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Get your oar out! A key business lesson to help grow your business

21 March 2022
Mark Friend
Digital & Tech, Building & Construction, Ambitious Startups, Building a Business, Property Investors & Developers

Having run an accountancy practice for almost 30 years I have had the good fortune to meet literally thousands of business owners. Many have created great companies but many others have unfortunately failed.

Reasons given for failure are numerous. Many are genuine such as Covid or an unforeseen bad debt resulting in severe cashflow problems. Most however are due to a basic misunderstanding of what is required to create a successful business. In my blog “frustrated with the lack of business growth” I highlighted three key elements that cause business failures:

  1. The business offering is not unique.
  2. A lack of demand for the service or product.
  3. A failure to implement robust systems.

There is however another even more fundamental problem which a lot of business owners don’t like to hear:

A victim mentality.

This is a tough one to swallow. It is easy to blame others for failures, it is easy to make excuses for why something didn’t happen, it is easy to deny what is staring you in the face.

The reality is hard to accept. As a business owner every decision you make is ultimately down to you. Yes, unforeseen events do happen, but ultimately how you respond to the situation is the making or the breaking of you as a business owner. You control how you react to situations.

Every outcome either directly or indirectly comes back to you. When your employee makes a mistake is it their fault or yours? You employed that person, you trained (or failed to train) them, you defined (or failed to define) to them what success looks like in terms of the work you wanted them to do.

So how do you know if you have a victim mentality? Do you speak from the “You…..”. Do you act in a childlike manner? Do you feel out of control? Do you ignore things and wait and see what happens? Do you say, “it’s not my job”? Do you fail to take the initiative?

These are the ways many of us try to justify in our own minds the reasons for the failure or lack of success of our businesses.

So what do strong business owners do that is different?

The reality is that we are all inclined to blame others, make excuses for our own failings and deny what is self-evident. The question is not how do we think but how do we behave?

Put simply, do you take ownership for everything that happens in your business? Do you take accountability for things that go wrong or to get things achieved? Do you take responsibility to make things happen?

How do strong business owners act? They speak from the “I….”. They act in an adult manner by taking control of situations. They have an attitude of “See it, do it, own it”.

Strong business owners believe in themselves and know that they always have a choice of how to react to a situation, that ultimately the decision is theirs to make and they must then act on it.

A great example is one of my most successful clients who is generating profits (not turnover!) in excess of £1million per annum. He has many of the qualities needed to be a successful businessman:

  • He is relentless in his pursuit of excellence.
  • He does not accept being a victim.
  • He has an intense work ethic.
  • His passion for his business is truly inspiring.
  • He is always seeking to solve customer problems, to maximise productivity and to discover the next best thing to help grow his business.

He is as far away from being a victim than you can possibly be!

So why did I say in the title to this blog ‘get your oar out’?

A simple acronym to help you remember:

The successful businessman

O= ownership

A= Accountability

R= Responsibility

The victim

B= Blame

E= Excuse

D= Deny

 It’s easy to stay in BED; the powerful response is to start paddling with your OAR!

OARBED is a powerful behavioral model which doesn’t always come naturally to us all but getting your OAR out is something I see successful business owners do day in and day out.

Oarbed is a key principle we use when working with clients to help them successfully grow their businesses. It can be uncomfortable for some business owners but it can also be transformational.

If you are a client and wish to take your business to the next level then please call your main contact here at Friend & Grant to discuss the many ways we can help you to grow. If you are new to Friend & Grant then please contact us using the form on the right and one of the team will be in touch to arrange a discovery call and meeting.

The content in this blog is correct as at 21 March 2022 See terms and conditions.

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