What is the ultimate challenge for savvy business owners? Possiblity it is dealing with barriers, those seemingly impossible walls that block us. The savvy part is knowing which barriers to accept, which ones to use as an advantage, and which ones can be changed.

Your iron triangle summarizes the three strongest walls and barriers that keep you down and what you can do about it, the nemesis that you face every day and you don’t have easy answers for.

This episode is part 3 of a 3-part series to help business owners improve their business acumen, a key part of running a successful company and an element of my Arise2live profit loop system.

Let’s improve your business savvy!

Part 1:  Gaining Business Savvy: Answer Vs Solution

Part 2:  Gaining Business Savvy: No Solutions Only Trade-Offs

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Show Notes

This episode finishes the series ‘Gaining Business Savvy’ that answers the question: how do people gain business savvy to make the right decisions for their company in a complex world? The business acumen is not so much having a particular skill, but uniting the unique skills into a single solution. In other words, we can say business savvy is the ability to understand the dynamics, limitations, and situation of the business and make smart decisions.

What is Business Acumen?

Other names for business acumen are business sense or business savvy. It is the ability to size up the situation in your company and overcome problems so that the company still makes money and reaches its goals.

What is Your Iron Triangle?

Your iron triangle summarizes the 3 biggest walls, or maybe nemesis, that you face every day and you don’t have easy answers for.

Benefits of knowing your Iron Triangle:

  1.  The biggest boundaries and problems that you face are identified are clearly identified so you deal with them.
  2. Allows focus of our creativity and the resources to break down the walls.
  3. Prevents the frustration and stress of not achieving your goal because you know what’s in the way. You know what your goal is. You know it’s in the way you can actually think through things and do something about it.
  4. Allows you to set reasonable goals.

Drawbacks of not knowing your Iron Triangle:

 It stops you from moving forward. Frustration builds up from hitting some invisible wall over and over. This leads into the most nasty trap of your Iron Triangle: lowering your performance and expectations over time.

Dangers of Your Iron Triangle

So the biggest danger of your iron triangle is that you become like the shark in a tank that never goes beyond where the glass wall once was.  Accepting the faulty barrier that had disappeared over time.

So how can we go about changing our iron triangle?

  • Recognize that your iron triangle is an answer, not a solution.  This is a concepts from part one of this series.
  • Recognize that changing an iron triangle side will involve trade-offs.  It’s nearly impossible to change all three sides of the iron triangle at once, but one side at a time? Usually doable.
  • Don’t assume your iron triangle is fixed for all time.
  • Work on changing these three things:
      • Change the time factor – process time, supply chain time, time on the shop floor, equipment time, payment or something else that deals with time.
      • Change the talent resource – Train employees, hire a consultant or coach, hire new talent in a new position, join a mastermind group, or even bring your kids into your company. Get that person you need to move the side of the Iron Triangle.
      • Change the access to Treasure – Find new financing or loan, increase your sales effort, discontinue a product line and place the money in a new product, sell your fancy car, take on a part-time job, bring in a new partner. Be creative.


You have just learned one of the biggest secrets in business acumen: another iron triangle can break apart your own personal iron triangle.  That’s right, the elements of one iron triangle can move the walls you face.

Using one iron triangle to change your personal iron triangle. Now, that is business savvy. That’s how you arise2Live.


Youtube Link: Clint Eastwood, playing tough-guy Dirty Harry (1973) iconic line: “A man’s got to know his limitations”

Poem by Reinhold Niebuhr: The Serenity Prayer

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