Hiya! I do hope that everything is proceeding terrifically well with you. If not – take heart. They will soon get better with some good approaches to addressing them. Ok? You can’t entirely avoid some challenges in life and business. Can you? There are easy times and there are challenging times.
Today, we want to look at discipline in entrepreneurship. Discipline is very necessary in all aspects of life, not just entrepreneurship. You need discipline in your education, social life, healthy living, family, career etc. Of course I’m bringing this in reference to entrepreneurship today. I know some people don’t like discipline, so I’m not going to force you to read this blog. If you don’t like it, please run. However, I think you need this if you desire success.
The successful entrepreneurs you see today have exercised discipline over the years in their enterprises, to get where they are now. So, why does an entrepreneur need discipline? What are the top reasons why discipline is vital for an entrepreneur? Are there any benefits at all for an enterprise arising from practicing entrepreneurial discipline? Why do we need disciplined entrepreneurs? Let’s take a look.
- Separation of the enterprise and the owner. Dear Mr. Entrepreneur, I don’t know for how long you have been in this entrepreneurial journey or adventure. Nevertheless, I guess you might have already discovered the fact that separating your business from yourself or your personal activities is a wise idea. It pretty much makes a lot of sense to do this. Some entrepreneurs choose to have a disorganized and confused mixture of business issues and transactions with personal ones. I think this is outright indiscipline. Why do you then blame the taxman when he comes up with crazy best of judgment assessments because he has no clue what is going on in your enterprise and bank accounts. This separation is one reason why you need discipline. You can never achieve this separation without discipline. Your personal things remain personal while business things remain business. Ok?
- Managing resources – time, money, people, assets etc. including setting the tone people should follow requires discipline. Please kindly correct me if you think I’m wrong. Managing resources require quite some discipline. Don’t you agree with me? Making the best use of your time to execute business issues, meet appointments etc. requires discipline. Your ability to save some money from all the cash inflows you have is a matter of discipline, otherwise you will be in financial crisis almost always. You could also arrogantly mismanage your business assets on the misinformed thinking that you own them, causing very adverse consequences for your enterprise. Moreover, if you the entrepreneur does not set the tone of discipline that other staffs in the business should follow, probably what you have is a mass of undisciplined people you call your staffs. Won’t the business suffer? Isn’t discipline vital for an enterprise then?
- Decision making and implementation. Making business decisions and proceeding to implement them is another aspect that requires a lot of discipline. When you come across some entrepreneurs who take forever making a critical decision, then I think you will appreciate what I’m talking about here. Do you know that delayed decision making could cost you your entire business? Business decisions need to be timely, and logical. The implementation of business decisions taken likewise needs discipline. A high percentage of decisions made fail in the implementation stage because of lack of discipline, lack of good leadership, lack of focus, resource challenges etc. Are you a wise entrepreneur? Do you desire critical decisions made followed up with excellent implementation? Inculcate the art of discipline in your enterprise.
- Accountability and responsibility. My dear entrepreneur, in the business world you are on your own. You take credit for your successes – of course remembering not being selfish and forgetting your staffs – and you also take blame for your failures. You are not going to point fingers at people forever. Discipline is required here for you to be responsible and accountable, especially by the fact that you are in charge. This reminds me of one lecturer we had at the University, who kept on reminding us that we would have nobody to blame even if we slept hungry, after leaving the University and starting our career. Not a pleasant thing though but he was talking about reality anyway. If you like to burry your head in the sand like an ostrich, and avoid the realities of the business world, that’s up to you? Isn’t it? Do business responsibly. Borrow money responsibly. Pay dividends responsibly. Fulfill your statutory obligations responsibly. Compete responsibly. Grow and expand your business responsibly.
- Effectiveness and efficiency of operations. Your enterprise’s survival and growth largely depends on your business efficiency and effectiveness. Customer satisfaction also depends on this. Consistent creation and delivery of value in your enterprise is an aspect of discipline. Beyond consistency, you also need to consider continuous improvement. I know many of us oftentimes reach a comfort zone of consistency and don’t crave for continuous improvement. Discipline in your enterprise ensures that procedures and processes are documented, followed, reviewed and improved. Discipline in your enterprise ensures that your field staffs do the right things that attract, retain and improve clients. Discipline in your enterprise ensures that you out-compete your peers in the market, and improve your market share.
- Awareness and self-check. These aspects of self-awareness and self-check are very important though some people dislike them. Right from the start of your enterprise, in areas such as testing your business ideas, market research etc. you need self-awareness and self-check. This comes with discipline. Assessing your own strengths and weakness including your opportunities and threats require a high level of discipline. Planning requires discipline. Managing competition needs discipline. Focusing on your business goals and objectives, including performance management, are all aspects of discipline. Now, tell me if you think you can avoid these and be successful in your enterprise! This is another top reason why discipline is vital in entrepreneurship. Have you ever met the self-conceited entrepreneurs who think they only have the best products, most up-to-date technology, best something, best blah blah blah? One can be so hopelessly misinformed until realities sometimes cause crush landing of the business. Do you like your enterprise to crush land? I leave this to you.
- Managing risks and avoiding business failure including bouncing back from failures. My last top reason why discipline is vital in entrepreneurship regards the management of risk and avoiding business failure. This also includes bouncing back from failures. If you are not disciplined, your appetite for making big profits might be excessive and your ship might sink in the process due to poorly managed business risk. If you are not disciplined you will do those silly and stupid things that can easily trigger business failure. If you are not disciplined you cannot take the right steps to bounce back to relevance in business. Do you get me?
So, as I conclude swiftly to enable me run for another program now, let me say this. You can only be a successful entrepreneur with the power of discipline. Ignore the power of discipline at your own peril. Freedom, or lack of discipline, could mean your liberty to mismanage your affairs. Period!
The Wise Entrepreneur