What are the building blocks to an entrepreneur’s decision-making process?
Let’s start with the resources that every human being has:
Everyone has a finite amount of time. It is the scarcest resource and the one that entrepreneurs and successful investors should protect the most. For this, delegation is key. You must also surround yourself with like-minded people who not only value your time but also bring other resources to the table (their own time, talent, and/or capital) to achieve success in any of your endeavors.
The value of time as a resource is something an entrepreneur thinks about constantly. Every minute of every day is an opportunity to positively impact the life of a client, staff member, or colleague. But in today’s world, protecting your time is also essential to achieving a simplified life. Just think about all the ways your time is “attacked” by the world around us. The Internet puts so much information at our fingertips, which can boost efficiency or be a danger. It’s easy to lose track of time surfing the web or clicking on interesting links, veering off your intended course of action. In addition, email allows us to accomplish much more in less time with nearly instant communication. Yet it can cause a lot of people to never stop working. When efficiency puts you out of balance in other areas of your life, you quickly lose sight of the big picture.
Furthermore, our cell phones are now portable offices and central nervous systems for time management. We can handle just about anything from cell phones should we dare to embrace the technologies. All of these technological advancements were designed to make our lives better, right? But do they give us more free time to spend with our families, relax, and just enjoy life more? Usually not. Instead, the average person allows other influences to control his or her time. As an employee, you may be given more responsibility at work when you’re efficient and effective, but does your income increase? You may take care of a lot of tasks online quickly (pay bills, shop, even do your taxes), but you also lose something: customer service. There’s no human interaction anymore. People spend so much more time with their smartphones, iPads, and the latest and greatest tech toy that they forget how to communicate with each other.
A lack of communication (or unintended miscommunication) can actually waste much more time and frustrate all parties involved. Delivering information clearly and concisely is at the core of proper time management. Entrepreneurs who do this well accomplish more in less time. This causes other people to marvel at their productivity and results. Doing what you do best and delegating everything else to competent people is a practice that all people should master: you are essentially trading your capital for someone else’s talent in order to free up your time. And the more time you have to focus on your own talent, the more capital you can create.
Once you gravitate to this paradigm and commit to the process, the benefits to your life are amazing. Your time is precious. There is a finite amount of it, yet we never know how much. So why waste time doing things that you are not good at? Think of all the people you interact with every day who would benefit greatly if your time were optimized: more time to go to your kids’ games or school functions, a date night with your spouse every week instead of once a month, time to tune up your golf game, or spend time catching up with your friends. This is what life is all about, not material possessions or accumulating money on your balance sheet but rather using your resources to enhance your life experiences.
Controlling your time involves saying yes to certain things that add value and no to everything else. Why? Because you will work too hard to create wealth over your lifetime. Don’t you want to insure the fruits of your labor are realized before it is too late?
Your talent is your habits, skills, and unique abilities. Understanding which talents you possess allows you to add value in all areas of your life and other people’s lives. Knowing your talent gives you the ability to create capital.
Wouldn’t your life be so much simpler if you could wake up every morning and focus on what you do best? When it comes to your job, career, or business enterprise, determining how you can add value in your daily routine is essential. When you work for someone else, the focus is normally on your quota, a sales goal, or impressing your manager so you can earn a bonus or a promotion. Now those special employees who can take care of their customers while appeasing upper management seem to do very well in corporate America. These talents usually lead them to receive more responsibility, job security, and company perks—at least until their company’s business model changes, or the economy causes it to change its focus from customers to self-preservation.
Operating your own business is a completely different animal altogether. A lot of people perceive self-employed people as more independent and driven to do things “their way,” with an ego represented by the title “President,” “CEO,” or “Founder” after their names. While in some cases this could be an accurate depiction, a true entrepreneur is someone who wants to educate others with a vision for adding value in some area of life that brings enjoyment to clients. Entrepreneurs have a gift for surrounding themselves with other talented people and causing their collective efforts to produce results they couldn’t individually.
Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach would call this an entrepreneur’s “unique ability.” I have studied Dan’s teachings for over fifteen years. His book, Focusing Your Unique Ability, outlines how you can pinpoint unique abilities. Dan explains that your own unique ability is effortless because you love to do it. It happens naturally in your daily routine. People with unique abilities need to be committed to their futures through continual learning, improving, and growing so they can create new value in the world. Dan believes in a law of human existence: every human being has his or her own private experience of life. Unfortunately, the majority of us fail to manifest our uniqueness because we do not understand this principle: that your unique ability only emerges in the world through delegation. Uniqueness is a result of time and focus. For your uniqueness to emerge or become external and powerful, you must delegate to superb support persons all activities except those that call for your unique ability. This process of delegation could take several years, but it is in your best interest to do it because you’ll need all the time available to focus on your unique ability.
Dan goes on to teach that studies of great performers in all fields support a general rule that it takes about ten thousand hours (roughly ten years) of repetition, experimentation, innovation, and formalization before a unique ability translates into genius-like activity. Making sure that your financial advisor’s unique ability is protecting your personal economyshould be a top priority for you. The science of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) teaches that the purpose of modeling talent in business is to reproduce excellence. Once you determine what your two or three unique abilities or talents are in the context of business then your next step is to surround yourself with capable people. The most successful entrepreneurs find people whose unique abilities complement their talents so that delegation can occur at a high level. When someone is comfortable delegating away everything but what he or she does best, all of a sudden he or she has more time to generate additional capital.
Talent is a special human trait that needs to be nurtured and supported. Constant education that enhances someone’s growth keeps talents progressing. Using your talents keeps you sharp and effective. Seeing results causes confidence to build, and one can believe that he or she is truly unique and making a difference in daily life. Without delegation and daily support, the focus on your unique abilities is negatively affected. Complexity and troubleshooting quickly sap the energy of even the savviest entrepreneur.
Life is changing at a rapid pace, so when it comes to your business planning, surrounding yourself with a team of professionals who have expertise in all areas of business operation is essential. If you have access to the best minds, you’re able to control your time and capital while increasing your effectiveness at a much higher level.
With the proper use of your time and a focus on your talent adding value to your career, creating capital should be the result for many. But acquiring capital doesn’t always occur in an ideal timeframe. If you need capital before you create it, what are your options?
Getting access to capital is difficult in today’s economic environment. You must either accumulate capital (which takes time) or borrow another person’s (a family member) or a financial institution’s (a bank) capital and manage the opportunity costs (the terms of the loan). Once you accumulate enough capital, you have control over how you allocate that resource. This is an area where entrepreneurs set themselves apart from other people.
So how do you utilize capital to create more time, talent, and capital? Let’s start with turning capital into more capital. Most people refer to this process as investing. Actually, investing can be defined as “to commit money or capital in order to gain a financial return” (see www.freedictionary.com). The key word in this definition is commit. When you commit to something, you are accepting the risks associated with that decision. There is no certainty that your investment will produce a return or that your return will be in line with your expectations. This is why educated investors commit all their resources (time, talent, and capital) to an investment. Taking the time to perform due diligence on the appropriateness of an investment causes the investor to determine how much risk applies to the opportunity.
It doesn’t matter which type of asset you are considering investing in (i.e., securities like stocks or bonds, real estate, starting a business, or a financial product purchased from an institution); minimizing risk is a true talent we should all aspire to. Reducing risk helps investors to keep more of what they make. The more capital you can retain, the better off you will be in the long run. Many entrepreneurs say they have a passion for investing. Most people misinterpret this as a love for making money. Instead, what really happens is that entrepreneurs receive enjoyment from creating more control and freedom over their time and the potential to improve their talents through positive real-life experiences.
Some would call this type of feeling “wisdom” or “a knack” for something. But when you can see a person’s true talent in action, it can be an epiphany. It’s a gift, and gifts are meant to be shared. Most people have a hard time understanding that their time, talent, or capital has subjective limitations. How much of these resources do you need and want so that you can enjoy your life? That question has gone unanswered for millions of Americans. They find themselves paralyzed by their limiting beliefs.
If you are interested in learning more about strategies that assist you in optimizing your time, talent, and capital, feel free to reach out to me personally via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.e3consultantsgroup.com
Thank you for reading.
About The Author…
John E. Moriarty, ChFC is the founder and president of e3 ConsulantsGROUP. e3 operates a family office model that serves individuals, families and entrepreneurs based on their mindset, not based on the size of their net worth.
Providing financial guidance to the public is challenging. It becomes more challenging as you begin to factor in things such as individual needs and wants. This is compounded by variables such as unique personal circumstances and ever-changing regulations. This book reflects the author’s opinions, which are not endorsed by Kalos Capital. These opinions are not intended to provide specific advice and should not be construed as recommendations for any individual. This white paper is published with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering legal or tax services. Investments involve risk including the potential for loss of the principal amount invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please remember that all financial decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk. The services of competent legal, tax and financial professionals should be sought prior to executing any strategy. All examples provided are hypothetical in nature and are intended for informational purposes only.
This information is for educational purposes only. The information contained in this presentation was obtained through independent research of articles, books and internet websites. This is not an endorsement for any specific product or service offered by e3 ConsultantsGROUP or e3 Wealth, LLC. When making a decision regarding your financial future, you must weigh the benefits and costs of each alternative to come to an appropriate conclusion.
 Dan Sullivan, Focusing Your Unique Ability, booklet and audiotape, Toronto, Canada: The Strategic Coach Inc., 1996, 3
 Sullivan, Unique Ability, 17