Article 46: The Obvious can be Elusive!
Have you ever been in some type of business or social situation and you are staring directly at something or someone and then the person next to you makes a comment about what it appears you are fixated on only to realize that you have no idea what they are talking about? What makes matters worse is when you do hone in on the object of their comment and still cannot put the two together. Then that person adds another descriptor to their original comment and “Bam” a light bulb goes off and now you get it.
Well don’t be alarmed you are not alone. This happens even to the most astute among us. Most of the time it really isn’t a big deal the thing it took us so long to mentally wrap our mind around because it wasn’t anything of significance. However, this is never the case when it comes to our business. The truth of the matter is that more times than not we get so focused on what is in front of us and the things we know which need to be accomplished that we totally miss the obvious which may be on the right or left.
What we don’t realize is that by keeping our self imposed blinders on we are delaying and missing out on business that we should be attracting. It may be simple things like how we greet our customers, the methods we use to advertise or perhaps hearing but not listening to what our clients are saying. It takes a very concerted effort to become proficient about getting out of our own way but once you take time to learn it you will generate more business, save unnecessary marketing dollars and develop into a business which others will model.
Like most solutions the easiest is not necessary free but comes at a price. If a person wanted to be a better baseball hitter they could watch tape of great hitters, model their swing in the appropriate fashion and “yes” they would get some type of result. However, the more direct route would be to hire, for an hour or group of sessions, a batting coach from one of the local batting cage companies and have him/her demonstrate for you the correct way to hit as well as give you training tips to make you more proficient. Now which way will achieve the results faster? The decision becomes are you willing to pay for that instruction or will doing it on your own get you to the same place at the same pace?
Running your business is no different. You can learn a lot from your own personal experience and from those around you but you would need multiple life times to gain the knowledge that others who have been where you are possess. Most businesses are running a different race than a person who wants to gain a better batting swing. They don’t have 5 – 10 years to gain the knowledge. They need it now and they need it fast because if they don’t they will be out of business.
So here is the bottom line. You must decide prior to opening a business or continuing to run one if you are willing to invest in your business by working with other business professionals to get where you want to go. There is a reason some of your local, regional and national companies continue to thrive no matter what the economy or consumer says/does. They know the value of working with outside professionals and the level of experience they bring which will help guide them through their challenging times. They know how to make the best product or deliver the best service but they also know that is where their level of expertise stops. It takes much more than being able to make a great product to have a successful company.
If you truly want to thrive no matter what the times you must be willing to open your mind, release your grip on thinking you know everything and work with those who have the experience you need. It could be a CPA for your accounting, a lawyer for your legal or a newspaper ad salesman for your advertising needs. The point is that there are whole industries built up to help you succeed. All you have to do is ask, be receptive and let them guide you through the uncharted waters!
Jeffrey A. Mohr – Founder