I had a long discussion with a very good friend yesterday. As usual, we were discussing being entrepreneurs and how to get our business moving to making sales and income.
One of the words he used was “efficient,” i.e. not wasting time and money to getting things done. What entrepreneur hasn’t used that word in any conversation. Ever.
But is the real issue being efficient? Or is it to be effective first?
Everyone one of us has used the word efficient. His comment means he is among the entrepreneur crowd now, and that word will be a familiar refrain every step of the way toward his success.
How it comes about is when starting your business. You can plan all day or month-long until you make the decision and start moving. Sitting in a car pushing buttons, turning the steering wheel and making car sounds is NOT starting a business. It’s about starting up the car, putting it in “D” and pushing the gas pedal and staring moving. When you start moving, you need to steer it in the direction you want to go.
As we were discussing his website, and just like ANY endeavor starting out, you learn as you go. In this case, we headed down one direction and found that the step we were working on required some steps before this one. Working on his website, we wanted to do the social network sharing under Jetpack. In order to start the social networking up, we needed to sign up with a WordPress account. Not a problem. It’s not very efficient at the moment, but that’s the part and cost of learning. You either have time or money, most startups don’t have a lot of either. If you inexperienced and don’t have money to spend, you have to learn and spend valuable time to get it done.
This all started by trying to upload audio files for a podcast we did. Uh oh. Opening a can of worms. Like those that buy a much older house that want to remodel. You NEVER know what you find until you tear down the walls. Same here.
Being effective first, getting it done, then as you learn you get more efficient, getting it done in less time. It sucks, but startups and entrepreneurs, like Special Operations in the military, embrace the suck.
So you either pay someone to get it done for you or you do it yourself. Both cost you.
Remember, once you start moving, you need to steer your car to avoid any pedestrians, pot holes, or other cars and follow the rules of the road. But rest assured, something like patches of black ice or a bad driver you may not be able to see to avoid it and you need to respond the best you know how. Sometimes even accidents happen. It’s about recovering from them. Costly? Yes, but that’s a part of life.
And since everything is a process, starting out means you need to watch and learn. If this gentleman was chopping down his first tree like here:
What do you think he should do next time? Either he watches and learns and changes his process or he does what the familiar saying dictates: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.”
Steer clear of obstacles, but be aware that life’s road will give you curves to deal with. Being effective means avoiding all potholes in the road, being efficient is doing it with the least amount effort and cost.
Learn from your mistakes and change.