Surround yourself with people who can do what you can’t

When I talk to small business owners, the message that rings loudest is how busy they are. Owning your own business is quite possibly one of the hardest jobs on the planet.  You put everything you are and everything you have into making the business work.  Your personal success is riding on it, your professional success is riding on it, and more than likely, your family is counting on it.  It’s a LOT of pressure.  But…. it’s all worth it.

I deeply admire entrepreneurs and I started the cafe to help you succeed.  We’re here to be your marketing mentors and carry the burden for you.  Let us help.  A long time ago, one of my mentors said to me, “You can work hard or you can work smart.”

At the time, we were talking about how lost I was with a task. I just couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do.

He said, “Jo, find someone who knows how to do this and have them teach you.”

This is a great strategy.   The world’s best CEOs surround themselves with experts.  The best leaders fill their team with people who are experts at doing what they themselves can’t.  So, now that you know we are on your team, what do you need help with?  Reply here, so that other business owners can learn too.  I’ve got a full cup of coffee and I’m ready.  Bring it on!


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  • I am working towards photography, I take great pictures, I’ve been networking and exspanding my social media, but I don’t have anything organized, and I’m having a real hard time starting my day-starting my business. I confuse myself because of it. I am an artist, so I’m working on photography, paintings and crafts, woodworking-finishing, and I’m starting to write out my stories, a book. each of these areas I have the same problem. Just don’t know how to get started. At least as a business. I could use a little guidance. Thank you

    • Jo

      Hi Kelly,

      First, let me say, “I feel your pain.” Thanks for commenting because you are helping others by reaching out. And thanks for joining the cafe because our Facebook Marketing e-book will come in handy. What is most scary is not knowing what to do. It can be so frustrating. So, your first step is to begin learning and to get organized. First, choose a day of the week and time slot of at least one to two hours that you can dedicate, uninterrupted, to growing your business. Make this commitment because what you will see happen is the more you learn and increase your understanding, the more confident you become. If you can dedicate a few time slots a week at the beginning, even better. What I have found is that you need to create and follow a plan to effectively grow your business. This will help you become and stay organized. I’ve put together a section on our site called the French Press. Start with this section, and step one which is research. Step one requires your to research your industry, your community, your competitors, and your business. Take advantage of the transparency of the internet and social media and learn what your competitors are doing. On the organization home front, create a business folder on your desktop. In it create the following folders…

      Research – Anything you find of interest and beneficial to growing your business while conducting research, save to this folder.
      Marketing Plan – When you begin writing your plan, you will put it in this folder.
      Marketing ideas – As you look at competitors or come across any kind of marketing or idea that gains your interest, save it to this folder.

      Kelly, this should get you started. If it’s ok with you, I’ll follow up with you weekly and see how you are doing. Let me know what day and time you pick for your business planning. Once you do that, you’re on your way!

      All my best,

  • Marissa

    I often struggle with internal communications. For ‘all-employee’ emails, it’s easy. You draft the communication and distribute. But what about departmental communications you see that need improvement. Each week some departments meet and discuss issues and accomplishments. At the end of the meeting a report is drafted, well,a meeting re-cap, and it’s sent to all the department employees. Should the communications lead approach the department head to make improvements or should he/she stay out of the weeds. I’m sure there’s a fine line, for instance with inappropriate information you most certainly would address the issue and most likely with HR, however, what about grammatical and spelling errors? Thanks for any insight you can provide Jo!

    • Jo

      Hi Marissa,

      It’s difficult sometimes to fix something others may not realize needs to be corrected. You have to ask yourself, does it need to be corrected? What are the consequences if it isn’t? As a communicator, grammar and spelling errors jump out at me like someone spilling soda on a white dress. You want to help fix it, and fast. But to others, it’s not even noticeable. For reports, I would think you would want someone with a fresh set of eyes to look it over before sending it out to everyone. For a meeting re-cap or minutes, most people won’t, but I’m obsessive. Your internal work product could be the reason you do or don’t get a different position one day. However, we aren’t all English scholars either, so we may not even be aware of our mistakes. Is this person easily offended? One approach might be to just ask the person, “Hey do you want to send these to me for a quick read before you distribute. I’ve seen a couple type-o’s and would love to be a fresh set of eyes for you, if you need it.” You could also try modeling the behavior and asking this person to review your work for you, to help establish a team relationship. But first, answer the first two questions I asked and go from there. Let me know what happens. I’m intrigued!

      • Marissa

        This is very helpful. Thank you for clearing this up for me.