Identify and close your gaps

Tim Priebe, T&S Online Marketing

In order for T&S Online Marketing to grow from an entrepreneurial idea to an established business, I had to identify gaps in myself and my business, and then find ways to overcome them.

I originally started T&S as a way to use my programming ability in a new business venture—sales and management were skills that I discovered I needed along the way.

I didn’t pick up those skills accidentally, though. I’ve been an advocate of personal growth for a long time, and there are several tools I used to identify my gaps and close them. Here are some that have been helpful for me.

Business books

A lot of the knowledge I’ve gained from business books has been cumulative knowledge, but there are a few specific books that stick out as helpful to me. If you haven’t read some of these, you might be interested in picking up a copy:

  • E-myth Revisited
  • The Slight Edge
  • The Fortune Cookie Principle
  • You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar

Peer advisory groups

Peer advisory groups are a great way to connect with other people who are running a business. If you’re in your office a lot, managing your business, it’s easy to feel isolated. Talking with others in a similar situation can give you an opportunity to share challenges and think of new solutions.

Accountability partners

Having accountability partners helped me to close the gaps in myself and my business because I was held responsible for the behaviors I needed in order to close those gaps. It can keep you motivated to work toward closing those smaller or more persistent gaps that are difficult to overcome.

Professional coaching and training

I’ve done several versions of this, from meeting with a business coach, to attending educational chamber events, and especially participating in ongoing Sandler Training classes. When you take part in ongoing training, it helps you make permanent changes by constantly reinforcing what you’ve learned.


I journal on a regular basis. That can look different for different people. Whether it’s freeform or scripted, journaling can help you prioritize, focus on what’s important, and prepare your attitude for the day to come.

I like to use the BAGELS journaling system:

  • Behaviors
  • Attitude
  • Gratitude
  • Evaluate the Day
  • Lessons Learned
  • Successes

Then I write out my affirmations, followed by my prayer list.

Many of these tools involve reflection—both self-reflection and reflecting on successes and challenges with trusted peers. All of these may not fit in your world, but I hope some of them help you sharpen your business skills and zero in on the gaps you want to close.

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