“Action leads to insight more often than insight leads to action.”
What you learn in entrepreneurial life and when you serve small and
medium sized business is that being nimble isn’t just a common characteristic,
it’s essential for success.
To find success you need revenue.
That revenue is what funds progress.
To earn revenue you need action.
From that action, is an opportunity to learn, to gain insight, and to pivot.
How often do you find the quest for perfection and a business paralyzed in bureaucracy? A group that is unable to make a decision, and in turn, the decisions are made for them (intentionally or not).
Too often people think their idea, or the quality of their product or service, is going to lead to success. That hard work will push the business forward. That they need to get it right before they even try. That they just need to research this one last thing before they are ready.
The world happens around you
But hard work that’s internally focused doesn’t necessarily get you the results you expect. Customer focus does. Hearing the customer does. Centering around the customer and making decisions based on their experience is what drives results.
We have met with people who have amazing ideas and developed incredible businesses, but have spent all their time building processes, products and services, and have all the details worked out. But they don’t have any customers.
There’s money and time spent to perfect.
That money is from founders, family, friends -- and the time is sweat equity.
The frightening reality is that by the time many of these start-ups go to market, they are burnt out and dried up. They are also handicapped with ego because they consider themselves “ready” and that makes it really hard to accept feedback and to pivot.
But you only get one chance to make a first impression, so how do you balance the need for action with the risks?
Not only do we explore these questions with our clients, but we have the same challenges at Amplify. We are building and scaling so that we can grow and amplify. The time spent internally this year is likely the highest proportion we will ever see. But, change and impact doesn’t happen by sitting behind a desk. It also doesn’t happen from spreadsheets and workflows.
We learn the most insight from listening to our clients. We learn from the need to pivot. We develop and create while we serve clients. This funds our growth and helps keep us relevant. Sometimes it’s harder work like this because we are still developing process and methodology while we execute. It isn’t always easy to find our balance.
In this context, our customer is both the buyer and the team.
We need to hear from both and pivot.
What helps us find the balance at Amplify is our values.
We use those values as #financeleaders and #businessadvisors with our clients too.
You need the courage to put yourself out there before you feel ready. You’ll never be ready. You need the courage to work with your customer to perfect, rather than staying in your bubble making the best widget. You need the courage to ignore the haters and the critics who aren’t willing to get in the arena with you.
You need the curiosity to hear what the customer says, to empathize with their perception, and to read the market. You need the curiosity to walk in their shoes and understand what needs investment and what just doesn’t matter. You need curiosity to constantly chase insight and be prepared for when opportunity presents itself.
You need candor. The candor to care deeply and challenge directly. The candor to ask the hard questions. The candor to be transparent. The candor to present the truth so that you find the customers and the team that share your values.
The foundation is communication and collaboration.
The result is taking action, gaining insight and amplifying.
What I Learned from Jeff Bezos After Reading Every Amazon Shareholder Letter - Parsa Saljoughian - Pocket:
The Lean Startup: