Even if you hire people to do the stuff youd rather not do, you still have to manage those people, which gives rise to a robot tracks Manufacturers bunch of other stuff youd rather not do. And even if you are a crackerjack people manager, there are all sorts of things you cant give away-planning, financial review, strategic decision making, other stuff like that-that not all that many business owners are into doing. In fact, those last are the kinds of things that many of us put off doing until we must, whether its because we dont like doing them or simply because we think we dont have time.
Anyway, your business demands your attention….very much like a lawn. When the lawn needs mowing, there isnt a lot of wiggle room in terms of putting it off. No matter how “not in the mood” you are to go out and start up the mower, there comes a point where you have to go take care of it. The damn grass keeps growing, and regardless of whether you like mowing or not, it must be attended to. And its not just the mowing. Theres edging, trimming, weeding, fertilizing, clean up, and a bunch of other tasks that have to be done.
I just got back in from taking care of the lawn…the front lawn, anyway. I ran out of steam in the middle of doing the back yard and have to recuperate before going back out. And I did the whole magilla-lawn, trimming, edging, weeding, clean up. I came in dirty, sweaty, dehydrated, and very tired.
Now, looking out the window at my handiwork, I am exhilarated. It looks terrific, and I did that. Between the endorphins generated by the physical labor (something I dont do much of) and the satisfaction at how good the lawn looks, at this moment I am very pleased with the results Ive produced. I know that its going to grow out and get ragged again, and that Ill have to get it up to go out and do it again. Hopefully Ill remember how great it feels once Im done, and that will help me get through it.
The way Im thinking of the model, the lawn itself is the everyday state of the business. The edging, trimming, etc. is the stuff I mentioned earlier-strategic decision making, financial review, planning, and so on. While you have to mow the lawn when it needs it, you can put off the other stuff a bit…but sooner or later youll have to attend to the edges because things will look so ragged.
Whether we like it or not, the “lawn” of our businesses-the not-so-glamorous part of the landscape that is most noticeable only when it looks bad-has to be attended to regularly. Its not all that much fun, its hot, sweaty, noisy work, but when we are done with the job, the great results really show. Very satisfying.
We can continue the analogy, I suppose. When you get mold or pests, you call in a specialist (a consultant) to help you. You can hire someone to do the lawn, which would make you an absentee owner, letting your hiree worry about keeping up with operations. Okay, Ill stop.
The point of all this is that all of us who own businesses and who fill the primary operational role must do things we dont want to do, and if we put them off, our businesses will get ragged, weedy, and overgrown. Better to attend to the tasks and keep the business well-manicured, and then revel in the satisfaction when we get the results produced.