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Thinking is my business… and business is good!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012 | By Walid El-Khoury

One of the first questions I ask a client who wants to sell their business is “Do you think for a living?”


If they answer “I do not have time to think”, I tell them that it is unlikely that they will sell their business at a premium as it is now run.


The act of “thinking” will not necessarily (and directly) increase the value of your business. But the process you need to go through in order to find the time to think is where the rewards are.


Being able to think also leads to the old adage, “Work on your business not in your business”. In other words, thinking can transform you from self-employed to a business owner. You can sell the business, but not yourself!


Symptoms of not thinking


If you are doing any or all of these three things, you are likely not thinking clearly:

  • You are reactive not proactive: Everything you do in your business is like fighting fires and reacting to circumstances rather than being proactive about improving and refining your operations.
  • You are the business: If you do not get out of bed, your business will suffer.
  • There is neither vision nor strategy: You don’t remember the last time you looked at your business plan or, worse, never had a plan.

What happens when you find the time to think?

  • You will discover breakthroughs that quickly push your business in leaps and bounds. Creative ideas and approaches need time to simmer, and the time to think gives you just that.
  • You will discover how the purpose of your business is more than just making money, and it is more about providing a much needed service or solution. This is how you clearly set yourself apart from the competition and take full advantage of your potential.

As Warren Buffett said: “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”


This article first appeared on Walid's Blog.