Worried You Might Not Be A Great Business Person?

There’s a huge fear amongst those who start their own business.

That they are not good enough.

This fear is exacerbated by the media constantly featuring entrepreneurs who seem to make billions overnight.

Every second article seems to be about some new business superstar that grows their company from 2 people in a garage to 2000 people speedily and effortlessly.

It’s hard not to compare ourselves to these geniuses and feel that, well, maybe we don’t have what it takes.

This is a huge mistake.

If you’re feeling a little unconfident about your chances in business, it’s important to remember the following points.

1. ALL BUSINESS SKILLS ARE LEARNABLE.

There’s nothing magical about business – it’s a craft. If you don’t know how to do something you can learn it. Anything.

Don’t ever be intimidated by someone who shows outstanding abilities in entrepreneurship – rest assured they weren’t born a corporate titan.

If they learnt how to excel in any area then you can too.

2. KAIZEN IS ALL THAT MATTERS.

You may have heard of the Japanese concept of Kaizen – that small and never ending improvements lead eventually to greatness.

It’s time to live this philosophy, every day at work. Look for little things you can do just that little bit better. It’s important to remember that excellence is not about perfection, it’s about self correction.

3. GENIUS IS A MYTH.

As the world’s leading researcher on high performance, Anders Ericsson conclusively showed everyone who seems to be a genius actually just worked harder and longer and had an excellent teacher. There’s not a single example (other than autistic savants) of anybody just being brilliant at something without long periods of hard training and self improvement. Not Mozart. Not Kasparov. Not Einstein. Not anyone.

(For mountains of research that backs this up read the following books: Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, The Genius in All Of Us by David Shenk  and The Talent Code By Daniel Coyne).

Yep, the research is voluminous and conclusive. You CAN be a great entrepreneur.

But it will take a total commitment to learning. And, unlike what the media usually portrays, slow and steady improvements over time.

This path to business success may not sound exciting, but believe me, the results will be.

What We Can Learn From NASA

Any good entrepreneur is always taking ideas from other industries and trying them in their own company.

Here’s one from NASA I just found out about.

It’s called Integrated Concurrent Engineering, or ICE.

ICE turns the traditional model of working on projects upside down.

Here’s how it works:

Usually when a company has a big project they work on it bit by bit.

A small group of leaders conceives the idea, then one by one, different people or groups are called in to work on their section of the project.

That seems logical, but it’s slow.

You have to wait for different groups to finish their bit before the next group can start on theirs.

ICE is radically different.

Everyone gets together at the start, and works on it concurrently.

When everyone is in the same room, mistakes are realised much earlier in the process.

Waiting time is enormously reduced.

Teamwork is profoundly enhanced, because groups are forced to work with each other.

Projects get completed earlier.

How much earlier?

Well a Disney executive I had lunch with this week told me that switching to the ICE method has tripled Disney’s project completion speed.

Think about that.

Just by switching to this method of working they finish jobs in a third of the time.

ICE won’t work for every company, but it might just be worth trying in yours.

Get the whole team in earlier. Include everyone from the start. Make them interact with different departments. Let each department see the others work, at every stage. Force everyone to make decisions right there in the room.

In short, massively and concurrently collaborate.

If ICE can help NASA send spacecraft to Mars, it might also make help your company reach the stars.