Am I casting pearls before swine, here?

Am I casting pearls before swine, here?

I was recently at a large meeting when a business owner pulled me aside to ask for my advice. He seemed desperate and sincere as he told me he really needed my help. He had listened to all of my podcasts and was a fan of what I have been doing over the last 10 years in the industry.

I will admit, I was flattered.

He then proceeded to list all of the “unique problems” he was facing in his office.

(Spoiler alert! You might also relate to one or two of them)

“I can’t find good people to hire.”

“No one wants to work.”

“The employees I do have are not reliable.”

“Everybody wants more money.”

“My overhead is going up, but my collections are going down.”

“I have tried everything to get my employees to care and nothing is working.”

“People in my town don’t want to pay my prices.”

“Corporations are coming into my town and undercutting the fees for what we do.”

“I am burned out and sometimes think about quitting.”

The list of complaints continued. I let him talk, (I believe I am being conservative here), for about 15 minutes. When he got to a stopping place, I thanked him for telling me all of these “problems”.

Then I asked if he wanted to know how to crush all of them and never have them show up again.

He was hopeful and said, “Of course.”

I was actually excited to share this information, because I knew how much it was going to change his life once he understood it.

I leaned in and said, “Nothing you just described is the problem. They are symptoms. I know how to discover and fix the actual problems, would you like to know how?”

He looked at me a bit shocked, but said, “Well, sure.”

I then spent the next 20 minutes giving him the exact, proven and undeniable path to find and solve the actual problem in his business. A plan so focused that, if followed, he would never experience the symptoms again and give him the peace of mind he was looking for, the time with his family he desired and even bring back the joy to what he did again.

I was on a roll. I was focused and so excited to be sharing this information with him.

He listened. He nodded in agreement. He even responded with a few, ‘Oh, wow’s and ‘That makes sense’. I was convinced I had helped turn his whole “my business is suffering” mindset around.

After I was done, we both sat in silence for a few seconds. I was so happy to have given him this life and business changing information. I was so happy I had helped him find the solutions to his real problems.

Then he finally spoke and said:

“Yeah. Ok. Do you have some sort of marketing plan, so I can make more money before I do all of that?”

Have you ever given someone your time, attention and focus in order to help purely out of a desire to give value and help ease their suffering, then after giving them your best ideas, it felt like they treated that information with a complete lack of attention?

I should have not been shocked, but I was. I thought to myself, was he even listening? Did I just waste my breath? Did it totally escape him that the problem was not the lack of money, good hires, the competition, his location, or any of the other things he was focusing on? Did he not realize that I just gave him for free, that others paid me good money to share?

He obviously did not realize that he was back to focusing on the symptom and not the actual problem.

As a busy business owner, in today’s world, it can be really easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the symptom and not fixing the problem in your business.

Why? Because the symptoms are the easy thing to point the finger at.

You might have found yourself saying things like,

  • “If I only made more money.”
  • “If only I could find the right people.”
  • “If only I was in another location.”

Or you blame the economy, the competition, the pandemic, etc.

None of them are the actual problem.

So what are the actual problems that can solve all of your business woes?

There are actually four specific problems in your business that will solve all the symptoms you face when you focus on them.

However, I am not going to give them to you in this email.

Why? Well, that conversation I had with the man above taught me something I already knew. We pay attention to that which we pay for.

I want you to win. I want to share all I can with you. But I also have to know that simple truth is universal. If we don’t put a value on it, people will not value it.

It’s a simple fact. I am just as guilty of being that man sometimes. I get great advice from someone who really wants to help. But in the end, I don’t value the information as much as if I actually paid for it.

Here’s the thing about that gentleman. Of course fixing the actual problem will bring more money into any business. But if you try to focus on the money before you fix the problem, the only thing you will have is the problems with more money. The symptoms will actually become exacerbated. First focus on the cure, then you can heal.