Judy Struggledork (Anna Ritchie) Lesson


Last week, John covered Entrepreneurs.

In contrast, this week, Lesson 3 comes from Judy Struggledork, John’s wife and business partner rather than John. Judy will give her take on Business Owners rather than Entrepreneurs.
Lesson 3 from Judy:
Entrepreneurs are risk takers. They are willing to risk everything to pursue their burning drive and passion to build things/businesses/events/scenarios out of nothing into something bigger than themselves. They are willing to risk their money, other people’s money, their time, their health, their marriages, their relationships with those nearest and dearest to them.
Being the wife of a fantastic entrepreneur, the concept that John was willing to risk all or any of the above used to distress me. It no longer does. I see that to risk things is in his blood and to ask him to be any other way would be a real shame. Having said that, I trust John … the decisions he makes and the directions in which he takes me, us and our businesses. I do not always agree. I do not always understand. Sometimes, I am not willing. Sometimes, I am a huge break pad to John’s creations. When he opens his mouth and says, “I’ve got this great idea”, all my mind can think of is, “Oh no… here we go again. His idea will be great and it will work, but there will be tons of logistics and work for me to do to make it all work!”.
I am the business owner side of what we do. I manage the day-to-day logistics of our businesses. I like to think of business owners as the voice of reason. I think that business owners are risk adverse by nature.  We find all the problems rather than the opportunities. We find all the things that could go wrong. We often micro-manage situations and drive entrepreneurs  and everybody crazy!!
A successful business requires the energy and talents of both the entrepreneur and the business owner working together.……
- 2 Entrepreneurs together and no follow-up ever happens. No completion. Failure. 
- 2 Business owners together and nothing will ever happen. Paralysis analysis and no movement. Failure.
Risk taking, risk mitigation and controlled movement forward are all needed. And the dance between the 3  is often not smooth!! John and I have had some whopping rows about some things!!
An entrepreneur can usually see the future and can see what big picture events have to happen to get there. They know what needs to happen to get there, even if they cannot articulate it in a way that others understand.
A business owner on the other hand, will usually be responsible for the details and day-to-day essential business functions, such as:
1. Making sure purchase orders are placed
2. Making sure customers are invoiced accurately
3. Making sure customers pay their invoices in a timely fashion
4. Making sure relationships with customers are maintained
5. Making sure relationships with suppliers are maintained
6. Making sure all the bills get paid in a timely fashion
7. Making sure staff wages get paid
8. Making sure all governmental compliance is met
9. Making sure all taxes are paid accurately and in a timely fashion
10. Making sure relationships with lending financial institutions/capital venturists are maintained.
11. Making sure all contracts are accurate and honoured (in and out)
The list of little details goes on and on. They all need to be taken care of. If they are taken care of in an accurate, honourable and timely fashion, most things run very smoothly. If any one or more of the above parts does not function as it should, it creates major stress on all the other parts of the system. Sadly, we know this from very intimate and person experience!
So even though I resist compliance, I do think it is a smoother and less stressful path just to make good agreements in the first place and then just follow through with them. The biggest thing that is created by doing this is trust. People then trust that I/we will honour our agreements. They feel safe doing business with us. Thus creating long-term, very valuable relationships over time, which is worth everything to me. I want people to know that when I say I say I will do something, I will do it. And I will fight to make sure it gets done.
The challenges for me? Firstly to trust the entrepreneur with the direction he/she is taking us. Secondly, my capacity to build a team of people around me and the business who can take some of the load of all the detail tasks. Sometimes I am good at it, sometimes I am horrible at it. I just know I cannot do it on my own. Otherwise, I get totally exhausted and overwhelmed and I have no time for other things in my life that I love…. Husband, children, grandchildren, extended family, friends, exercise, eating well, etc.
So my thought is for people to work out if they are more entrepreneurs, business owners, or neither. Then team up with somebody who compliments your strengths and build something amazing.
Business is like a marathon. It’s not easy, it is gruelling and I have found it to be worth it (most of the time!!).
Judy Struggledork