When you’re driving a car, you have a blind spot. It’s between the places you can see with your rear facing mirrors; what you can see in front of you. If you change lanes in a car without checking your blind spots, you may hit a car in the lane that you didn’t see.
If you turn your head or stick your head out your side window, you’ll be able to clearly see your blind spot. The problem, is that when you stick your head out the side window, you create an even riskier blind spot in front of you.
Blind Spots in Business
Blinds spots in business are a little more challenging. I’ve found that there are eight facets of business that you must get right in order to succeed. Depending on your experience, education, and gifting, your blind spots will be in different facets of business.
You may be a great plumber, but struggle to run a plumbing business because you don’t understand how to market and sell plumbing services. In this case, your blind spots will be in marketing and sales. You may have your MBA and worked in sales and marketing for a Fortune 100 company. You want to start a bakery in your home town utilizing your business skills. Unfortunately, you’ve never baked a loaf of bread. In this case, your blind spots may be in operations.
In a car, we know there’s a blind spot because our parents or driving instructor told us while they were teaching us how to drive. In fact, when you take a driving test, the examiner will see if you are checking your blind spots as part of the test.
In business, we have no clue where our blind spots exist. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be blind spots. In my experience, business owners find their blind spots in one of three ways: 1) someone tells them and they believe what they are hearing; 2) they hire trustworthy employees to handle blind spot categories; or 3) they make mistakes pay a price for not seeing the blind spot. #3 would be analogous to hitting the car in the adjacent lane and then learning to check your blind spot next time.
The Blind Leading the Blind
I’m a business coach and so you’d think that I can: 1) identify your blind spots, 2) fill in knowledge that you’re lacking, and 3) you’ll be successful in business. Yes, I do that to some extent. However, you may be surprised to learn that business coaches are not omnipotent 😊 Add to that, every business has its own best practices that differ from industry to industry. Likewise, your employees have blind spots as well. Even if they have experience in some area of business, they may lack intuition in some aspects of their specialty.
Avoid Identifying Your Own Blind Spots
It would be ideal to hire a marketing coach, if you felt you were lacking in marketing knowledge. However, you must remember that your blind spots are unknown to you. You may think that you have a marketing problem, but you really have a product problem. If you chase the wrong problem, you will fix something that isn’t broken. If you hire an expert in one area thinking that you know the problem, Guess what? That expert will identify problems in the area you’ve hired them for because that’s their expertise. It conforms to the adage, if you’re a hammer, every problem is a nail.
Why Does Business Coaching Work?
Let’s review. You have bind spots. You don’t know what they are or where they are. Training won’t help because you don’t know what to be trained on. Your employees can’t help because they are just as handicapped. Even your expert business coach comes with limitations.
While expanding your knowledge and hiring experts will fill in many of the gaps in your business, these solutions rarely help you see blind spots. Think about our car analogy. If you got a more powerful engine and better tires, you may be able to go faster, but you still cannot see your blind spots.
The best way to see your blind spots in a car is with more advanced mirrors. In recent years, cars have been equipped with amazing sensors, cameras and fish-eyed mirrors to see what you once could not see without sticking your head out the car window.
This same principle applies to business. The best way to see your business blind spots is to hire a business professional who has a different viewpoint than you. A business coach acts as a high-tech mirror for you and your business.
If you need a mirror for you and your business, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to help.
About me. I have been actively engaged in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy conservation industry all my professional career from 1987 until now. I was a licensed Professional Engineering in six states and a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). I worked as a sales executive, energy engineer, sales manager, and entrepreneur. I started, grew, and sold my own Energy Service Company (ESCo) called Ennovate Corporation (1997 to 2013). I am now a certified professional business coach for business owners, engineers, and business development executives.