business effectively? Are you really indispensable? Maybe the secrets of facing the unknown that are revealed here will be the revelation you have been looking for.
The comfortable nest that you have built and maintained may not be the best fit for your new purposes. Discover how to emerge from your comfort zone victorious and invigorated. Find out how best to be prepared for the great unknown. Challenge yourself to win.
Moving from Time Management to Activity Management
Time is money. Some are good at making it and others, in squandering. Or, if you have an issue called 'I haven't got enough time', then having more time won't make a difference because the real issue is you and the answer is within you.
Have you been blinded by the illusion of managing time? Discover how to shift your thinking from time management to activity management. Discover how much more powerful and effective you become when you make this shift. So, how do you do this?
There is a way ‒ the 5 Step Plan to Activity Management is systematically outlined for your best use. Throw out your old and antiquated ways of time management thinking and progress to the 5 Step Plan that will empower you and bring you the extra time you have been pursuing. Say goodbye to being overwhelmed and overcome by minutia.
Discover the freedom of appropriate delegation and value adding to your business. What is your style of delegation? Are you effective or just running away from work? Read the truth about the best ways to allocate tasks. Are you an autocrat, director, arbitrator, facilitator, partner or supporter?
Getting it Right from Day One
The skill set you require to run your business is vastly different from the skill set you had when you started your business.
Becoming an Invisible Entrepreneur doesn't just happen. There is a lot of soul searching, direction finding and goal setting. How does your business rate against these 4 questions:
- Does your business make real profits?
- Can your business provide customers with what they really want?
- Is your team of people able to step up and take on the responsibilities of running a business?
- How able is your business to respond quickly and adapt to today's competitive and challenging environment?
Not impressed with your answers? What about your foundations ‒ how strong are they? Find out how to impart your vision into the solid operation of your business. Hold on to your vision and use its power as a rudder to steer your course.
This is not a time for wearing blinkers ‒ they have blinded you for long enough. Remove them. Energize your vision with practical responses. What about your financial projections? Are they pie in the sky? Discover the checklists that will help get you back on track.
Find out the 7 step process to becoming the Invisible Entrepreneur. It's all here waiting for your perusal.
Leading Your Team With Vision
Given the opportunity, the right people will take the challenge and run with it.
Are you aspiring and inspiring to your team? If your team is heading in the wrong direction or is not reflective of the new vision you have in mind for them and your business, then perhaps the visionary within you needs to take stock of some questions that can steer the business in its new direction.
This chapter challenges you to take a good honest look at your team. Discover the 3 key reasons why employees leave. Find out how to engage the team and empower them to become the best they can be.
Getting the Right Team in Place
What makes a great organisation is your people, followed by your people and then finally, it's your people.
How would you ever be able to walk away from your business for 3 months knowing the bickering and back-biting that would occur as soon as you turned your back? Some of these people have been with you for years, and yet there are some you know you wouldn't trust as far as you could throw them.
Are you willing to summon the courage to take a look, a real look at your people? What is the work ethic that applies in your business? Is it 'only do as much as you can do without getting into trouble'? Discover the nature of the 3 different types of employees that exist within your own ranks. Empower yourself and your business by learning the techniques involved in becoming and inspiring leader.
Are you able to identify how you relate to your team and they to you? What about accountability ‒ are you accountable? Are they? Explore the in-depth processes involved in getting the most out of your team, every time.
From Employee Mindset to Stakeholder Thinking
Become an above-the-line player.
Inspiring your team to move from an employee mindset to stakeholder mindset is quite possibly one of the biggest challenges you will face as a team inspiring leader. This area can be one of the most divisive in a business. Are you ready to discover how to move your people beyond limiting employee thinking? What you like at playing above the line or do you prefer to keep things simmering below the line?
Explore the 10 characteristics of stakeholder thinking and how to instil these qualities into your team. Discover the freedom this will bring to the operation of your business and to your peace of mind.
Recruitment with a Difference
Take the time to get it right.
If you're making a $60,000 purchase on new machinery or telecommunications systems, do you just go and buy whatever comes along at the time? Don't you have parameters in place that will govern your purchase? Do you buy whatever looks best, or what performs best, or what has the best marketing persona? If you're honest, you'll have a pretty good idea about what you want. You will know what it will have to do, where it will have to go and how well it will have to perform in the situations you have planned for it. You have already established a list of attributes you wish it to have and yet ‒ when it comes to hiring an employee that will cost you the same amount of investment or more, do you just hire whoever answers the ad and has the right things written down on paper?
Discover the secrets that top performing companies and businesses use when employing their people. Use the checklists they use and get the best results for your business.
The Power of 90 Day Plans
It's not practice that make perfect ‒ it's the best practice
Do you know how to make the most of the first 90 days with a new employee? Did you know that your disorganisation can set the standard for their performance from the start?
The first 90 days are critical. If there isn't a strong induction plan in place, new recruits will become independent and will default to creating their own tried and tested solutions to produce a successful outcome. And, whilst that method might have worked in their last company ‒ it's not likely to work for you.
The power of 90 day plan is how do you get a new recruit focused, and prevent them from charging off in a thousand different directions. This is the most important time you will have with them. Use it wisely.
Selecting a Manager
Night sweats, tremors, gasping for air ‒ entrepreneurs can hand over to a manager and live... it is possible!
The most important aspect of getting your business to operate without depending on you is finding a manager who is capable and exemplary. But what's the best way of going about finding this person? What are the best practices? Where do you find the checklists to make it possible? What are the scenarios, the parameters, the probabilities of success, the personalities that will be of best-fit?
Discover in-depth answers to all these questions in this revelatory chapter that shines a light in all the dark crevasses of manager acquisition. It lists the risk evaluation, the characteristics of a good manager, how to recruit for the best and warns of the pitfalls out there. Find out the 5 Key Insights to selecting the perfect manager for you. And see why accountability is paramount in preserving your business integrity and success.
Re-Invigorate with a New Management Team
Create your internal master mind group
Once you've been through the rigorous selection process from the previous chapter, and have emerged victorious with your new manager on your arm, it's time to introduce them to the rest of your team and convince them that this is the new person to listen to and take directions from. But how do you get them to listen? How do you get them to buy in to the new routines that will have to follow and how will you stop yourself from second guessing his/her decisions? It's not as simple as you may think.
In this detailed chapter each step of preparing your team is expertly outlined and presented. Once you've got the team on board how do you set about planning goals and directions ‒ what are the intricacies of the 'SMART' system and how will they apply to your business? See the Team Re-Invigoration checklist for yourself and apply it to your business. Does your team stack up?
Manager as a Coach
First you need to have fun, then go to plan B
If you're able to envisage your manager as the coach of a winning team, then you'll be a long way ahead in the winning stakes yourself. But it's up to you to keep one step ahead and value the difference between team members. Are you the 'unreasonable friend' that appears when things go wrong and end up 'hurting' your people emotionally? How do get greater clarity and direction for your team?
What are the 4 questions you need to ask every day to ensure your team is on track and fulfilling its purpose? Enlighten yourself and your team by discovering the outlined factors and features in this chapter.
Getting Your Financial House in Order
Cash has the same effect on your business as petrol has in your car
For how long have you hidden your head in the sand in order to take cover from the barrage of glaring limitations in your financial affairs? This chapter outlines the best ways to gain control of your finances and turn things around once and for all.
Has it all become too difficult? What exactly is the role of money in your business right now? What are the 2 major financial steps that you can take to turn things around instantly? What are the best things to focus on in your financial meetings? Cash flow is a term you can grow to love instead of always trying to find where it is hiding. Discover the 5 steps to effective cash flow projections. Find out how they can work for you. Realise there is a difference between cash flow projection and a cash statement. And most importantly discover how to read the warning bells for your business before
Do you know how to read your monthly statements and relate your future projections to them? Did you know how accounts receivable can impact on your success? How do you treat your business financially? Explore all of these paramount questions in this chapter and learn the approaches used by winners every time.
Financial Projections to Take 3 Months Off
You can only create your desired future when your actions are congruent with your goals
Regardless of you taking 3 months off or not, your finances must be organised in such a way as to be able to view your financial health at a glance. This chapter is paramount to all small business. The paper work should be so well set up that projections can be made in a few minutes. Can you do that with your business right now? If the figures don't mean anything to you they will just be pretty images on a piece of non-relevant paper. Check out the parameters that you need to apply to your business from this expository chapter.
Discover how to easily cope with financial emergencies as they arise and learn how to develop successful financial projections. This is where you become financially literate, get your accountant onside and make your financial figures meaningful to you.
Doubling and Even Trebling Your Sales
Without sales, your business is dead in the water
Do you have a 7 Step Marketing Plan specific to your business? Do you know what is involved in setting one up? Discover the one best fitted for you in this chapter. Read about the two types of customers who can make or break you and find out how to structure your entire sales process to increase your sales significantly.
Do incentives work? Find out more about them here. Do you really know what your sales people are doing? Use the checklist provided here to keep them on track and ever vigilant and aware of the final goals. Just as important is the checklist for what your sales people should NOT do. This 7 point list is vital for you be aware of.
Discover how to read the statistics and make them work for you. The enlightening 7 part assessment of your figures will assist you in putting all sales and targets into perspective. How is your team measuring your results? And what do your gross margins look like? Find out just how to get it all running the best way possible. It works for successful businesses. Now it's time to apply the methods and processes to your business.
Adding Value to Your Business
Every little increment of improvement counts
Adding value to your business is about engaging in a way of thinking that is designed to be always adding more to the perceived value of your business. One of the best ways to do this is by systems thinking. Discover what this is and how to apply it to your business. Apply the 5 Why questions to your business and see how it rates.
When you realise you don't have to re-invent the wheel on annual basis, it's possible to value add to your business in many creative and interesting ways. Find out what your value stream is and how to best apply it and when. Is there a flow to your value stream? See how to start it and apply it and explore the best ways of eliciting superior results from your team and your systems.
Creating Your Operations Manual
To have control of your business doesn't mean you have to run the business.
What does your Operations Manual look like? Do you even have one? Who wrote it? Is it still applicable and relevant? Does it reflect the business you want to have? Discover the best way of going about organising your Operations Manual. Apply the contents checklist to help you stay on the right track and then be guided to gather the correct information you need to include.
Read the enlightening Sales Team Questionnaire that can seriously shake up the way you put your Manual together. What is the proper function and purpose of flow charts and how do you use them best? You can get the links to a sample flow chart and diagrams in this chapter.
Do you know what timelines and deadlines are appropriate for your Manual and your business? The main tasks are assessed in timeline terms in these pages.
Exploring the Risks
Risk management is all about having peace of mind
You take a risk every time you take a breath. You take a risk every time you get out of bed or cross the road. But you have calculated most every-day risks and you are at ease with how to deal with them?
So it is with your business. But what steps exactly should you be taking with your business to lower the risk of having a manager take to the rains from you?
What is the risk management mindset and how do you know if yours is suitable? Exactly what are the risks involved in being an Invisible Entrepreneur? Read about them explained clearly in this chapter and tick the boxes that apply to you. Do you have a Risk Treatment Plan? Get yours here on p. 262. Find out about the 5 ways to minimise these risks. Are you able to apply them to your business?
Overcoming Fear and Setbacks
You can either let fear stop you or allow it to be a powerful force to move you forward
So you've done all the hard yards, applied the methodologies and processes, you're away having fun and then there's that gut wrenching feeling that it's all going to fall apart ‒ that you've left the baby unattended and only disaster can ensue. What do you do now? How do you rid yourself of those arresting fears when you're a thousand miles away from your office? In this revealing and supportive chapter you will discover how to avoid the setbacks and pitfalls that may occur while you're away being the Invisible Entrepreneur. You will see the 7 most common obstacles that are encountered in this process. You will also discover how to deal with both the fight or flight fears that can grip you.
After reading this chapter you will be able to recognise the difference between fact and emotion and you will know how to deal with both. You will be able to emerge victorious over your fears and be able to recognise that faith is the flipside of fear. And best of all you will be able to let go and enjoy being the Invisible Entrepreneur.
Creating a Sustainable Business
The success of the individual IS the success of the business
The 6 key factors that enable you to create a sustainable business are expertly outlined in this chapter. Do you know how to take time out to value the importance of your current position? Have you set up a business that you have created to build and inspire a future for itself?
While busying yourself with your business have you made time to allow for the most important thing in your life ‒ your family? Where do they fit in to the grand scheme of things? Is your community a part of your success?
Now that you have created a sustainable business that can go on indefinitely without you, what does your game plan look like? Discover how to get ready for your next larger game.
Becoming the Invisible Entrepreneur
To trust someone else, first you must be able to trust yourself
In this chapter you will discover what it takes to muster the courage, the new identity of yourself and grow to incorporate yourself and your business into a much larger and more wonderful picture. You will see the 6 ways of developing your business further ‒ it never stops improving. If you stop improving and moving you start to decay and die.
What do you have to do to change through leadership? How do you really let go and create the space needed to allow a greater success in? What are the key steps you should be undertaking regularly with your team to ensure the business will continue to not only succeed, but expand and prosper beyond your beliefs? What are KPI's you will use? Find the answers to these questions and more in this revealing chapter.
Pursue Your Passion
When you pursue your passion, work is fun
Discover here the heights to which your passion can take you. Rekindle the fire that once burned so strongly in your belly. Ignite the wonder of 'what if' thinking and become inspired by your own wondrous journey.
'Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than ever dreamt yourself to be.'