Time to Startup!

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Are You Living in Chaos and Just Don't Know It? Six Strategies to Stop the Madness

Published on Aug 5, 2010


Read our article, 'Are You Living in Chaos and Just Don't Know It? Six Strategies to Stop the Madness' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
clatemaskFeeling out of control? Stressed and shackled to your business? Wondering where the dreams of entrepreneurial freedom ended and the nightmare began? Despite the recent recession - or perhaps because of it - there has been an epic shift in people diving into entrepreneurship. But ... most small businesses fail. In the next 12 months alone, 600,000 new small businesses will be created. By the end of that year, half will have shut their doors forever. We're not OK with this. That's why Scott Martineau and I wrote Conquer the Chaos: How to grow a successful small business without going crazy. Over the years we've talked to thousands of entrepreneurs, and they all share these same struggles. Not to mention Scott and Eric Martineau, my co-founders and I experienced this same chaos ourselves growing our business, Infusionsoft. It's chaos running a small business. All-nighters and cold dinners, missed Little League games, wondering how you'll make payroll this month - these are the symptoms of chaos. The business consumes the entrepreneur's life and too often, destroys everything. Where's the freedom? I recently had an opportunity to chat with Greg Corombos about the six-step formula we created to help small businesses conquer the chaos. In case you missed the interview, here's a quick summary of the six steps. You can also tune into this podcast through Business Owner's Toolkit. Here's a sneak peek at the six strategies for conquering chaos in your business:
  1. Build your emotional capital. Emotional capital is the passion, enthusiasm and positive outlook that keeps you driven to achieve your goals. It's the balancing of work, family, and emotional and physical health.
  2. Practice disciplined optimism. It starts with the undying belief that your small business will achieve the success you have envisioned, while at the same time, confronting the brutal facts of your current reality and attacking those brutal facts because you want to, not because you have to.
  3. Assert your entrepreneurial independence. You decide the fate of your business. If you don't believe something is going to work, no one else will.
  4. Centralize and organize your stuff. Corporations have hundreds, even thousands of people to do the same job you're trying to accomplish on your own. Unless you're supernaturally organized, you've got information, reports, records and financial statements everywhere. To build a solid business foundation and get one step further out of the chaos, you've got to centralize your operations.
  5. Tap into the magical power of follow-up. When you fail to follow up, you're losing out on incredible opportunities. Follow-up failure stunts your growth and prolongs your partnership with chaos.
  6. Burn the to-do list and move from manual to automated. Most small businesses are havens for manual, grunt labor that wastes time, costs money and enslaves the entrepreneur to the business. Automation is the key to liberating you from the busywork.
About the author Clate Mask is co-author of the New York Times best-selling book Conquer the Chaos: How to grow a successful small business without going crazy. Together with the Martineau brothers, Eric and Scott, he started Infusionsoft out of a strip mall in Mesa, Ariz. in 2001. He's the CEO of Infusionsoft, a fast-growth software company that's been on the Inc500 four years in a row. Clate's a nationally known small business growth expert who has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs.