February 16th, 2011

Today I wanted to share with you three specific words of advice from a business owner who helped build a multi-billion company in under 10 years.

He’s a guy who launched and sold his first business to American Express for over $10 million, then went on to help form, scale, and eventually take public an upstart travel company that had the audacity to leverage a broke, b-list celebrity spokesperson to create a business that literally changed a multi-billion dollar industry.

His name is Jeff Hoffman, and the company he helped create is called Priceline.com.

Jeff was one of the founding team members and former CEO in the Priceline.com family of companies.

A short while ago he was talking to a group of 75 business owners in the Maui community when he shared 3 specific pieces of advice that I think every business owner MUST pay close attention to.

Here’s what he shared in that private forum:

#1: Build a Business, Not a Job

Jeff recognized that most business owners don’t build a business so much as they build a self-employed job for themselves.

Why do so many business owners get caught up in the day to day activities and stunt their business’s growth and get stuck in the status quo?

According to Jeff the reason is simple, they don’t have an accurate road map that gives them a clear model for HOW to build their business.

They think that long hours spent doing the job of their business is going to help them escape.  But let’s be very clear, you cannot dig your way out of a hole!  The more and faster you dig, the deeper you get.
The same thing is true for business owners–you cannot dig your way out of your business by putting in longer hours doing the job of your business.  To escape the Self Employment TrapTM you’ve got to stop doing the job of your business and step back to grow and develop your business as a business.

#2: To Reach Your Business Dreams, Follow a Better Road Map

The road map you are using to build your business is one of the biggest determiner of where you’ll end up with your business.

Jeff always encourages business owners to build their business with the end in mind of building a business that COULD be sold.

Regardless of whether you ever sell it, this will spark you to build a better business.

You’ll incorporate stable systems; you’ll groom your leadership team; you’ll implement intelligent business controls.

All of these things will make your business more valuable, more scalable, AND easier to own passively.

#3:  Get Off the Couch and DO Something

Jeff shared with our group how the average business owner works hard in the business, but is actually lazy about learning new ways to grow and expand their business.

Case in point, the workshop he was a guest advisor for had 75 business owners.  The invitations went out to over 10,000 business owners.  Where were the other 9,925 business owners who could have been there that Propecia Online weekend learning about ways to grow and expand their business?

One of two places… Either they “had to work” for their businesses (ironic isn’t it?) or they were at home “on the coach”.
Jeff’s observation was that in business it’s always the business owner who can consistently get him or herself up off the couch and learning new ways of growing the business that will outshine and outperform the masses of business owners who are just too lazy to break out of old, outdated ways of doing things.

What About You?

Are you a business owner who is “stuck on the coach”?  Or are you someone who goes after your business dreams?

In the end it is up to you.