Spark: Take Your Business From Struggle to Significance

Spark: Take Your Business From Struggle to Significance


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630479473
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

David Hilton, MBA, M.Ed., started out working in his family’s “mom & pop” business, but realized that he had bigger dreams. He grew that business through many struggles to a multi-location, multi-million-dollar business where he hired, trained and managed over 500 people. As a CEO coach he has helped more than 250 other business owners take their businesses from struggle to success.

Read an Excerpt

As I was writing this down, Vern summarized, “Goal-setting is the process that drives your business forward. Whether it is company-wide, ‘big-picture’ goals or narrow, specific goals for a particular employee, setting goals is one of the most important duties of a leader.” He jerked the pad out of my hand, my pen trailed a line off the page as he did. He looked at what I had written. “Good. Not great, but, at least, it is written now.”

He continued his impromptu class. “Right now you are self-employed—you are not running a business. A one-person business works in some cases, like for psychiatrists, lawyers, and a few professions, but their success is completely tied to their actions; if they get sick, they don’t make money.” He paused. “Think about it like this: Do you need to hammer every nail when you work? It takes hours of your time, and the task isn’t that specialized, so why not outsource it or hire someone else to do it? Your time needs to be focused on the highly skilled aspects of your business. Delegating some or part of your jobs not only frees up time but also allows you to expand. Instead of working on just one project, you could work on two, or three, or a hundred!”

Everything he said made sense. I knew he was right.

“In the beginning,” he continued, “when you get your first employee, not only you will have to be the owner but also a manager. At some point, you might get a manager—and be careful who you hire in that role—but for now, if you can manage and delegate tasks, you will do more and have more time and be able to make the most of it. We’ll talk more on this later.” He lowered his head to scratch more on the tiny notepad.

I sipped at my coffee. Vern must have seen my reaction to its coldness and waved to me to get another for both of us. When I returned with our coffee, Vern pushed a few sheets of paper in front of me and started talking again. “You should start understanding the purpose behind your actions.” Then, pointing to the first sheet, he said, “If you focus only on the short-term future, it is easy to lose your sense of motivation. Sound familiar?”

Yes, too familiar. I took a sip of my latte.

“The drudgery of daily work piles up,” he said, “and the only prize awaiting you upon completion is another stack of work the next day. To stay motivated and productive, you have to remember your core purpose—your long-term goal. What is it? That is the question you must answer because as soon as you take your eyes off the prize and instead focus on the short-term battles, you’ll get discouraged and apathetic. My guess is that is where you are. Right?” He looked straight at me. I nodded; he had hit the bull’s eye.

He continued, “Now you’re probably asking yourself how to stay enthusiastic when you feel like a failure. Instead, ask yourself why you started your business in the first place. I have found over the years that the key to dealing with failure is not so much how you respond to it when it happens; rather, the key is keeping failure in proper perspective by how you approach it to begin with. Look, while failure is inevitable, failure is never final. You are going to fail, in both big ways and small ways. Business acquisitions or expansions will backfire. Employees will quit. Rather than viewing each of these events as a setback, acknowledge them as progress toward your ultimate success. In my view, every failure presents the opportunity to learn, and each one moves you that much closer to success. They’re stepping stones on the road to your goal. As a business owner, you cannot afford to succumb to negativity. You set the tone for your business.” Keeping his eye on me, Vern picked up his coffee and started sipping.

“It can’t be that simple,” I said. “I can’t just turn around my company overnight! I can’t just become the next, well, you, just by doing these things!” I thought for a moment before blurting, “What makes great companies great?”

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Spark

Chapter 2: Friends of Old

Chapter 3: A Wise Man and Hard Lessons

Chapter 4: Metamorphosis

Chapter 5: Anger and Acceptance

Chapter 6: The Team

Chapter 7: The Miscreant Adolescent

Chapter 8: On My Own

Chapter 9: The Basics

Chapter 10: Fallout

Chapter 11: Changes

Chapter 12: Firefly

Chapter 13: Identity

Chapter 14: On the Road

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