The Pumpkin Plan: How To Stop Being a Slave To Your Business


Let’s face it, it is no easy task to run a small business. According the U. S Department of Labor (USDL), approximately 1 million new businesses are started each year, and yet nearly eighty percent of them fail with in the first five years.

Many entrepreneurs are stuck. They either become a slave to money or a slave to time. When you are a slave to your business, even though the rest of world may think you are big time or a rising entrepreneur, at times you may feel like your business is quicksand, as though you are sinking in the middle of it without a tree branch in sight.

It is important for us as entrepreneurs to continue to revisit ‘the dream.’ The dream you had once when you knew exactly what your life would potentially look like, exactly what you would do with buckets of cash, and exactly how you would feel when you pulled it off. So, when all you can think about now is how to cover next week’s payroll or some other pressing financial matter, is important to keep going back to that dream even when it appears that your business is falling apart.

One of the biggest and most impactful decisions you are going to make as an entrepreneurs is to identify and work only your best clients. Chapter 3 (chapter 2 or 3, because below you talk about Chapter 3) focuses on finding your “Giant Seed”, which is basically your sweet spot, the place where your best clients and the best part of your business meet. This is the place where your favorite customers are able to derive maximum benefits from the systematized core processes that drive your business.

In chapter 3, we start thinking about our best clients, these are the clients we most want to work with, those who give us the most business, have reasonable expectations, and communicate well.

Take Action in 30 minutes or less (The work plan outlined in Chapter 3)

1. Start the chart: You can find a copy of action chart by visiting: Start filling in the details and as you discover new ideas, review them, tweak them, and work at improving them often.
2. Zero in on your area of innovation (AOI). What’s your “thing”? What is your company known for? Do you have a commitment to excellence that is un-paralleled in your industry? Where do you really innovate quality, speed, efficiency or price?
3. Figure out if you can systematize it. What tasks do you handle yourself because you think it is more efficient for you to do them, than to teach someone else how to do them? What are the tasks that if you went on a four week vacation would not get done? If you took a break would your business fall apart at the seams? Make a list of all these things because these are the places where you need to start creating systems for improvement.

So, as we consider the insights we have cleaned from Chapter 2 and 3 of the Pumpkin Plan, let’s not only take to heart, but, put into practice finding and cultivating our Giant Seed.



Meet me on March 15th for a discussion of the book  'Good to Great'

Pick up a copy of February’s book  'The Goal: A process of Ongoing Improvement