Charlie Cook's MArketing for Success Insider's Club


Which Are You – A Starter or a Finisher?

Author: Charlie Cook   |   May 17th, 2010

I’m going to tell you a secret, so do me a favor and don’t tell anyone.

I’m not perfect, yet. I have a fatal flaw that could have sabotaged the success of my business. Of the hundreds of clients I’ve coached over the years, many have been held back by the same flaw.

It’s also the thing that derailed my gardening career. My wife and I bought our first house in Old Greenwich 25 years ago and had a back yard for the first time. I thought it’d be fun to take a 15 square foot section and see how many vegetables I could grow during a season.

I pored over seed catalogues, mapped out the garden and figured out how to make the most of every inch to grow a succession of lettuces, peas, beans, melons, tomatoes, peppers, herbs and small business marketingmore.

At the first signs of spring, I prepared the soil and planted seeds and seedlings. My garden was thriving — but I quickly discovered something about myself. Happy as I was to thumb through catalogs, do all the planning and even the first planting, I had no interest in the weekly garden maintenance. Even my bountiful harvest of fresh veggies couldn’t make up for the horror of weeding.

Turns out that I’m happiest when I’m coming up with ideas and launching new projects. When it comes down to executing all the details, I get bored and distracted. I’m restless and not very effective doing routine tasks.

Most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs are the same way. They tend to be brilliant, creative, disorganized and impatient. If left on their own, they also tend to get overwhelmed and stuck spinning their wheels. Then nothing gets finished, and their business growth stalls.

Sound familiar?

Earlier, I said I had a fatal flaw, but it wasn’t really fatal. I just had to recognize where my strengths lie.

Every business, no matter its size, needs two types of people. It needs Starters; the people with the ideas, the vision and the plan, and Finishers; the people who execute the vision and get the daily work done. Finishers like weeding, or at least the business corollary to that. They get satisfaction from completing the tasks that keep the enterprise humming.

In my business, I’m the CEO and the Chief Starter. I come up with new product and marketing ideas. But to keep my business growing, I need a team of dedicated Finishers who will maintain my web site, post my blog content, organize my schedule, write my sales pages, work with my affiliates, manage inventory, etc, etc. — they manage a host of routine but essential tasks.

Without my team, I’d have a lot of good ideas and no way to implement them all. I certainly wouldn’t have become one of the top authorities on small business marketing.

Which are you – a Starter or a Finisher?

• Do you like finding and coming up with new ideas for your business?

• Do you start more projects than you can finish? (Be honest – how many projects have you got on your To Do list?)

• Do you get bored with routine tasks?

• Are you impatient?

• Once you’ve created a product or service, are you already thinking about the next project, or the next strategy to grow your business?

– or –
• Do you like to organize projects and see them through to completion?

• Do you get satisfaction from checking off items on your to do list?

• Do you like having a clear idea of what you need to do?

• Do you enjoy mastering routine tasks?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a serial Starter, like I am, or you’re best at follow through and a Finisher. Recognize your strengths — and your interests— and complement them to build a strong team that includes both starters and finishers.

That’s what I did, years ago, enabling my business to grow and getting my life back. I hired a Virtual Assistant, a webmaster, a web designer, an seo expert and a fulfillment house and off loaded all the tasks I didn’t have time or interest in getting done.

And when I did I discovered that not only was I enjoying my life more, even though I was paying a team, the business finally broke through and grew by leaps and bounds.

You can do the same.


P.S. Have a question about delegation or outsourcing? Hit reply and let me know. I’m in the midst of creating the next TeleSummit on, you guessed it, outsourcing.

P.P.S. Want help focusing your business to realize your profit potential? Currently I have one opening in my hands on marketing mentoring program. Get the details here >>

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One Response to “Which Are You – A Starter or a Finisher?”

  1. Joshua Bevan Says:

    I am a starter through and through. The other “fatal flaw” I posses is perfectionism. I don’t trust others to finish it RIGHT.
    I am learning to properly delegate right now…

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