One of my favorite speakers at Shine was Barbara Corcoran – real estate mogul and all around great business woman. I loved her no-holds-barred approach to sharing her story, talk about telling it like it is! (She has some of the funniest firing stories i’ve ever heard…)
During her conversation Barbara talked about how every business needs an Expander and a Contractor. The Expander is the person with the big vision, the big ideas, the big energy… the entrepreneur behind the biz. And the Contractor is the person who takes those big ideas and brings them ‘home’ – looking at how to actually implement the ideas and what it will take. She also called them Containers which I quite liked – taking big ideas and putting them into a ‘container’ that makes sense. Barbara talked about how her success was due in large part to having a Contractor on her team, whose name I can’t remember off hand, but she was very clear that without this partner in her business she never would have created the success that she has to date.
I just loved this as it is a brilliant way to describe the role of an Online Business Manager. Business owners are by nature expanders… it is their job to have the big vision, the big goals and the big ideas. Without those things a business isn’t even going to get off the ground. And yet it is equally important to have someone on the team who can take those ideas and work them through, figuring out the pros/cons and what it will take to bring them to life. And yes, the role of the contractor at times is to talk the expander out of a big idea in order to keep them and the business focused.
It makes me wonder when I consider this, how many businesses suffer because they don’t have a contractor on the team? I hear of business owners all the time who are bouncing around from idea to idea, always trying something new and not keeping focused long enough on any one thing to create success. Suffering from bright, shiny object syndrome. They may have various people on their support team helping them, but if they don’t have a contractor who is able to ground things then it could be part of the problem… a pretty big part imo.
So are you an expander or a contractor? As i’ve shifted my business over the past year from ‘being’ the Online Business Manager (contractor) for clients to training/supporting Online Business Managers I find that i’m having to become more of an expander in my business. I was actually just joking with someone the other day that the things I used to be really good at – keeping track of things, staying organized, etc – i’m actually starting to suck at. Quite honestly I’ve been dropping the ball in a few places and it was bugging me a bit… but then I realized, I need to let go of being the contractor in my business. My role is now the expander, and though it’s a bit new to me in ways I *get* that that is who I need to be now.