106: The Five Big Reasons Small Businesses Fail – Part 4

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Hi again! It's David Lee, the Cash Flow Investor. Well, it's day 4, "The Five Big Reasons Most Small Businesses Fail And How To Avoid Them". Day 4 I'm going to talk about what I call, "The Missing Links". The things that go on, on a day-to-day basis, that just happen, creep into our business that's really killing our time, motivation, not keeping us on track. You know what I'm talking about. These distractions.

Now what I call them is, number one, I call it the "Just Getting Started Syndrome". Just getting started, but, something got in the way. I meet people, "David, I'm saw you last time and I was really getting started, but I had a family crisis just crop up. But, it's all over now. I'm just getting started!" Or, "We had some problem work and I had to work back. Had to work weekends. But, that's now all out of the way and I can get back what was doing, and I'm just getting started!" And time and time again, "We're just getting started."

And so, it just never gets off the ground. When you decide that you're going to go into something, you have to go into it and plunge yourself into it and move forward. It has become, like I talked about yesterday, the passion has to overwhelm you. And so, it pushes you.

It's like I... over the time when I was going through what I was doing, I felt as though there was somebody, or maybe is outside my body. I was having an external body experience. Somebody watching down over me directing me that I had to do this. I had to keep moving forward. Because if I didn't, maybe it was that voice in my head saying, "You should be doing that." You can't just be going loafing or goofing off or doing whatever. You need to be going back to doing what you're doing.

Another thing that drove me from this "Just Getting Started Syndrome" that I call, and it's always, "What if?", "Yes, but...", "I didn't know at want to do next", was accountability. Accountability when I go back to my mentors, to my now business partners. I could not go and look them in the face if I couldn't honestly say that I'd done the best I possibly could. And therefore, if I had an issue or had a problem, it's because I tried... not tried! I did! I implemented to the best I could, but maybe I had an issue that I need help with. That's what mentors are for.

But to not take that accountability. To just say that you're just going and... these excuses come up time and time again. I hear it all the time. As an entrepreneur, as a business owner, your business will just stop. If somebody said to you, "Oh, we've just had to stop how business because an employees has been off sick, but they'll be back in two weeks." Do it with your business, and not have contingency plans, I'm sorry but your business will go by the wayside too. You have to be able to get started, make it happen, and this "What if syndrome", "Yes but, what if?" all the time... you must deal with it and keep moving. You must have momentum with what you're doing.

And another thing I see... Number two. Write it down. It's called the "Keeping Busy Syndrome". Keeping busy. We can be busy building websites. "David, I'm just building a website. And, when it's all up I'll be ready. But before I do this, I've got a run to a the meeting. We've got a very important meeting. It could be in our association. I've got to go off... drive, drive to this and meet some people. Then we've got a group meeting afterwards. So that's taking up a bit of time. Of course, I'm doing all this. I'm running around! I'm running around! I'm being busy. Looking active."

How much money is coming into the till? Into your account as a result of this? Many people keep busy and the activity is translated to their "doing things". But it's not getting them closer to building their business, getting income coming through the door. Remember I didn't call myself the "property guru". I didn't call myself a "lease option" expert or anybody specific like that. Many years ago I took the decision, "What am I? What am I doing?" I'm investing for cash flow. Cash flow in the "Cash Flow Investor".

And so, that gave me the mindset that, whether I'm in business, whether I'm in property, whether I'm doing marketing, communication, whatever I'm doing around my business... everything is about cash flow! And so, I have that there to remind me and to tell people what I'm about. Business, cash flow, systems, organisation. Not just keeping busy, but moving forward.

People love to do business with people they can see are moving forward. And you will have to see the difference and they will see the difference. But if you're "keeping busy" they will see it. You're going round and round and round in circles.

I'm just pointing these out because I've seen it. I'm probably guilty of it sometimes myself. But I've really got a take stock. Am I... the time that I'm using now, am I talking somebody? Is it wasting time? Is it moving me forward? Am I easily distracted because I'm reading the emails, going to Facebook, going and doing other things are not productive? Is my focus being taken away from?

And the last thing. it's what I call the "No Building Blocks Syndrome". The No Building Blocks means it's sort of like I would put the pyramid going up, but it's really the milestones, the checkpoints that we've got along the way because it is a long way to go when you're building this business for the long term and you want to see where you're getting on way.

One of the problems I had when I was developing my business. And I was doing things out on my own. People could see the progress I was making better than I could. Because we can't judge ourselves. It's just like being a counsellor. I can tell people when I'm giving guidance or mentoring them. I can see it very clearly what it is. But try to see it within yourself. Try to analyse what you're doing. And many times I've had mentors speak to me and to say, "David, why aren't you doing this?", "Don't you see what you're missing out on?" or anything like that. And I just can't believe it! How can I be so stupid not to see it? Because sometimes we're "too close to the fire".

We're too close to see things because when looking at the from a close point of view. We can't step back! We're too involved. It's just like sometimes have you ever written an email to somebody and you're about to push the button, and it can make such a big difference whether you push that button or don't push the button. Because the next day maybe you wouldn't have even have sent it in the first place.

So, these are the goals. Acknowledge these little milestones along the way. Recognise yourself... your achievements. Because, if you don't, nobody... I told you...friends, family. They don't get it! It's got to be people that you know around you that will understand what you're doing, what you're trying to achieve.

And it isn't an ego trip so much! If you tell your friends and family they think it's ego. They think you're showing off. It doesn't make them feel good if I see that you're being successful. So don't do it! Find the people around, if you got accountability, and let them share in the experience. That's why a lot of mentors love to see the testimonials of their students. It gives them the feedback, the proof, the reference point of what they're doing is working.

So, you'll find if you go on the same journey it will be the same for you. You love to see the impact you have on other people in changing the life. So put the building blocks in place. Have those little checkpoints along the way. That's why when you're doing your planning, your brainstorming...can I give you a tip? Take a walk to the park. Sometimes just get away from where you are. If it's behind the computer. If it's in the office. If it's that busy, busy, busy. I will just go for a walk in the park. I do it every day, every morning. Quite often, when starting up, I'd go for a walk to the park and I'd just think clearly what it is I'm going to do.

Because all the pressure that builds up in urban life and big city life, if that's where you're living. It clouds our thinking. Take some time out and go and look after yourself. Take a walk to the park, go to the gym, do some swimming. You'll find that the ideas will come much quicker than I would have never been before because the level of stress goes down. And as the stress goes down you can think clearly and better than you otherwise could.

These are part of the building blocks, the tips that I know from along the way. Okay! They are the missing links. They are just a few. There are many more than that. But please think about it. Play the video again. That's the "Missing Links". Part four, we move on to the last one, part five tomorrow, in the series.

So, this is David Lee. Thank you! I'll see you again tomorrow.