Tips for Entrepreneurs not to bite off more than you can chew
When I was a child, every now and then our family would go to a buffet restaurant for dinner. I remember vividly my dad telling us before we fixed our plates “don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach” or if one of us ate too much my dad would say “your eyes got bigger than your stomach”.
“Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach” simply meant don’t eat too much. As you know, when you eat too much, you have that gluttonous feeling, that feeling right before regurgitation, you have a lot of waste leftover on your plate, or you get too full to walk and breathe. Not a good feeling to say the least.
I thought to myself that this statement was analogous to how some entrepreneurs start out. So eager to bring in business, they begin putting any and everything on their plates. When your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you are pursuing opportunities that are bigger than your capacity, outside of your niche, your business activities are not focused and your all over the place, you will jump on whatever opportunity that looks appealing regardless if it’s good for business or not.
With no focus or control, running your business will be like going to buffet with an array of visually pleasing, tantalizing, tempting, appealing, tasty, food choices that you can load up plate after plate. The reality is, some food choices simply aren’t good for you even though they may taste otherwise.
Operating a business can offer a similar experience. Businesses can find themselves over committed, outside of core competency areas, or taking any business that will make money to list a few.
Your business success will require patience in the process, focus, discipline and restraint. You can’t jump into everything that looks and sounds good. While some business decisions will require some level of risk, all risk should be evaluated and possible outcomes and impacts have to be well thought out.
A business owner can’t be haphazard in making business decisions, should weigh out options and be abreast of comparable alternatives. It doesn’t have to be a roll of the dice.
FOCUS: Staying focused keeps the main thing the main thing. Whatever that “thing” is, it requires focus. It could be launching a new product, starting a new business with one service line, targeting a niche market, or increasing cash flow. If you are building a business or growing an established business, it’s important to engage in activities that are in line with the business model, the business strategy, and the overall direction of the company.
DISCIPLINE: Discipline is a key component to success that enables the business to get things done, stay on course, and pursue the right opportunities vs. pursuing any opportunity. Being disciplined keeps the business highly productive.
If you are concerned about eating too much, you don’t go to a buffet. Likewise, creating an environment of discipline also helps the business to stay on course.
RESTRAINT: All things can be considered but as a business owner, you just have to know when to say no.
These simple tips can keep you focused on why you are business. Focus, Discipline and Restraint will keep you from deviating from your business purpose. Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach!