How Do You Tend To Your Business Elephant?

One of the tools a great coach uses is metaphors to impart lessons and insights. I have used the following metaphor with many a client struggling to sort out their business and take back control.

Ok, so up front this post is going to be a little crass but I promise a light bulb will go off on where you should focus when preparing your business for exit.

Imagine that your business is an elephant, it’s your elephant and you are responsible for its care and wellbeing. And there are two options for how you can care for the elephant.

    1. You lead the elephant from the front, feeding it nurturing it, and leading it in a direction, riding up on its shoulders looking into the distance and planning your journey.


  1. You follow behind the elephant which is wandering aimlessly without direction with a shovel constantly cleaning up its mess (yes, dealing with the crap). Every time you look up you see the same view, a view of what’s causing all the crap you have to deal with (yes its butt).

How does that relate to business?

The first situation is proactive and strategic, and the other is reactive and tactical. When looking at the daily activities of many business owners and CEO’s they are more like the latter, constantly spending their day cleaning up all the mess and situations that the business creates, they are very reactionary, and this is what wears them down into a disenchanted business owner.

Common symptoms these business owners experience include:

  • Take tasks from staff and do it themselves… after all no one can do it as good as the boss
  • Constantly putting out fires
  • Micro managing people and the business

If you are reading my blog because you’re interested in accessing an effective business selling model, then you have to ask yourself why would anyone pay good money for your business to have to spend their day cleaning up crap?

The way to get back to control and prepare business your business for sale is as much about the owners head space as anything else. And as a coach I work on helping you move from the back of the “elephant” to the front, which isn’t as hard or take as long as you might think. The goal is to get you to a position where you can genuinely lead the business, and enjoy the success of business, and make owning that elephant a desirable investment and not just another fertiliser producer.

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