What to do if you’re not good at business.

“I can’t do it.  I’ve got no business sense.”

If I had a buck for every young and old buck that has said that to me, I could capitalize Spider-man all over again.

That quote always comes up when they talk about getting into producing, or producing their own work, or when they tell me they have an idea for a new app but don’t know how to get it off the ground.

“I’m just no good at business.”

Somewhere along the way, the word business became synonymous with balance sheets and mortgage derivates.

But I’ll tell you a secret.  That’s not the only thing that business is.  In fact, that’s not even the most important part about “business.”

And the cool thing about Producing as a business is that Producers (and this means CEOs, Board Chairmen and App Developers) can have all sorts of other areas of expertise, and have brilliant careers.

Some Producers I know are experts at marketing.  Some negotiate better than Alan Dershowitz.  Some are great at product development (coming up with ideas that can make audiences stand up and cheer).  And some have more personal relationships than John Mayer.

The key is to make the most of what you do know.

You think Steve Jobs was a master of financial charts?  Or Henry Ford?  Or do you think each President of the United States understands the ins/outs of the world’s economic system (remember when Obama and McCain were called to the White House during the ’08 campaign so that someone could explain to them how bad the recession situation was?)?

The best Presidents and Producers use what they’ve got to get things done, and then they surround themselves with other experts who know more than they do.  Yep, that’s why the best leaders out there are ego-less and know when to bring on the best General Managers, the best Advertising Executives, and the best Accountants to make up for any deficiencies they may have.

But they don’t not do whatever they want to do just because they are insecure about their “business” sense.

They just know that the best business sense is knowing when to hand over your “business” to someone else.


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  • Janis says:

    This one really hits home. I see those words as excuses and I do not allow myself excuses, yet I use those words.
    With hard work blessed by luck, I developed a business and built it to a very profitable multi-million dollar military contracting firm. I did it as a single mother without even a business partner. To qualify myself for what I was already doing, I got an undergrad degree in Business Adm. then for the joy of it a grad degree in Creative Writing all while operating the company.
    With hard work I can overcome any obstacle and I like hard work. I’ve had a degree of local success in writing musicals. But because the writing is a joy and not hard work, it always seems to be a fluke.
    So still I make the excuses that I do not allow and it both limits and angers me.

  • Zachary Carter says:

    I’ve heard people remark from time to time how amazed they are that Bill Gates was able to achieve such wealth and success without a college degree. My response is always that while Mr. Gates did not complete college, you can bet that he surrounds himself with the best and the brightest in business, finance, engineering, and law so that he can focus on doing what he does best. I am a firm believer that if someone has a good idea and actually takes the time to develop that idea into something useful and attainable, they will be able to get the right people on board who can help guide that vision into reality.

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