Does Your Business Have A Life-Threatening Illness?

Illness is an interesting phenomenon…

When people are ill, or have an ailment, they can behave in a number of ways.

  1. They can ignore their ailment, and hope it goes away.
  2. They can ask their friends what they think might be wrong with them.
  3. They can go searching for an answer online… by googling their symptoms.
  4. They can go and see their doctor, and find out what he thinks.

If they do not seek medical intervention or opinion, here’s what happens to their ailment:

  1. It gets worse and worse, and kills them or debilitates them.
  2. It lingers, and is always present, and is embarrassing when seen by others…. kind of like a messy room in your house that you’re intending to go fix up one day, but you never seem to get around to it.
  3. Your body can fix the ailment, and repair itself, and things will return to normal. Like when we have the common cold…. we’re told to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and the cold will pass…

Recently I had felt some dry skin inside of my left ear.

Well not inside of the ear hole, but inside of the shell of the ear.

I had all sorts of images going through my head that this was a cancer, and that I’d be losing my left ear ala Van Gogh style… I was terrified to bring this to the attention of my doctor… but in the end, I realised that it was probably best to get her expert opinion.

Fortunately for me, my doctor said that my ailment was benign, and innocuous. She zapped it with some CO2 spray, and that cleared up the ailment.

My visions of losing part of my ear were laid to rest, thankfully.

It’s funny, things are very similar when it comes to talking business…

A lot of business owners treat their business worse than they treat their body.

  1. They don’t have routine health checks for their business, and when asked, they usually say something benign like:“I think we’re going OK”when in fact, they haven’t stuck a thermometer in their business since I don’t know when… and they have no real idea at all as to how healthy or not their business is…But, they think their business is going OK…
  2. When they see something going wrong in their business, they often hope that the problem will go away of its own accord… they close their eyes and ignore the problem, and they metaphorically stick their heads in the sand, hoping that the problem fixes itself.

  3. If the problem lingers, they ask their mates and family what they should do to fix it, despite the fact that their mates and family may not have any clue at all about running a business…
  4. Or they go to Google looking for an answer to their problem, and try to DIY a solution.

In all these cases above, time works as the enemy while they are attempting to solve their problem.

And time is a perishable resource that can never be regained once it has passed by…

And wasting time is expensive.

In sport…

Elite athletes and sports people with focus, drive and determination, have coaches who they regularly check in with to ensure that they stay focussed and on track towards their desired goals and destinations.

And more than most, sports stars understand that time is their enemy, and they only have a certain window of opportunity to achieve their goals.

In health…

Some people have regular medicals and health checks to make sure their body is OK… In Australia, every adult over fifty gets sent a bowel cancer screening test to complete every two years.

Older people have flu-shots every year to reduce the risk of getting influenza in winter.

Regularly checking your PSA or your blood pressure can detect life threatening issues before they cause permanent damage or death.

In business…

In business it’s different.

Most business owners have no plan.

They make things up as they go along, and they don’t know their numbers until nine months after the end of the financial year when they file their tax returns.

If you own a business, you need a plan.

If you own a business, you need to be working with an advisor who knows business and knows your business and can guide you through the turbulent times and the calm times and keep you focussed on your goals.

Someone who can help you keep your business healthy and keep it away from distractions.

Making the wrong decisions, or not making a decision at all [which is really making a decision not to make a decision] can have dire implications for a business.

Before heeding advice, make sure that the so-called advisor is qualified to give advice.

Opinions are not always advice.

Investing in good advice, investing in maintaining the health of your business, is money well spent.


Sadly, in life, a lot of people wait until their body starts to fall apart before they make those hard decisions… and make the sacrifices and take the actions needed to get healthy.

And it’s often the same in the business world…


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