Developing the CEO within!
It all sounds so spiritual. Look within young one! But, what if you don’t have a CEO within? If you run a small business, you are a CEO. You have to make executive decisions, but you might not make them like a professional. Sometimes it is good to ask, “If I were a real CEO, what would I do now?” You might ignore the problem entirely because it was small instead of getting all worked up about it. Or you might find a long range plan of solving the problem in a way that enhances your business model. Just finding quick fix solutions to problems is not very CEO-ish if you ask me!
How to develop your CEO consciousness
First, meditate on the Buddha for four hours a day, fast for a month, and then ask me. Just kidding! If you give yourself simulated business problems, or interact with other people who have business problems, you begin to train your mind how to think three dimensionally about business issues. The more you think and hear how other people handle problems, the smarter you will be.
Reading books and magazines?
In my opinion, books and magazines are often very general about how they handle business issues. Media is concerned with huge acquisitions, and text books are concerned with theoretical issues that professors like to think about. A PhD in Microeconomics might not help you as much as hanging around on the street and seeing real business being done. I’m not discouraging you from reading books and magazines, but they rarely touch upon real life issues which are pertinent to you. It is better to experience problems first hand and talk to others who are a few steps up the evolutionary ladder than you are to learn how they would handle it.
Who would you learn better from?
If you could give me a choice of two business mentors, who would I choose? One has a double PhD from Yale, the other is a Mafia Boss. That’s a no-brainer (or a no-knee-capper). Mafia bosses not only understand a lot about business, but they understand human nature too. They know how to make people loyal to them, and need them. They have close knit extended families which gives them a wide net of connections. They know how to make relationships and develop them over Italian coffee and Tuscany white wine. They know how to assert their dominance better than most professors (but, I really shouldn’t generalize). They also know how to break relationships (and legs). They know how to pay people enough so they are not hated, but not so much, that those people no longer need them. They know a lot about competitive analysis (and making the competition leave town) as well. Proper grammar might not be their forte, but “You’s guys don’t need no grammar anyways”
Blogs can sometimes be the best business education
I love to read Harvard Business Review and Marketingprofs blogs. Sure, the content matter is not always applicable to my business, but I can learn some quick management and marketing facts that can change my business in five minutes or less. Reading a blog cannot get you into business, but it might be able to teach you a few tips how to do better if you are already afloat.
If you had a lemonade stand or lawn mowing business as a kid, your journey to CEO-hood has been sprouting for years now. There is hope for you. For your kids, ask them business questions and make them think. They might evolve into the next super-mogul all because of your help.
Anyway, “You’s guys have a nice night — capiche?”
(capiche is Sicilian for — “understand?”)
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