More often than not, we catch what we pursue, not what we envision. Contrary to a commonly held popular narrative, we aren’t successful by just envisioning what we want. There are three legs to the Success Stool, not just one:
Guess Who Does
If you’re spending a lot of money to develop your brand through advertising or a nifty website, you might want to rethink that. You don’t control your brand anymore, so trying to create or enhance it with slick images and thought-provoking tag lines could just be a waste of valuable time and money resources.
The Time, Money, and Energy Conundrum – When I was just starting out, a creepy old guy (about my age – mid-50s) told me life had a built in problem. He said “The problem with life is this.
When you’re young, you’ve got all the time and all the energy to enjoy life, but no money. When you’re in your middle years, you’ve got all the money and all the energy, but no time. And when you’re retired, you’ve got all the money and all the time, but no energy.”
He then went on to say something very profound. “The key to a good life is to figure out how to have all three at once – you’ll make a lot bigger impact in the world around you if you can figure that one out.”
Retirement is a really bad, bankrupt, industrial age idea that was never a good idea in the first place. It was invented by big businesses to steal the best 40 years of our lives so they could discard us when our good years were all behind us.
The funniest things go through your mind when riding a bike on switchbacks up a mountain. It came to me today while slogging up the hill that something a client of mine and I had talked about last week riding up the same mountain together was pretty important. Sales people and business owners really don’t get it.
Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, understood that to have his business grow up and run itself, he would need to pay attention to all of the Seven Elements of a Business – so he did.
Kids need to grow up and stand on their own two feet without leaning on you – that is maturity. Your company should do the same thing.
We assume we should wait until we’re big enough before we figure out how to make the business run itself, but – where we start is where we end up. No matter what size your business is, you should be manically focused on getting yourself out from behind the steering wheel from the gitgo. Pay attention to all Seven Elements of a Business, like Kroc did, and watch your business grow up.
The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a visionary has already taken the three steps required to create real and lasting change:
There are seven words a business owner can never afford to use. Which of these words are you using to run your business? Here’s a way to remember them – “Try” to strike them from your vocabulary, “but” if you “can’t”, you can “settle” for only using a few and make a “goal” of getting rid of the rest “later”, when you’re “alone” and nobody’s watching.
Simple vs. Complex
Occam’s Razor says that given two possible answers to a problem, the simpler one is usually right. If we applied this ancient idea to business, we’d make a lot more money.
Guiding Principles of a business are necessary (honesty, integrity, customer service, etc.), but there is another set of principles that help the Business Owner in particular: decision-making principles.
How we make decisions effects everything we do. Problem – we make decisions subjectively, even when we think we’re being objective. All the research shows this – even at the major company level – we even buy subjectively.
As a result, we react badly to shiny objects, short-term victories and defeats, and strategic planning. So the question becomes, do you guide your biz or does it rule you? Who’s really in charge?
Want to make more money and stop recovering from bad decisions? Get some simple decision-making principles on which you run your business.
Like rails that guide a train, your decision-making principles are a core strategy to having a business that knows where it is going and how it is going to get there.
Here’s my seven decision-making principles. What are yours?
Employees have changed. Rules don’t cut it anymore. The newer generation isn’t sure it even wants to go to work and has in some ways decided to retire BEFORE working. They’re out there “gigging” instead of working. How do you as a Business Owner respond to this new world?
How is the new world different than the old industrial age employee world? The old world had rules the employee needed to live by. The new world has guidelines that create ownership, freedom, teamwork, and creative involvement for the employee:
Nigel (Will) Polak
Nigel is a Life Coach, lawyer, psychotherapist, mediator and philosopher (of sorts). He is a father, friend and lover. He's a window onto a world…