I have dedicated a large part of my life to studying business practices of real estate investors and other successful business leaders. I wanted to find out what separated successful business leaders from others who failed to build a long term sustainable business?
There is a saying that all businesses runs optimally in between chaos and control. Likewise, the success of the business is dependent upon the inner-workings and ability of the leader to balance these two qualities. I have found balanced businesses are often "Built to Last." Meaning the leader and the organization itself are flexible enough to make adaptations to business opportunities yet still detailed enough to produce a quality product, service, and customer experience.
I have found unfocused, disorganized, and generally sporadic businesses often produce results that leave much to be desired. If the leader is chaotic in their actions then products and services are often rushed to the marketplace often producing lackluster results. Likewise, when the leader of an organization is in a constant state of flux it confuses employees who need direction. When a business lacks direction it becomes more difficult to leverage the talents of its employees.
I experienced this problem first hand when I started hiring my first few employees. At the time my business partners and I were moving so fast we never sat down to create detailed job descriptions for our first few employees. I threw these first few hires into the fire and expected them to catch on and produce immediately. I was literally flying by the seat of my pants and as a result of my lack of planning it made their jobs very difficult because they never knew what we were going to be doing next. Flying by the seat of your pants works for many entrepreneurs, but it seriously hinders the growth of many new hires.
The inherent problem was my lack of patience and focus. Being an easily excitable person meant I was often going in a million different directions at once. I wanted to build Rome in a day and as a result I wasn’t laying the proper foundation for my business. My foundation was being built with incomplete ideas and unfinished projects.
It wasn’t until I realized I needed to slow down before I could speed up. This is a common problem for many entrepreneurs. Creative people with visionary ideas are often bored and lack the focus it takes to build a long term sustainable business. The entrepreneur moves from idea to idea and the employees are left to pick up the pieces.
Perfectionism is often equated to excellence. After all haven’t you seen the works of Michaelangelo, Twain, and Edison. Perfectionists can produce some amazing things. However, I truly believe this is a common misnomer when it comes to the business world. In the business realm perfectionists often act too slowly and as a result miss opportunities. If your forever focused on the details you sometimes miss your opportunity.
I have experienced this first hand when it comes to the world of real estate investing. I have seen a lot of investors miss great opportunities because of their perfectionist personalities. Perfectionists want to gather all of the information and have a tendency to overanalyze everything. As a result they are slow to act and miss opportunities. All successful real estate entrepreneurs know good real estate deals don’t last long and are often snatched up by investors who act with only 50% of the information. If you are a perfectionist who must always dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s you will still be analyzing the business opportunity when someone else is taking advantage of it.
I think successful people understand the importance of balancing the speed at which they operate. They understand they must be focused enough yet still flexible enough to take advantage of small windows of time. I have consistently battled this throughout the life of my business. The only way I overcame this problem was by setting weekly goals focusing on only the most important projects which would build the foundation of my business. However, I was sure to leave a small amount of time during the day and on the weekends to look at new business opportunities that came my way.
Than Merrill, CEO of FortuneBuilders, INC and CT Homes, LLC is currently a full time real estate investor, speaker, and one of the most successful investors in the nation. He is also the star of A&E’s hit TV show "Flip this House." In the past few years his company has bought and sold over 350 properties across the nation. Than’s clients are some of the most successful investors around the country as a result of the cutting edge marketing and wholesaling systems he has developed. Than is a graduate of Yale University and he currently resides in New Haven, CT. After college, he played in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before moving on to real estate development.Than Merrill is a regular guest speaker at CT REIA. Go here for the current list of upcoming real estate investing seminars in Connecticut.