Do You TEND to TOIL or TOIL to TEND?

Most business owners tend to TOIL more than they ever imagined! They spend their time working long hours, putting out fires, dealing with recurring mistakes, and finding themselves too worn out to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Maybe you are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve, how “In the beginning” God gave them instructions to take care of a garden. What a gift! A turnkey operation—all systems perfectly designed. The entire world was suddenly theirs and the only thing they were required to do was TEND, or take care of, it—not to work themselves into the ground.

I believe our assignment, as today’s business owners and managers, is the same: end “the curse”—what some call “business as usual”—for the sake of our customers, our employees and our families.

You may be thinking, “Uh…what do Adam and Eve fave to do with business?” If you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I believe their story has some broader implications.

Business owners and managers tend to hold meetings over and over, rehashing the same old problems with employees, trying to keep everyone on the same page. All the while, they endure constant interruptions from others who seek information so they can do their jobs—because there are no systems or standard processes to keep them on track.

The Curse? Business as usual?

I call those frustrations “System Busters!”

Now, let’s look a little closer at our Garden of Eden story to understand why Adam and Eve were told only to “tend” the garden. A great system—a great network of systems—had already been created to manage the garden’s day-to-day issues and upkeep. So, given that perfect system, Adam and Eve might have just enjoyed “tending” the garden, without the constant frustration of pests, drought and other things that can cause chaos in a garden. However, much like modern human beings, they proved capable of botching up a two-person Apple Festival.

Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.
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