It’s Not Complicated – It’s Hard

A number of people have told me recently that their business model is complicated. No, it isn’t.

There are only a handful of things at which you must be excellent to be successful in business:

    • Consistently produce and deliver a great product or service
    • Control your costs
    • Engage your customers and prospects so that they know who you are and how you can help them
    • Hire and engage people who are passionate about the opportunity to succeed and equip them so that they can

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, your model is not that complicated. But, it is hard. Really hard in fact.

    • Demands on your product and service are always increasing. Everyone expects you to be better tomorrow than you are today. You do it. Why shouldn’t your customers?
    • It is easy to lose control of your costs. Here’s what I’ve discovered in my own business: I rarely make one big decision that causes my cost structure to blow up. I do make a lot of little decisions that, by themselves, are benign. But over time, these little decisions drive up my costs to the point that they are hurting my success.
    • Customers and prospects are more difficult to reach and engage. We see, on average, over 3,000 commercial messages per day. That doesn’t include the cacophony of digital disruptions that fill our day. Cutting through the clutter to stand out in a sea of virtual sameness can feel like impossibility.
    • People are complex and time consuming. Most managers still hire for expertise rather than fit and energy. They think about filling a slot that represents a need rather than how does this position and person add value. It doesn’t get any easier once they are on board. Keeping people engaged and committed requires constant vigilance.

The Takeaway

Fight the rationalization and embrace the simplicity. It is easy to justify our lack of success by perceived complexities of our business model and marketplace. As a result, we either do nothing because success is out of our control or do everything in an attempt to find the magic elixir. Nothing ever changes until we tell ourselves the truth, and the truth is delivering the results you want is not that complicated.

Do the work. The real value of simplifying your business model down to its core components is that it allows you to focus on how to deliver results rather than what you should do next. The one thing that truly successful individuals and organizations know that you do not is that in the end, you have to do the hard work.

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