Introduction

Throughout my career in the business world, I have continually run into leaders, creators, and small business owners who are amazing at providing valuable solutions to meet the needs and wants of their customers.  But all too often the business owner is so laser-focused on one facet of his or her company (be it sales, marketing, or product development) the other core areas of the company suffer – even to the point of causing the company and its leader to fail, no matter how great their product or service may be.

Why does this happen?  How is it that so many small businesses head down the exact same path of failure, hitting walls and never overcoming them?

Entrepreneurs are constantly developing, creating and distributing products and services that consumers need and want.  And as their companies grow, these entrepreneurs are eventually faced with a difficult question: Where do I need to concentrate my energy and attention in order to make my business succeed?

Sadly, the stories of many small businesses in America have a tragic ending.  The failure is often due to an owner who kept a single-minded focus for too long, never addressing the other critical areas of the company.  Over time his or her business was no longer able to keep the doors open because:

  1. It was not making a profit.
  2. The owner was unable to add other good people to his or her team.
  3. The owner was unable to manage cash flow for inventory or product expansion.
  4. The owner was spending too much money and not able to withstand the slow periods.
  5. The owner (and therefore the company) veered too far away from the business’ original vision.

These and so many other reasons for failure all could have been avoided if the owner invested time, effort and resources into the other essential areas of the business.

And I know this because I have built, grown, and ran a small business very successfully.  In fact, I have done it a few times.  But sadly, I have also experienced my share of failure because I did not pay attention to my entire business.

Thankfully something changed.  It was my mindset.  I finally became realized that I spent too much effort in sales and marketing – the things I was best at doing – and allowed my lack of focus elsewhere to adversely impact the rest of our business.

As a result of this renewing of my mind, I was finally able to realize that there are six critical areas to a small business.  Each area needs attention in order for a business to survive and thrive:

  1. The Mission: staying focused on our core mission and operating with an Execution Attitude;
  2. Product/Service: building the best version of our product or service and then continuing to improve upon it;
  3. Team: finding and hiring the right people and putting them in the right spots;
  4. Sales and Marketing: putting your product into the hands of your customers;
  5. Data: establishing reports to make data-driven decisions and putting good financial measures and systems in place; and
  6. Process: documenting proper systems in each area of the company in order to keep it running efficiently.

If this message is striking a chord with you, then keep moving along with me.  I sincerely promise to you that if you take the time now to invest in yourself, change your mindset, and focus on the tools and techniques to develop an Execution Attitude in your entire company, you will realize growth, profit and happiness that you originally set out to achieve but has been eluding you.

This is not a strategy book.  This is an execution book.

Let’s take a closer look at what I mean by, “Execution Attitude”.  For the average entrepreneur, the real problem isn’t strategy anyway.  We have plenty of strategies.  It’s easy to put a lot of focus on planning because we’re safe there.  We feel less likely to fail.  It’s no surprise then that we can have wonderful strategy sessions, only to walk out and fail to execute.  And there lies the core problem this book aims to address: lack of execution.

Do you know Sir Isaac Newton’s law of inertia?  If i keep doing something in motion, it’s going to remain in motion, right?  That’s exactly the principle behind one of my mantras: Progress, not perfection.

Avoiding stagnation is as simple as making progress every day.  Take the list of twelve things you have to do today and boil it down to three.  Of those three things, what’s the most important one for today?  That “most important thing” might take ten minutes, it might take an hour, or it might take a day.  Simply identifying it and completing it helps you move forward, and moving forward is addictive.  It’s consuming.  Best of all, it’s habitual.  The more you move forward every day, the more likely you are to keep moving forward.  If you keep reading this book and taking the advice in it, pretty soon you will be skyrocketing in all areas of your life, leadership, and business.

Once you have this attitude of execution, you must apply it to each area of your business in order to have a complete company that is set-up for continued success.

I wrote this book to give you very practical tips that you can use to improve each of the six core areas of your business.  I want to help you achieve success by opening your mind and giving you a map to help you along your journey – but it’s up to you to take the next forward step, to execute on the advice in these pages.

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