Yep, you read that right. The story of Paul Bunyan has a critical lesson for building a successful business.
Now you’re probably thinking, “what the heck does Paul Bunyan have to do with running a business?”
Trust me, I was thinking it sounded crazy too. But I couldn’t get the story out of my head.
Stay with me on this.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story (or, if you’re like I am, and haven’t heard the story in 25 years), here’s a quick recap.
Paul Bunyan’s story starts in a little town on the coast of Maine. One night a massive storm blew through and left behind a giant oversized cradle with a giant oversized baby.
The town adopted the baby and named him Paul Bunyan. They fed him, and clothed him, and raised him. And he grew. And grew. And grew. And grew… (you get the point).
One day he got his hands on a double-blade axe, and that started his career as a lumberjack. Since Paul was so big, he could chop trees down with a single swing of his axe. Naturally he dominated the trade in his area and started to move west.
Life was going pretty well for Paul, until one day, Joe Muffaw showed up with the first ever steam powered saw and steam powered locomotive. Joe thought Paul and his ox were outdated and needed to get “modern.” Paul disagreed.
So they set up a competition to see who could cut more lumber. It was titled “Man vs. Machine.” Whoever could cut more lumber would win, and the loser would leave.
The contest was epic and it appeared that the man and the machine had finished the contest dead even. But then, they measured the stacks to be exact.
Now this is where you typically have the feel-good story about how the hometown hero defied all odds and won. The only problem is that didn’t happen in this case.
Paul Bunyan lost. The Machine won.
Here’s the lesson: It’s not enough to just build a successful business. You need to be thinking about how you can convert your business into a machine.
Think about it. Let’s say they re-run the same competition every day. You know EXACTLY what you’re going to get from the machine. The output from Paul and his ox however will vary.
Which would you rather have? A machine? Or a business that only works if you have Paul Bunyan?
I’d pick a machine every day of the week.
Having a machine is what allows me to eliminate these statements from my company:
- My leads are slipping through the cracks
- I don’t have any repeat customers
- My customer retention stinks
- I’m not staying in front of my customers the way that I want to
- I’m overwhelmed with everything and don’t know where to start
This is all a result of not having automation and systems (aka, a machine) in place in your business.
Here at SixthDivision, we call it creating Small Business Success Machines™. Over the last 10 years, we’ve created a proven way for showing you how to break down your business and convert it into a machine.
If you want a proven system installed in your business, or if you want to learn how to create a system so all of the cracks in your business are sealed, we can help.