By John L. McCarty, an EO Reno Tahoe member and president/CEO of LUX dynamics
As an entrepreneur, I’m always reading about how it’s important to work on your business and not in your business. I recently discovered the value of doing the exact opposite. I wish I could say that this “A-ha” moment occurred while I was busy working on a client project or strategizing into the early morning, but I can’t. I was mopping the floor when I had my entrepreneurial epiphany.
It all started about a year ago, when I was struggling with a new technology that was quickly taking over my industry. As the owner of a lighting-manufacturing business, I knew that I had to develop a product line using new LED technology in order to stay in business. The only problem? The technology was inferior to the kind we were already using, and although there are benefits, it’s riddled with the kind of problems only an engineer would understand.
There I was, facing a dilemma: Do I embrace the new technology and spend a ton of money in retooling costs, only to offer a product I believe is inferior to what we already make? Or do I say “no thanks” and move forward with our existing offerings, potentially putting everything I worked for in jeopardy? It was a decision that would alter the direction of my business, and one that needed to be made quickly. So, I did what I typically do when I’m at a crossroads in my company. I went into my shop and started doing menial tasks. I let boredom guide me to my eventual business decision.