Micro-Business 501 – sharing the game with others

This is sort of an advanced concept for some people. They may have such difficulty staying ahead of the game themselves, that they find it hard to conceive of sharing the best bits of their business with others.  Others I have known were able to share their game without losing control of their business. It can be a real win-win situation when handled correctly.

Making your business into a game big enough for others requires an exterior viewpoint of your business and your reasons for establishing it. It also helps if you are a coldly analytical, yet compassionate judge of people. And finally, you must enjoy your work, if you want to share it.

When I say the game can be expanded to include others, I don’t mean adding extra hands. I mean that you enlist others to share the decision-making. Look at the decision you have to make on an ongoing basis. Are there decisions which you labor over, that others might enjoy making? If you can find that person, you can both be part of a bigger and more satisfying game.

For example, I love to design the look and exact functionality of a thing to excite a client and match their every expectation. I take pleasure in working with wood and creating a functional object of beauty out of rough lumber.

Building a conceptual design in my head while balancing the conflicting requirements of functionality, cost, ease of assembly, time to completion, and available resources is something I enjoy more than anything else I can name. I occasionally find myself waking up at night with a design half-finished and the only way I can get back to sleep is to put down enough on paper that I can let go of the design until morning.

On the other hand, laboring over the calculations required to fit fifty pieces of wood together leaves me cold.  But it is a vital part of designing wood furniture to make it last and be a joy to generations of users. Gerry, my working buddy, is invaluable because he loves exerting control over the intricate details of a complex structure. The more complex, the better as far as he is concerned. When he is done with his calculations, we have a design that is accurate to a 32nth of an inch and it goes together like clockwork.

Finally, if you can enlist the customer as a part of your team, instead of an adversary, the game gets even more interesting!

You can channel the customer’s talents into resolving issues before they become showstoppers. When the customer understands the risks associated with certain decisions, it is much easier to justify allowances for additional time or costs. It also opens the door for the customer to rethink some of the more challenging requirements. The end result becomes a victory for the customer as much as for you.

This is vital when doing work that has not been done before. When something unforseen comes up and you find that you cannot meet the originally established time or cost goal, it becomes easier to move the goalpost if the customer is part of the design and decision team.

Have some of you found a way to share your business game with others? I would like to hear of your experiences.

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