The character of a business is a pure reflection of the character of the owner. When an entrepreneur is sloppy, the business will be, and when the owner is smart, intelligent and fast, the business too will reflect that. When an entrepreneur lacks character, the business will lack character and will soon have no value.
One major challenge noticed with most small businesses around is the “lack of discipline”. Many businesses simply lack discipline. The lack of discipline is a direct result of our “no sense” of value for people and time.
There is a story of a promising fashion designer that makes one wonder what happened to our value for discipline and forthrightness. He was arguably the finest shirt maker of his time in this city. Tutored by a Paris-trained designer, and was very skilled with his craft. The finishing of his shirts competed favourably with the finest international labels around town. However, one had to make all sorts of excuses for his lack of discipline if you didn’t try to move on to another designer. He lacked discipline and had ‘Acquired Integrity Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Sam Adeyemi often says 2 virtues will determine your success in the marketplace: “competence and character”. A combination of these 2 would sustain an entrepreneur and his business anywhere in the world. When your business lacks competence and character, then you really don’t have a business in the first place. You can be very competent in your trade but when you lack character (discipline) your business will struggle. If you have ‘character’ but no competence, you also don’t have a business yet. Character & competence must co-exist for a business to thrive and become successful.
Unfortunately, a lack of discipline stems from the core of an entrepreneur. It is a personality issue that finds expression in everything he/she does; including the business.
Jesus said, ‘make a tree good and the fruits from it will be good’. A diseased tree will always produce bad fruits. In the same way, a warped entrepreneur will also produce bad businesses!
Kind always beget kind.
An entrepreneur’s lack of discipline will ultimately impact the business negatively. It will show in his relationship with clients and cash flow. Because of the lack of discipline, he/she will soon begin to spend money they’ve not earned. Such entrepreneur has not learned to separate the business funds from personal funds. They often spend everything and leave the business in debts. They acquire depreciating assets they do not need – sometimes to showoff; they cannot delay gratification.
If in a difficult situation and one had to choose between character and competence, pick character! But we also need virtues e.g. discipline in order to help a business thrive.
It’s time to work on character and competence (skill) for the next level of your business(es). It’s time to build thriving and enduring businesses and a legacy to bequeath to the next generation.
Be disciplined: be an influencer, an authority in your business and you will do exploits!
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