Creating and maintaining a business strategy, prioritizing with effective time management, and stepping back to look at the bigger picture are all vital components for successful entrepreneurship. Jason LeDuc helps business owners hone in on their core competencies to run successful businesses.
In today’s episode, Jason LeDuc talks with The Solopreneur Coach™ Steve Coombes about defining your business strategy, finding your ‘WHY’, stepping into the story of your business, and creating a path to success.
You will also learn:
• How you can find your why and ensure it is, in fact, yours.
• Why you need to start outsourcing more of the work you’re doing in your business (sooner, not later).
• How to step back and take in everything that forms the bigger picture.
• Why tracking your goals and activities can be a powerful tool to drive growth.
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Solopreneur Success™ Transcript
SSP058 Defining Business Strategy to Take Priority Action with Jason LeDuc
People start businesses for a lot of reasons. If your reason for starting your business was you rage quit your job because you got tired of your boss and you hate it, and you think you can do it better than your old company did it, it’s a perfectly valid reason to start a business but that’s not really a strategic reason to start a business.
You’re listening to executive leadership consultant and previous Solopreneur Success Connections guest trainer Jason LeDuc. We both know building a successful business means defining an effective strategy and executing on it. With a background training U.S. military leadership and corporate executives, Jason knows strategy and execution well. And you’re about to hear how to use these crucial skills in your own business right now because Jason is today’s guest on Solopreneur Success.
Welcome to the Solopreneur Success podcast, where successful business owners gather to share true stories and sound advice to help you start and grow your own solopreneur business. Come soar with us and design the life you love. Now, here’s your host, Steve Coombes.
Hello, solopreneurs. Today, I’m interviewing Jason LeDuc, an executive leadership consultant and founder of Evil Genius Leadership Consultants in Las Vegas. If you don’t know, Jason delivered a powerfully helpful training on time management last summer in our Solopreneur Success Connections™ Community, which helped many set priority work and actually focus on it, get it done. Not just priorities for others, but your priorities, rather than getting distracted, chasing everyone else’s priorities. So, it was a great conversation. It was a great training that Jason delivered, and I want to remind folks listening that Patron members of the community can jump in and watch that training anytime.
Today, Jason and I are back to have a conversation in a related direction – your business strategy. Truth is, some folks are so busy in the day-to-day trenches, “getting things done”, that they never create space to think about the big picture, what they really want to get done. So, that means they’re spending all their time moving in 17 different directions and it takes far too long to create progress in their business. Others tend to keep their heads in the clouds of business strategy, and yet they never put their hand at a hammer to make things happen.
So, today, Jason and I are going to talk about how you can use strategy and action to bring things together and to priority actions so you can grow your business the way you wanted to all along. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation, Jason, for some time. Welcome back to the show.
Thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure to sit down and talk with you, Steve, and to be with you and your audience.
Yeah. It’s fun to have these conversations with you. I say welcome back, I guess really, it’s welcome back to the community because you weren’t actually on the podcast before, and I was talking with you a couple of weeks ago. I was like “golly, I never actually invited Jason on to the podcast. How did that happen?” because you have so much knowledge to share, so we’ve got to get you on because you have so much experience in the whole realm of business strategy and time management. You’re a consultant to many. Tell us a bit about your background, for listeners who aren’t already familiar with you.
Sure. Thank you for having me. I’m glad we got to do the podcast because as you know, as we’ve talked about, I would do conversations like this all day long instead of doing anything else, if I could get away with it. I spent twenty years in the Air Force, engineering degrees, worked in a research lab, worked as a flight test engineer, did rapid prototyping and development, and as an Air Force officer, one of the things you’re expected to do is to build teams and to achieve objectives, and to keep moving the ball forward, whether you know it or not, on the national security objectives of the United States of America, and that doesn’t really become apparent to you until you become a senior leader, and it didn’t really become apparent to me until I was an instructor at Air War College in the distance learning program, teaching the future senior leaders of the Air Force about strategy and about how everything we do in the military is about achieving a national security objective, and that gave me a new appreciation for strategy, or an appreciation of strategy, because one of the big challenges with strategy is: strategy isn’t just taking what you’ve always known, what’s always worked for you in the past, and just doing it on a bigger scale.
That’s not really what strategy is. Strategy is about having a vision. It’s about foreseeing the outcomes you want to get and then broadening your toolbox, broadening your capabilities, in order to achieve that vision, in order to achieve those outcomes in the best possible way. You’ve probably heard the saying “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” That’s part of the big challenge for even the best and brightest. To shift from a tactical mindset to a strategic mindset, it’s not about a bigger hammer or swinging the hammer harder because you try to achieve bigger objectives. It’s about looking for what else you could put in your toolbox that you can use when the day comes to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.
Yeah. Well said, because it is a well-known saying but it’s so true, and I think people get themselves lost in the forest, so to speak, and then they have a big tree in front but they don’t see anything else because they’re just so in the day to day of their business, they don’t take time to step back say “what is the big picture?” and I know that’s the case with many folks. It’s even the case with me sometimes. You have to take those periodic times to step back. Let’s just start at the very top there because people are slamming every day, getting the work done, getting the work done, getting work done, and then what happens, I find anyways with the clients I work with, the people I speak to, other solopreneurs, if they’re not careful, what happens is they get so busy in the day to day, they lose sight of why they started this business in the first place, and all of a sudden it’s become a job and it’s no longer fun. It’s not a business, it’s a glorified job, and it’s not even providing the lifestyle they wanted anymore. So, how do you suggest getting to the place where you can actually define strategy, and what does that mean to you?
Well, you’ve already said it. If you are a solopreneur or an entrepreneur who’s looking to grow business beyond yourself or in business in any kind, the first part of strategy is recognizing why and remembering why, periodically bringing yourself back to why you started that business in the first place, who you’re trying to help, also how you’re trying to help them, but that’s a little bit of your tactics, and we talked about strategies, about learning what else you can put in your toolbox, and I think that’s really important for entrepreneurs is that we often get into business because were very good at something and we want to bring that to other people, and there are a set of people who have that problem, but our skillset isn’t the only way to solve their problem.
Often what happens with entrepreneurs, especially when they’re first getting started, that first year or two they’re in business, they go out, they start getting their name out there, they start doing whatever marketing they’re doing, usually a lot of word of mouth, and what they do is they run into people who have a similar problem that they can wedge what they’re doing into or they run into someone who don’t really have the problem they’re looking for but they ask them “can they do something else for them?” and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of first-time and new entrepreneurs end up doing things that don’t match up with why they started that business in the first place, and you can see it when you talk to them.
You can see it in their face, you can hear it in their voice how frustrated they are because their clients or their customers have really pegged them into this path that they’re unhappy on and they’re not solving the problem they set out to solve in the first place, just through circumstances, and we all know how important it is to work hard every day, to keep pursuing, to keep going, keep the ball moving, but sometimes you see that where entrepreneurs are way off in a different place on the map than the place they were trying to get to, and that’s a big challenge. That’s why it’s really important to re-cage yourself on the idea of why you started this business in the first place, and I’m sure you’ve talked about it on this podcast and some of your training, Steve. Sometimes, you’ve got to fire your clients.
Yeah. It’s funny, what you said about your customers peg you into this path, but I’ll remind the listener, hey, you choose who you work with. You don’t have to work with anyone. It’s your business. You choose who you work with, but if you’ll take down anybody for any reason, any price, guess what? You’re going to get whatever comes your way. As we’re talking about today, you have to have a strategy, you have to have a direction, you have to have a vision, a goal, a purpose, and as you said very well, you have to have a why, and guess what? Your customers have a why as well. I’m going to talk about that in my upcoming book, the start book, I’m writing it right now. Why is so important. It’s almost so cliché.
These days, everybody says you’ve got to have a why, but how many people really take a moment to sit down and say “why am I doing this?” or maybe they did when they started the business but they don’t have that reminder in front of them saying “yeah, actually I’m trying to accomplish a purpose here, both professionally and personally,” because regardless of what your professional business looks like, it has an impact on your personal life as well, especially for solopreneurs, because you’re not in a nine to five. You’ve got all the hats on, typically, until you start growing to the point where you hire a virtual team or whatever, you’ve got to handle that, so why is important. Jason, what else did you say is along that path of starting down the path of achieving, or not even achieving it, but setting a strategy, what do you have to do?
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