Yes, Even Long-Time Business Owners Have A Lot To Learn

Have you dreamed of taking the Entrepreneurial plunge and starting a business of your own? Tired of having someone else tell you what to do? I know the feeling! That’s why for most of my adult life, I’ve been in business for myself. And that’s why I can identify with business owners who say they have a love-hate relationship with their business!

My wife and I have both been self-employed for a long time. We do what we know works, but we’ve had to learn by making a lot of mistakes. We’ve never transferred our methods to any kind of real structure. And as a result, we have each experienced periods of exhaustion, burn-out and frustration. To be sure, there have also been plenty of times when we said, at the end of a long day, “I LOVE what I do!” But the thought of entering another year without a structured plan for success was just not an option for us!

As we closed-out 2019, the need to “GET ORGANIZED” was foremost in our minds, so we made an appointment with a couple of consultants to give us some direction.

After our first meeting, they recommended that we get a copy of The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. In it, he tells the story of a lady who started a pie-making business because she baked the best pies her friends had ever tasted. She started off great, but the unbelievable amount of work that had to be done every day to sustain the business began to wear on her, until she reached the point that she hated the smell of pies! She had lost sight of why she started her business in the first place. And she had to learn it all again if she was to survive.

Talk about an eye-opener! Maripat and I each saw ourselves in the three major roles we’ve had to play in our respective businesses: Entrepreneur, Manager and Technician. And the frustration we’d both experienced of having to “wear a hat that isn’t really comfortable” suddenly made a lot of sense!

I’ve always been a “Hill-Charger” kind of guy; I see an opportunity and am just eaten up by the desire to make it happen! My most comfortable hat is that of the Entrepreneur. But Maripat is happiest doing the work of the Technician. However, managing the myriad details that must happen for a business to be sustainable over the long haul doesn’t come naturally to either of us.

So here we are in the middle of February, writing down our “best practices” in a way that will one day become a working Manual for someone who will happily put on the Manager hat and flourish in it! And for someone who can duplicate Maripat’s role as Technician. We are full of HOPE and fresh excitement for our businesses again, ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

A wise proverb says this: “Without a vision, the people the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:16). The “vision” the author speaks of is God’s instructions for how His people should live and function so as to be salt and light in the world. Some have translated the word “unrestrained” as “perish”. Living outside the instructions God gave them would lead to chaos and eventually to destruction.

What does that have to do with business? Creating and following a wise Blueprint for your business, like in your life, will produce happiness, growth and freedom that can’t be found by just doing whatever seems right in the moment. This applies to whatever your business is, whether you are a baker, a barber, a consultant or a window washer. Maripat and I are learning to apply this truth in our businesses right now, and because of it, the future looks like a really great place to be!
What about you? What does this year hold in store for you? Are you ready to find and follow the Blueprint? In life, and in business, it’s the key to success!

And that’s my perspective—


Principal, J.L. Powers & Associates

In Depth with JL Powers and Associates

This month, I’d like to introduce the winner of our 2019 Heisman Trophy Award, Mr. Jeffery Richard, and our CFO Mr. Mark Roberts.

Jeffrey Richard

Jeffrey Richard

Senior Consultant

As a senior consultant, Jeffrey leads consultants in two of America’s fastest growing cities: Austin and San Antonio.

Jeffrey brings more than 30 years of professional experience in high-level interaction with senior policy makers, business executives and elected officials at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels.

Jeffrey’s experience includes nearly 12 years as a trustee of the Austin Community College District. During his tenure, Jeffrey was elected to every officer position–including two terms as Chair of the Board–managing a $400 million annual budget to support an enrollment of over 70,000 students.

Jeffrey earned a B.S. degree, in economics and political science, with Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude honors from TCU; and a master’s in Public Policy in Urban Economic Development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Jeffrey is a two-time winner of our Heisman Trophy award. Outside of work Jeffrey is an accomplished organist and music composer.

Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts

Senior Consultant

With over 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, Mark Roberts brings a wealth of experience in revenue planning, management, and finance.

Mark serves a dual role as our chief financial officer and consultant. He brings his experience in grant management, negotiation, and contract administration to help our clients succeed.

Prior to joining J.L. Powers & Associates, Mark served as chief financial officer in the staffing/consulting industry overseeing both financial and operational duties. He is a graduate of the University of Texas with a B.B.A. in accounting. Mark was the winner of our Heisman Trophy in 2018.

An avid outdoorsman and family man he enjoys spending time with family and friends at their family ranch in West Texas.