Tackling the Five Frustrations of a Business Owner

Regardless of the system they follow, every business leadership coach has one primary task: help their clients overcome the impediments to their success. When Gino Wickman developed the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, he wanted to help entrepreneurs overcome what he called the “Five Frustrations of an Entrepreneur.”

In my work as a Certified EOS Implementer®, I’ve seen how EOS® addresses each of the Five Frustrations. Here are some examples.

Frustration 1: Lack of Control

Entrepreneurs and business owners tend to be optimists. Where others may see problems, they see endless opportunities. However, this perspective can change as circumstances begin to put speedbumps in front of what started as a seemingly perfect business model.

I have a client that specializes in building components for the Southern California light industrial manufacturing sector. When we started working together on their EOS Journey, the CEO shared with me the following thought:  “With our business so dependent on how the economy is going, it often feels like we’re just blowing in the wind. I want to change that.”

What EOS has helped them do is to become more creative. EOS hasn’t stopped the wind from blowing, but it has helped their team focus on what they can control. Each quarter, they agree to a set of company Rocks (90 day priorities for the company) aimed at diversifying into growth sectors. It has changed the way they plan for the future without changing who they are culturally.

Frustration 2: Lack of Profit

Not many business owners or CEO’s I meet are first motivated by money. They have a passion for what they do. However, each agrees that making a profit is essential. When a business hits the ceiling, its profits tend to drop along with the team’s productivity.

One of the marketing agencies I work with experienced this very issue. They reached a tipping point: at first glance, they seemed to have too many projects and not enough people, so they were constantly losing profitability to contractor fees.

EOS helped them see that the roots of their problems were not quite what they thought. After identifying their Core Focus™, they discovered that a few of their high volume, low profitability engagements were outside their target market. They also learned that they had people in seats that didn’t belong to them. By correcting those things, they began seeing the business’s profitability edge higher.

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