Did you know that businesses, no matter how big or small, experience similar obstacles as they move from idea to goals to finishing a project? In over 25 years of training, teaching and executive experience, Jen McFarland has discovered these common obstacles. Join WTR host Kevin Dumont and guest expert Jen McFarland in rooting out 5 common mistakes many business owners make and unearth how to solve them.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:00:00] Welcome to another discussion with Wealth Tactic Rebels, the podcast for people who see things differently. I'm your host, Kevin Dumont. I've been thinking differently in the wealth field for nearly 15 years today. I'm joined by a host. Jen McFarland. Jen, how are you today? Well, I appreciate you being here today and sharing your time and your knowledge with our wealth at the rebels.
So Jen is an entrepreneur in business consultant and, she has a particular expertise in business and, kind of like the Wealth Tactic Rebel philosophy, where we believe that you have a lot more to be had by first avoiding losses, before you go chasing a rate of return, like it's the same thing in business, Someone like Jen who's had a lot of experience has seen a lot of mistakes that people commonly make when they're trying to run their business. And if you can first learn those ahead of time, but through someone like Jen and look out to avoid those, you know, you have a lot better shot at having a more successful business.
So today's discussion is avoid these five common business mistakes. we're going to discuss those. It has to do with it mindset, willingness to poke holes in what you think is a success. and assessing risk and, time. And we also talked a little bit about, uh, with different ways that, that you can accomplish things.
Before we get into that though, Wealth Tactic Rebls, if you would do as a favor after this episode on whatever your preferred listening platform is, please just go there, give us a rating review and a, you can drop us a line. You can do it there. You can do it on a Wealth Tactic Rebles Facebook page. let us know what you found inspiring about today's episode, what you think may have helped you or someone, you know, Jen let's, let's get into a little bit, but before we get too far, would you mind sharing a little bit with our listeners about a little bit about where you came from and what inspired you to do what you do today?
Jen_McFarland: [00:01:48] Sure. Thank you, Kevin. And thanks again for having me on. so my name is, my name is Jen McFarland. Um, I have 25 years of teaching training and executive experience in leadership projects and marketing, and the way that I got really into. All of this was after college. I got really interested in the peace Corps.
One of my best friends went to Bolivia. This was back when we were pen pals, cause they didn't have internet in Bolivia. And I just became really fascinated with it. Now the whole time that I was. Her pen pal. I was also working as a graphic designer and I was like, I want to do this. And I got married and my husband and I ultimately what to Kazakhstan and lived overseas for two years.
And it just kind of took away like all of the creature comforts. and I realized how much I love projects and it also kind of changed my own mindset. So I came back, I had, you know, Went back and got a master's degree in leadership and management. I led a bunch of really large scale projects and that I realized that my true love is really boots on the ground, helping people and that a lot of what I have learned even, getting my masters degree really wasn't as applicable as they like to make it sound.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:03:01] You did, this is a common experience for a lot of people. You go to school, you get your degree and then you get out in the world and you're like, huh? It's not quite what I remember studying.
Jen_McFarland: [00:03:11] You know, and even as I was going through getting my master's degree, you know, I was a mid career peace Corps volunteer as a mid career grad students. So I was kind of like, this doesn't sound right. But you know, I hadn't been in some of the higher levels of organizations, . So I thought, well, maybe it's a different, you know, and no, it's not, it's, it's not, not different.
so it really, all of these experiences, including working on really large scale projects that, like I said, Higher levels of organizations. it really uncovers that a lot of the mistakes that we're making in business, it doesn't matter how big you are, how small you are. a lot of things happen over and over and over again.
And a lot of the work that I do now is about helping people, you know, just think about things a lot differently.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:03:51] Excellent. What we're all about thinking about things differently, so perfect for today's conversation. So, as I mentioned in the beginning, we're going to talk about avoiding the five common business mistakes that you've experienced in your career. This has to do with examining where you are today versus where you want to be in the future. Jen, would you mind talk a little bit more about why is, why is this a mistake? Why do our listeners care about this? And, how's it gonna help them?
Jen_McFarland: [00:04:15] Sure. I mean, I think as, as leaders, we all need to really consider where our mind is and, and how that is really, changing. Maybe the way that we are seeing the things around us. One of the things that I talk about with my clients. and then on my own podcast a lot is, you know, we have to look for the good and then we begin to see it everywhere.
So if you're always saying that everything is going wrong, guess what, that's what you're going to see. That's the reality that you have created for yourself. And you're almost. Looking for the bad instead of the good. So these are the types of like mindset things, that can really affect how well you do in your business, or how will you lead your team or different things like that.
So, one of the key dimensions is if you look at how things are today, and you're not satisfied, You know, you want, you know, something big to change. You do have to look at where things are today and then compare that to where you want to be. And then look at where the gaps are, you know, and part of that is in how you are thinking about.
You know, the future, how you were thinking about where you're at today. Maybe you're not reflecting enough on what's going right. Or you're not really looking at the things that are really holding you back. And so it's important to take a look at all of that. And then again, really reflect not just on what's wrong, but also on, on what's right. And that will help you realize where you truly are on your path.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:05:44] Absolutely. that vision is important to be able to see where you're going. if you don't have a bit of an open mind, you're not okay with thinking about it differently and stepping outside of your comfort zone, your vision of that future could get skewed and you could be trying to force something that, is not really where it should or could be going.
Jen_McFarland: [00:06:01] Yeah. I mean, I think it's, I think it's that, I think it's also like when you are envisioning, where you want to be, you have to recognize, what your own strengths are as well as your weaknesses, and then surround yourself with people who can fill the gaps, on the things that you don't like to do, or you're not as good at doing.
so that, in that sense, you're actually, not poking holes in things you're actually filling the cracks and surrounding yourself with people who maybe have a different mindset or a different. Openness or a different outlook. and then what you're actually doing is reinforcing your business so that it is more resilient and able to weather things, like economic downturns and other risks.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:06:43] Hmm. Makes sense. It's almost like a, in a personal relationship where, you have people that kind of. Balance each other , relationships work well when, if you're, if you're dating someone, who's exactly like you, for instance, uh, maybe a bit of a conflict there, but when you, yeah.
But when you have someone who is a little bit different, and they balance you, you work well together? And in the same sense in a business relationship whether it's with your employees or partners or your business itself. that balance is important because it helps, helps bring out, as you say, fill in, fill in the cracks.
Jen_McFarland: [00:07:19] Yeah. Yeah. That's part of the openness of especially small business owners where, although I've seen it in leaders with big organization is as well is if you're unwilling to realize that you're not good at everything, which is hard. Cause you know, we're all
Kevin_Dumont: [00:07:33] Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Especially big ones because I, you know, sometimes big, big leaders of big companies and such tend to have big egos and egos tend to, can, can get into the way of thinking like that.
Jen_McFarland: [00:07:47] Exactly. But some of the most successful business people that we've ever had, you know, someone like Henry Ford he's, he's always said that the reason he was successful is because he surrounded himself with people who were smarter than him.
And that's one of the things that's really key is you have to realize your weaknesses and then find people who can help you.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:08:08] Right, right,
Jen_McFarland: [00:08:09] smartest person in the room, you got to find another room.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:08:12] right, right. You gotta find all the people. That's a good idea. Actually, a guy that I know his name is Don Blanton. He's really big with this whole philosophy of what we talk about. He jokes around too a lot. He says I never really had a brilliant idea. I just took someone else's,
you know, he's a lot like that. That's how he believes, just like yourself. so mindset to examine. Now let's talk a little bit about a willingness to poke holes, assuming success. What do we mean by that?
Jen_McFarland: [00:08:44] You know, when we talked about this beforehand, I've no idea what I meant when I said that, but here's, here's my take on that today. So I'm just going to admit that because I have this like shifting and evolving philosophy around success. I think a lot of times we equate success with money and only with money when success can mean a lot of different things.
And I think that we make these assumptions about. What it means to be successful. And sometimes we have to look at the different dimensions of success and we will get more money if we take care of some of these other dimensions along the way. Right? So if, if you, you are, for example, getting feedback from your customers on a regular basis, and you're hearing the same thing over and over again, and you may not like it.
That's something that you can adjust that will lend itself to your success. Right. And you'll find that you're making more money as a result of handling the feedback better, instead of just assuming that the customers are happy, it's better to get feedback
Kevin_Dumont: [00:09:45] Right, right,
Jen_McFarland: [00:09:47] and in fact, in the marketing world, there's a tremendous gap between, how businesses think that they're performing when they're.
Trying to attract new customers and how the customers actually received the information. lot of times we assume, that we're being successful at things. And so one of the things, instead of just focusing on revenue and bottom line as a business owner, there are a lot of different dimensions that contribute to your success.
And so you can't just look at one, you have to look at many. And then, like I said, poke holes in it. So what that means is ask a lot of questions, get a real sense of the landscape of what's going on, and you will find problems along the way that as you resolve them, you will find that if money is the main driver for success, entrepreneurial success, you will find that you are making more money because you taking care of your customers better.
Your processes are no longer. All over the place, you know, you have solid processes, for example, maybe you have a gold standard for what customers can expect that wasn't there before and now all of those things are happening. So then the revenue is being addressed in other ways.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:10:58] Excellent. You know, when you talk about like, this makes me think a little bit about, something I've kind of seen through studying what's going on with other companies, is that I think that, you know, if you've got a business, that's Looks good in people's eyes or, is relating to their, to their customers out there, people out there, and they've got to build a good brand for themselves that people know and trust and, it makes it desirable.
And then sometimes you'll get someone that comes in that's kind of bottom line focused if you know what I mean? They're, they're really looking at, Hey, look, here's our revenue. What can we do to increase that? But they're looking at it through safe spreadsheet, eyes. You know what I mean and say, Oh, well, this doesn't really make us money.
And this does, so we're gonna cut back on that. That's not really making us money, but maybe that was the thing that was helping you get in front of people and help you build that brand that they know, and they trust and they want. So you're looking at it as, Oh, success is more revenue.
And we can get revenue by increasing sales and by making cutbacks. And they're not looking at it as success is getting people to love your company.
Jen_McFarland: [00:12:01] Yeah. I mean, so when I look at problems with businesses, I'm always looking at them holistically. People want to just take the shortcut and that's oftentimes the spreadsheet solution, but there are a lot of different dimensions, like you just said to what it means to be successful. And, you know, There are also a lot of people who think that our brand is a logo and a website, and there's a lot more to a brand than that. In fact, can either, you can run a business without a website. You can run a business with a crummy website, how you treat your customers always matters more,
Kevin_Dumont: [00:12:35] Sure, sure.
Jen_McFarland: [00:12:37] people say that word of mouth and online reviews, they mean the same meaning if they hear from a friend that your business is awesome, it carries the same weight as if they're reading about it on like Google my business or Facebook.
So what that tells me is. Treat your customers well, and everything else will follow, you know,
Kevin_Dumont: [00:12:56] Right, right,
Jen_McFarland: [00:12:57] that is there's, there's like so many dimensions to how we treat our customers as well. That really at the end of it, when it comes to revenue, that's, that's really the number one place to start.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:13:07] You, you mentioned a Ford, right? Henry Ford. So my observation here, and by the way, I'll, I'll admit right now I'm a car person. I love cars. I love tinkering with my car, I go racetracks, everything, but so Henry Ford, had that motto of race on Sunday, sell on Monday.
Granted he was a car guy, but the point of it was that he knew that racing wasn't something that was going to bring him a bottom line. He was just spending a lot of money on it, and that doesn't actually make him any money, but it was getting him in front of people. and it was showing the brand, the kind of brand that he was and the vehicles, and people would see that spirit and want some of that spear and want to own some of that spirit of that company.
Right. And that helped build a great brand. and then growing up, car company in Japan that I liked growing up because they were, they seem to have that same kind of racing spirit. And that caught my attention growing up and, you know, playing the video games, growing up the Gran Tourismo. So The company has Mitsubishi. Some of you may not have even heard of it at this point because you have, well, you know, I've actually said Mitsubishi before it's people, uh, what they make a what, air conditioners or something, because they do make other things too. There's a larger company that makes a lot of other appliances and things, but the, but the car company, they used to be big into racing like that.
And because of that, everyone knew that brand, they had one car that was kind of like their halo car that was out there and racing and It made them desired, made them fairly successful. And then they started cutting back on those types of cars. Because as a company, they decided that the sporty cars weren't making them enough money.
Like the bottom line was too small. They were putting a lot of money into developing them and promoting them and not making much profit off of them. So they kept cutting it back and cutting it back. And as a company, they kept going down, they almost completely went out of business. I know they're still in business right now with a few cars.
But they're not very well known anymore. They completely stopped. They cut their entire racing budget. They stopped all the sporty cars that they were used for, that the people liked for that. So they lost their image and people stopped buying them.
Jen_McFarland: [00:15:15] Yeah, well, so I drive a Mustang, so
Kevin_Dumont: [00:15:18] There you go. There you go.
Jen_McFarland: [00:15:22] you know, but like even just, you know, Mitsubishi, but even going back to the Ford example, that movie Ford versus Ferrari, you know, a lot of that was about not only, looking fast and like having people at the track, it was also helping them develop better cars.
Kevin_Dumont: [00:15:38] Sure sure. There's
Jen_McFarland: [00:15:39] was a lot more to it, right? Like, so, so here's