Losing Sight Of What Is Important

Owning a business is no small undertaking.  It is kind of like bringing a child into the world, you feed and nurture it until it’s mature enough to stand on its feet and walk.  But then what? Unlike a child, your business isn’t going to meet someone and live happily ever after.  With that said, why do you treat it that way? Right now you are probably thinking to yourself, what did this fool just say?  One of my business law professors gave me a piece of advice that I have taken with me through my professional life.  It is simple yet effective “Do not rest on your laurels ever, when you feel comfortable you have given up.” Not worth the build up? I disagree.  This advice applies to not just business, but everything that we do in life. I knew where he was going with it at the time I was sitting on my butt, resting on my laurels.  So let me share a little unsolicited professional advice.

The passion that you have when you do something in life that makes you happy tends to get buried in fear of failure, frustration or success.  Case and point is the economic turmoil that we just experienced, a lot of people are unemployed and ton of businesses are gone.  Chances are if you or your business survived you feel that you were able to adapt to change. Great job, give yourself a pat on the back. The real truth I suspect based on some of my experiences lately that it was common sense for more people than it was adaptation. It is easy to let a person go and trim expenses to survive, which is not adaptation just common sense.  You can stop reading now and storm away saying this guy has no idea what he is talking about or you can get out of the comfort zone and do something different.

At the end of the day we all sell something whether it’s products, services our personal brand.  We need customers to purchase those products or to believe in us and to tell other customers/people about them to build our business or brand. Get back to your roots; every single person that you come in contact with should have a positive memorable experience.  Think you or your business is too big/good for that?  You my friend are resting on your laurels.  For example, do you really know what your customers or potential employers want? Do you know when their birthdays are, anniversary?  Are you or your business so ingrained in their memory that even when they are using a competitor you are in position to acquire them or get that job when a trigger point occurs.  Given up on sending hand written notes? The list goes on and on. My point is get back to the person you were when you had a dream, your experience over the last few months should have taught you the value of personal contact. The eye opener is rewinding back to the simpler grass roots approach.  Start by asking yourself, do you really understand what your customers want? Do you know why they chose you and what their perception of you is?  Do you know enough about them? Do you provide value?  Write all of this stuff down, not with your Mac Book Pro with a good old fashion pad and pen. Draft a plan of attack; work with your team members to get back to basics. Stop slashing your marketing budget, while spending $20.00 a day on lattes and complaining about how factors other than you affect your business. Sacrifice the flash car lease and get back to basics.  In other words stop playing the victim and I promise you that you will see a healthy return on your investment.

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