I remember someone telling me a story many years ago and it really resonated with me and I still use it from time to time so here goes – you may have heard it before, you may not have.

A guy was walking along the road and he noticed another guy sitting on his porch with his dog. The dog was wailing and moaning. The guy walking past stopped and said to the guy on the porch, “Whats the matter with your dog? Why is it wailing and moaning?”. The guy on the porch said, “He’s lying on a nail”. The other guy said, “Why doesn’t he get off?”. The guy on the porch said, “It’s not hurting enough for him to get off, It’s only hurting enough for him to moan and groan and complain about it”.

Now we all know people like this. They are constantly moaning and groaning about this and that. I’m not making enough money. I don’t have enough sales. I can’t afford to buy this or that. But it is obviously not hurting enough for them to do anything about it, just moan about it from time to time. So what does it take to put the action in? I wish I knew the answer. Some would say when things start impacting them personally where they can’t put food on the table or pay their bills. I know some who even when things get to that stage, they still won’t get off that damn nail. 

I guess for some, once that nail starts digging in further it is a wake up call. They start putting in the action to get that nail removed. For many though it is too late. It may be that they and their business are literally clinging on by their fingernails. The action required to remove the nail should have come months earlier. Lack of planning and preparation and creativity killed their business, and they are the only ones to blame. 

So my suggestion to you is to not even wait for the nail to start piercing your skin. By ignoring this suggestion, I can guarantee you will soon find that nail working its way in.  If you want a secure business, you need to understand how to build a business properly and get professional help and support from people who know how to run a business. Most business owners are technicians. They are good at doing what they are skilled at, but that does not make them a good and responsible business owner. Yet so many business owners – at all levels – seem to want to be a “Jack of all trades” and therefore a “Master of none”. As we get older these sayings that so many of us learned from our parents are so true. Just do what you are good at and stick to just that. By all means learn and get an understanding of the other areas of your business – that is important – but please get professional help and support. 

Failure to do this will only result in that nail working its way into your skin. It will give you a bit of a stabbing pain at first and it will get worse as time goes on – will you do anything about it before it’s too late? Only you can answer that.

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 02/08/2021