Accidental Business, I mean, City

November 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

I read Robert Fulford’s Accidental City: The Transformation of Toronto just before my trip to TO. Originally Toronto was laid out neatly by the army engineers 1793 who set it up as Fort York. As with most cities it’s early growth after that time was organic.

Fulford’s tale takes us back to the 1800’s (Toronto incorporated as a city in 1834) and he tells us of how the direction and amenities were decided by the strong personalities of each time. They come complete with prejudices and personal desires.

Businesses grow the same way. We start them with well-thought –and – laid-out-plans. In the early growth phase, the growth is very organic. After a while our prejudices and personal desires begin to assert themselves and our businesses take on our personalities. This can be a good thing and sometimes, not so good.

Eventually, if we are to grow the business beyond ourselves, we will need to let other personalities assert some influence. Our businesses need to attract a range of characters and people to grow and we need to have a well-rounded aspect to attract investment.

My business is bumping up against the top of the personality imposition boundary. As I bring in staff, they are asserting their personalities and we are able to attract different clients, who might not be attracted to my type of service.

I want to grow this business to be much bigger than me. I think that can happen best by allowing the business to not be only about me.

I enjoyed Robert Fulford’s book about Toronto as I made my way around the city. I picked out things he talked about and I Knew why and how some of the buildings came to be.

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The Three Success Factors

I have worked closely with 100’s of business owners and I have seen too many struggle. I have seen what works and what doesn't.

It takes 3 things to succeed:
1. Hard work - and I know you do that already.
2. Knowledge - domain knowledge: you've got that and continue to learn; and business knowledge: this is where everyone focuses and it's easy to find
3. Mindset - This is the killer app. This is what makes or breaks small business owners.

We work on Mindset here at the Business Owners Success Club: how you think about yourself and your business.

When you focus on a business that gives you what you need to live a Good Life and gives others what they need to solve a problem, everything else falls into place and you have a successful business.

Using that as a framework we work on one aspect of business every month. February is "Your Place in Your Community" month.

In March we will open the doors to our online community. Stay Tuned.

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