Sunday, March 20, 2011

Three Signs You Are Addicted to Chaos

I had strange and mixed feelings when reading the piece below. But I shall not live in denial. I have been exhibiting all 3 symptoms for some time now.

Entrepreneurs are frequently so devoted to the business that they persist in the state of chaos, accepting it as a way of life, without ever trying to identify or solve the root of the problem. From my experiences and observations working with thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs over the years, here are the top three signs I see of entrepreneurs who are addicted to chaos:
3. Their business life revolves around the in-box. They are constantly in reaction mode, always pouncing on the hot fire that pops up, the request for information, or the opportunity that just presented itself. They don’t have an overarching, long-term strategy that ties back to their daily activities. So they spend most of their time responding to the flavor of the day, hoping this will lead them to their goals, which are—ironically enough—more time, money, and control.
2. They can’t step away from the business without feeling like it will crumble while they’re gone. They have a particular anxiety that sets in when they think about taking a day off or going on vacation. If they have employees, the employees assure them everything will be fine, but they worry nonetheless. Part of their concern is real: They have a bunch of proprietary information locked up in their head instead of in a central database; therefore, certain things may indeed stall while they are out of the office. But part of their concern is likely moot. Chances are, all will not collapse in the small amount of time they are away from the office.
1. They are strangely proud they have so little free time. That’s right. As if symptom No. 2 weren’t cruel enough, the worst symptom is that entrepreneurs sometimes treat their stressed-out routines as a badge of honor. They tout to friends and family how long it’s been since they’ve taken a vacation, how many hours they work, and how little they sleep. That sounds like owning a job, not a business.
If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, you are probably addicted to chaos. Get help. Business ownership should bring you more time, money, and control. If you’re not getting that, make some changes to your mindset and your business systems so you can find the freedom you were looking for when you started your business in the first place.


walla said...

And then there are others whose lives are just marking time between comment's full of hard non-choices.

Robert Kuok went from sugar into property then hotels. Li Kashing started in plastic flowers, then property, ports and telecoms. Lim Gohtong was a subcontractor, then road builder and finally casino and cruise operator. Ananda Krishnan morphed from oil trader to mobile operator. Syed AlBukhary turned rice into ports and other holdings.

Each started with one platform and ended up with something else.

Their platforms were started in a specific epoch. The epoch defines the opening and carves the opportunities inasmuch the platforms crowbar the epoch, opening up the moment to see the need whose time has arrived.

One may say it was predestined insofar they didn't lose their focus. Pin the peg and draw the semicircle using a string stretched from it. So much for strategy.

When a lot is on the line, the focus can take over and snuff out all balance. Ownership anxiety.

In the case of professionals given stakes in small businesses or starting some on their own, that focus can be magnified even more. Perhaps they were given the stakes precisely because of their professional focus to cover all grounds.

Starting costs of small businesses are normally much lower so productivity outputs may not be expected to be high.

Motivation becomes a trying factor. So too susceptibility to environmental changes and dependence on others who are less likely to share the same gungho vision and mission, what more energy. It can get sluggish and superficial.

There is a cruel pecking order out there so that small businesses have to work harder and appear to be louder in order to be noticed for the same level of service or response or interest.

Chaos comes from collisions of details. If things are simplified further, maybe there will be less details to be worried about in which case chaos can be better managed contextually.

Things tend to slide sideways .....perhaps tasks needed are not communicated sufficiently clearly and completely. Do x by time y in z quality and share list k with others on what has been learned especially the analysis of the problems.

When one gets to the stage of rushing too hither and tither to not have time to go to the washroom, that's when it's time to take five. After all kidney stones can do as much damage to individuals as earthquakes.

Having filled the box again, it is fitting to say there's no finer feeling than to be a real salt of the earth, grinding away from dust to dust, liberating the conscience to enjoy the few fruits perchance coming out of the blue from the pile of nightmarish work done from dawn to dusk of a small business.

It is hoped that the ability to forget suffering will keep sufficiently in pace with the ability to forget pleasure so that one will forget to ask whether it was worth it.

So long as time has flown, it probably was.

de minimis said...

Hi bro walla

It's the adrenaline rush of getting deals done. Some of us are junkies!!!!

walla said...

I faintly remember that Li Kashing admitted he was driven only by the deal. He was only happy carving deals.

There, enough inspiration!