Have you ever sat down with a friend to ask him/her their advice on your business challenges? Have you complained about the trials and tribulations of running a painting business? Chances are you have, and chances are you were given advice that your friend wanted you to hear.
Recently I spoke to a business owner that was having problems with employee relations. He told me he sought advice from a trusted friend that stood by his side and told him he needed to fire the employee.
” I don’t understand why this continues to happen over and over again”, he said. ” I can’t seem to find and keep good employees”
After a quick drill down of the issues he faced, it became clear that his challenges were largely created by his poor leadership skills and hiring practices.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me this before?” he said. ” I can clearly see that I am creating much of this by my lack of direction, vision, and communication”
I quickly pointed out that the reason his “friend” did not see his problem objectively is because, well, he’s a friend.
Don’t get me wrong, friends are one of life’s greatest gifts, however friends can make horrible business advisors. In short, friends and loved ones can be way too subjective, they normally care too much and have an emotional investment in the relationship. A friend is more likely to only care to hear your side of the problem and is not likely to confront your assumptions and possibly tell you something you might not want to hear.
In this case his friend/advisor had given him advice that largely ended up costing this business owner 1000’s of dollars in lost employee productivity, training and rehire.
In choosing someone to help you with your businesses needs, consider asking yourself three questions: ” Do I want someone who will tell me what I need to know or someone that possibly will tell me what I want to hear? Am I truly open to change? ”
The question is how motivated are you to change? If you know how to solve all the problems you are facing in your business, why haven’t you achieved your goals? Are you trapped in your comfort zone? How long will you continue to blame the economy, your employees, your customers?
These are tough questions to ask. Facing reality can often be a rough exercise. The bottom line is: the business is where it is today because of your leadership. As the captain of the ship, you are in charge of bringing the ship and it’s crew safely to port.
If you are facing challenges in your painting business decide today to take action, face reality, and make the changes necessary to grow your business to it’s full potential.