The Architect and the Builder


Manage episode 171356428 series 1336801
By Niel Malan - Business Coach. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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Full Transcript

[The following is the full transcript of this Vlog: “The Architect and the Builder”

NIEL MALAN: Hey everybody Niel Malan here, South Africa’s number one business coach and welcome back to another series of our weekly video blog. So over the past four weeks since the beginning of 2017 I’ve shared with you a whole bunch of ideas regarding personal achievement, personal success, goal setting and we’re now going to change the focus slightly to entrepreneurial achievement. The vast majority of people watching this video will be small business owners or will aspire to be in small business owners. Now the world that we live in is so complex and it’s so fast and there’s a huge amount for small business to focus on and I believe one of the biggest problems that small business owners have is knowing what to do every single day because there are just a million things to do and we are so distracted as a society. In the next couple of videos and during the month of Feb and towards the end of January now we are going to talk about how to increase your focus as an entrepreneur specifically and I’m going share with you some really important things, key concepts to help you to grow your business faster than ever before and to bring simplicity and joy and flow to your life.

Today’s topic is we’re talking about the difference between the builder and the architect and it’s one of my favourite analogies. A couple of years ago I was doing a seminar and there was a lady sitting in the back of the room and I could see she was getting very emotional as I was talking about how most entrepreneurs struggle ninety-five percent I believe of entrepreneurs struggle versus five percent of entrepreneurs build empires and I was talking to this audience about some of the reasons why that is and this lady raised her hand. Her name is Audrey. She’s an architect. She raised her hand and as soon as I gave her the microphone she started balling, she burst out in tears and I said to her Audrey what’s going on or why you’re so upset. I didn’t laugh. I’m just laughing now, I said why you’re so upset and she said Niel I can’t anymore. And I said you can’t what, she said Niel I’ve been in practice for over ten years now I think it’s twelve years and she said every month it’s the same thing at the end of the month I battle with cash flow, I battle with sales, I battle with staff she said to me you know I grow my team and then all of a sudden you know the people don’t work out and I take over their work and I’ve got their salaries and I’ve got to let them go and you know she was explaining this tremendous amount of frustration and then we got to the core of it. She said to me Niel I just don’t know if I’m cut out for business you know maybe I made mistake opening up my own practice. I said to her Audrey you know let me ask her a question, to become an architect running through the educational process and the skills process until you become good and she kind of… we went back in history and she said you know to become an architect you’ve got to you know do your degree and then you have to do your honours and you’ve got to do your masters and I can’t remember how long it was I’m just making this up as I go but I think it was seven years it’s just her formal education that she went through right. Then she had to apprentice with an architectural firm for a good couple of years and, and, and. I said to her how long did it take you to become good, she said twelve to fifteen years of studying and working. I said to her now question are you a good architect, she said look I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but I’m a brilliant architect. I’m really, really good. I said okay. So your clients don’t complain about your work they’re happy with that and she said ja they love that you know.

I said cool now let me ask you a question, so I said to her first of all do you believe that you’re running a business and she said ja of course I’m running a business so good. Now here’s the question that I posed to her I said to her in your formal education to become an architect how much of the time was spent helping you to understand how to put in solid financial controls in the business, how to manage cash flow and how to really have good command over your finances. She said to me I no, no, no it wasn’t a business course it was an architect course so I said okay so no teaching in those classes so she said no. I said next question you can… you spoke about staff you know difficulty with your team members I said of your degree and your training and education how much of your time was spent learning how to attract talent, how to build an amazing culture, how to teach and coach people so that you get the best performance out of them and how to be a great leader and she said to me no Niel it was an architectural degree you don’t understand it wasn’t a business degree. I said no I understand that but I just wanted to clarify and she said no there was no modules on building a team and she was starting to understand where I was headed with this and I started asking her about marketing and sales and eventually I said to her Audrey let me ask you a question. Is it possible that the real problem you’re sitting with here and I like to refer to problems as challenges, a problem is static a challenge you can do something about that.

I said to her is it possible that the problem is not you, that it could be the skillsets that you developed, that you find yourself in business but you never really were taught how to build a business and she looked at me and she said it’s entirely possible. I said to her so let me help you out with a paradigm and the fact that you’re an architect is brilliant I said to her now let me ask you a question, so do you do commercial buildings, so she said ja in fact it’s one of my areas of specialty right, she builds really, really, designs really big buildings. I said to her now run me through the process, how does a building come into being, and she lit up you know. You could see she loves her profession right and she said well it starts by a vision and you know it starts by the developer contacting me and me understanding the vision, what they want to achieve and the feel for the building and whether it’s got to be green and how it has to fit into the environment and, and, and. I said fantastic so if that’s going to be a phase right it’s kind of the visioning phase. She said absolutely, I said what’s the next phase right and then she said well the next one is the drawings and she said that’s what takes a lot of time you know… she said… So I said how does it work, she said well I start with rough sketches and then show it to the client and they kind of agree to that and I put a little bit more detail in the exterior and we kind of you know agree on the look of the whole thing and then I go into a lot of detail right. I look at the finishes. I look at the wiring and the plumbing and all that kind of stuff and it takes forever to really design you know this blueprint.

I said to her but now let me ask you a question why do you take so much time doing these drawings? Surely the people want to start building you know. You don’t want to waste time on all this planning you want to start building right and I’m sure your client wants to start building. She says Niel that will be suicide you can’t start building a building without proper architectural drawings and without proper quantity surveying to work out how much materials that you need and making sure that you know you looked at an engineer and made sure that the roofs aren’t going to cave in she said that will be a disaster, I said okay. I said right good I’m with you. I said to Aubrey what happens next, she said well next is you, you know you break everything down into Bill of Materials and then you get a building team and the building team starts you know and she was explaining to me how the building process works and she was running me through you know they start doing the trenches, they clear the terrain then they get… dig the trenches and so it goes, so it goes I don’t want to bore you with the details. I said to her now let me ask you a question so you do the visioning, you do the drawing and as soon you’re done with the drawing you go on site. You put on your hard hat and you pick up a shovel and you start digging and you start helping to clear the terrain correct? She said no, no, no I’m the architect. I’m not the builder. I said okay. So next question so you don’t help clear the terrains? She said no. I said well okay do you help dig the trenches? I mean surely you’ve got to take a shovel right? You’ve got to start working now? She said Niel I’m not the builder. I’m the architect. I said how fascinating. And I went through this whole thing just to kind of tease her a little bit you know to make sure that she got it. I said to her so in other words your job starts by getting a vision, drawing the blueprints and building the team that’s going to do the building and overseeing that team is that correct? She said absolutely. That’s what I get paid for. I said but your job is to not to pick up the shovel, she said absolutely not. That’s clear.

I said to her now are you applying the same philosophy and the same principles in business. So she said what do you mean? I said well building an amazing business is very similar to building a building in that it follows the exact same cycle. It starts with the vision. It starts with someone’s vision, in this case yours. It’s your business and then it starts with the whole set of plans about what products we’re going to do, what markets we’re going into, what our cultures going to look like for our team, how we’re going to differentiate ourselves, ourselves a marketing plan, our cash flow forecast. A whole bunch of planning needs to happen and from there you need to start building a team to implement and execute your vision and they do the work of the business. I said to her this is where you’re going wrong. I would bet you that you spent ninety percent of your day not doing what I just described but you spend ninety percent of your day doing the actual work of the business. Doing the drawings. Am I right? She said Niel I don’t spend ninety percent of the day. I spend a hundred percent of my day doing it. I said so you are a builder in your business but you’re an architect in your profession and I could see she kind of froze and was like you know this is all a puff of smoke and it wasn’t really a puff of smoke but it looked like should be and she got it. She got it. She said wow! I said exactly.

I want to pass on this message to you today you need to ask yourself a simple question. What is it that your business employs you do that nobody else in your team could also do? What is it that is exclusively the entrepreneurial job and what is it that other people should do. Now you may not start with this team. Most entrepreneurs start as hustlers. They’re doing everything but the problem is that ninety-five percent of small business owners that stay stuck. They never go anywhere they end up staying builders and they never ever make the transition into becoming an architect. The quickest, easiest way for you to transform your business is to get clarity as to what is involved in the architectural work of your business and what is involved in the building work and to systematically start building your building team, your team, your execution team and to start delegating and for you to start spending more and more time on your visioning and your blueprints and the strategy behind your business. And having worked for so many business owners I’ve now worked with over eighteen thousand entrepreneurs in South Africa and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt the people that build the empires are more strategic in a business they the architects and the people that work the hardest but don’t get very far are the builders the decision is yours what to do next. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing these videos with you next week I’m going to share with you a profound distinction called three to thrive and it’s going to help you to take this concept of being an architect and to make it very, very practical in terms of what you do every single day. Please remember to share this with your friends and please comment. We always like hearing from our clients and remember until next time live openly, love fully, try something new today.

14 episodes