I always find it interesting that business owners who are usually control freaks give up control as soon as they hire an outsider advisor. It seems that once you start paying someone to help you with your business you think they know more about your business than you do.
I know that when I was younger I did the same thing……that is until the following story happened.
My sad story that cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When I was about five years into my business career I thought things were going great. We were picking up new business, my internal statements said we were making tons of money and everything seemed to be going well.
Then the phone calls started. The first one wanted to know when they were going to get paid. Then the second call came with the same question. I’m betting that you know what continued to happen. Yup, phone call after phone call came in wanting to know when they were going to be paid.
While this was going on my accountants were going through our annual audit. Actually, the onsite work had been done about a month before. So, my supposed experts who were supposed to protecting me, were sitting on some very important information…..
We weren’t profitable. In fact, we were hemorrhaging money because my controller was stealing. The reason the suppliers weren’t getting paid was because my controller kept hiding bills and stealing money.
My accountants knew about this for months. They were “waiting for a partner to review the information.” My accountants knew the story months before me yet they decided it wasn’t important enough to let me know.
This is where I learned that supposed experts aren’t always that interested in helping me. They were more interested in helping themselves. Even though I was the idiot in this situation it’s been a normal experience to see similar things happen with almost every seasoned business owner I know.
Why aren’t you the expert at what you want?
In my case I thought my advisors knew what they were doing and they would do what was in my best interests. Boy was I wrong. In my case those advisors really let me down. They let a theft continue in my company and never let me know about it.
This was my fault. I could have questioned them harder but I didn’t. I learned from the event but it costs me several hundred thousand dollars in embezzlements.
It taught me a lesson – I have to be the expert at what I want. I’m hoping you don’t have to learn the same way I did. I’m hoping you’re willing to be the expert at what you want in your business and life.
First, you need to decide what you want.
To be that expert you first have to decide what you want. It’s always where you start.
You want to start to figure out what outcome you would like in your life. This is where you get to show your expertise and take responsibility for what happens in your life.
Second, you need to start thinking about why you want that particular outcome.
This is where the hard work starts. If you’re going to stay in control you need to be able to communicate why what you want is important. You need to be able to communicate how what you want will make your life and or business better.
You can be sure that your advisors will take you on their trip from their point of view. If you don’t know why you want something and if you don’t keep reminding your advisors why it’s important you can almost be sure your advisors will run their agenda and not yours.
Make sure you go back and look at what you want to accomplish again.
After you’ve drilled down on the reason why you want to do something you’ll need to go back and revisit the outcome you want.
I’m willing to bet that you’re going to find that you’ll want to go back and change your original idea. I’m willing to bet that you’ll find a more elegant way to get to achieve that outcome.
Share this information with your outside advisor.
When you know what you want to do and why it’s important make sure you share this information with all of the people you work with including your advisors. This is where you get to be the expert on what you want.
You might bring in outside advisors to help you figure out how to get the outcome but it’s not their job to tell you what you want. Too often I see business owners like you listen to their advisors tell them to do things and they blindly follow instead of leading. You need to be different you need to learn to lead your advisors.
Remember, you are the expert…..not your advisor.
This is where I give you my advice.
I want you to find a thinking partner. I want you to find someone who has the knowledge and skill to help you think through the outcomes you want, come up with a strong and compelling why and someone who will go to bat with you when it comes time to implement action plans.
When you do this, you’ll find that you’re taking responsibility for what happens and how your advisors work with you. At the end of the day it’s your option to take control and really be the expert at what you want.
You’ll find that more of your outcomes will come together in a more cogent manner. How does that sound? Let me know in the comments below.