Build the Process before you can Trust the Process

No Matter How Difficult, We Must Trust the Process

Instead of trying to see the end, embrace the current struggle, create a process and follow it.

Starting a new business can be very easy. Developing and growing a business is very hard. Especially if you don’t have a process to follow.

“Trust the Process” is a phrase that great coaches tell their players, fans, and the media.

But what does this mean?

It means having a repeatable process, as part of a larger system, that shows everyone what to do and how to do it. The best leaders also show why it should be done a particular way. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Trust the process.

A free throw shooter who shoots over 90% from the FT line didn’t get there doing something different every time he or she gets to the foul line. The shooter does the same thing, over and over until there is a mastery of the process. Trust the process.

The famous guitarist did not get to where he is by picking up the guitar and strumming. He developed a practice routine, a schedule to learn scales, notes, riffs, and solos (gotta have solos). But without a process, he would be playing 3 chords in a tribute band. Trust the process.

Mike Krzyzewski of Duke.

John Calipari of Kentucky.

The teams of these two great coaches don’t always win the championship, but year in and year out their teams are competing for the top prize and top players. Why? Because they follow a repeatable process. Every year. Their most knowledgeable fans have grown to understand and love this. They trust the process. (Until they lose. We’ll discuss in future posts what happens when people lose faith in the process and what to do when that happens.)

In starting and developing a business, it is no different. If you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur or business owner, you need to have a process. Steps that you and your team can take to make it happen; build it and then grow it. But you can’t do either without a process.

In my current business (RHM), my partners and I have had a somewhat difficult time getting going. Why? For two reasons: 1.) We had to create a process from scratch and 2.) we had to communicate that process to the entire team. (A 3rd reason would be “not enough funding,” but that’s an entirely different blog post.)

Over the last year or so, I have been communicating “the RHM Process” to our team members.

Sometimes, leaders know exactly what the process is that they want to use, but fail to communicate it.

Sometimes leaders don’t know what the process is when they start and they put together a team to figure out what the process should be.

Sometimes leaders never develop a process and the business struggles, until someone, or some group, steps forward with a process that works. Or the business goes out of business.

There was a movie from 1986 that showed how a process works. The movie was Hoosiers (one of my all-time favorite movies). A small town in Indiana loses its beloved basketball coach to an untimely death. An outsider with baggage is hired to take over as the new basketball coach and he immediately sets out with his “process.” Through his process, he angers (ok, it’s small town high school basketball in Indiana, so people are actually enraged) and yet, almost as if they are taken by surprise, he endears other key players and community members with his process, even when it seems as if he is losing the basketball team as well as the season.

While every Hollywood feel-good story gives us a winner at the end (spoiler alert: they win on a last second shot!), what every successful coach already knows before watching the movie, successful teams are only successful when they follow the process.

And so it is with a business, especially a start up. If you don’t have a process, you need to develop one. Once you have a process, follow it. And after you’ve followed your process, analyze it.

A word to the wise: just because you have a process doesn’t mean that it’s a right process. Or it could be the right process in the wrong situation.

Look for a future post about “Analyzing the Process.”

If you don’t have one, develop a process and teach it to your team. Then trust it.

Trust the process,



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