Thoughts for 2013
Helen Keller once wrote:
“Character cannot be developed in peace and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
For a business in 2013, this can be translated into something quite simple; Just Do It!
I also like the saying by Wayne Gretzky. He was nicknamed “The Great One” and has been called the greatest hockey player ever. He is also the only NHL player in history to have his number (#99) retired league-wide. The quote I like is
“We miss 100% of the shots we never take.”
As we look forward to 2013 it is useful to take also take a look back and visit some tried and true business thinking to move us forward. Here are some thoughts to help you move your business forward in 2013.
Business 2013 – Keep the Power of Perspective
With every challenging situation we encounter, ask questions such as “What is the lesson here?”, “How can I learn from this experience?”, “What is most important now?”, and “If I think outside the box, what are some better answers?”
The higher the quality of questions we ask, the better the quality of answers we will receive. By asking constructive questions based on learning and priorities, we can gain the proper perspective to help us tackle future opportunities and business situations. Here is a nice statement from Albert Einstein.
”If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it I would use the first 55 minutes to formulate the right question because as soon as I have identified the right question I can solve the problem in less than five minutes”
Here is a quote from someone who was very successful and also prone to makiung mistakes. His name is Thomas Edison.
“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
Business 2013 – Focus on The Big Picture Not the Mud at Your Feet
We should always learn from the past, but not be stuck in it. Sometimes life circumstances and personal setbacks can preoccupy us. To dwell on our past mistakes and to let these mistakes haunt us to think too much about what could have been can be extremely limiting. To dwell too much on past mistakes can prevent us from seeing our true potential and recognizing new opportunities.
What has already happened we cannot change, but what is yet to happen we can shape and influence.
Learn from the past but also break from the past! Ask empowering questions with a focus on the here and now and with an objective to improve the future.
- How can I make a positive difference in this situation?
- How can I help others to perform better in this situation?
- What does it mean for me to do my best in this situation?
- How can I help others to do their best?
- Who can help that is not involved now?
Learn to build off your past in 2013 by empowering yourself and help others to empower themselves as well.
Business 2013 – Ask for Help from the Right Individuals
Realize that you are not alone when you have a difficult business situation. A good business manager knows the resources that are available and continues to build and improve existing resources.
This really translates into forming superior relationships with people and then to develop skill to use them when needed. Have a clear understanding of who the go-to people are. These are people that can provide sound advice or help with an important connection or they may provide a new perspective.
Be clear that asking for help is not the same as complaining. Habitual complainers dwell on what’s wrong. Successful people assume responsibility for finding solutions or the support they need to solve the problem.
All businesses have problems that need solutions. Smart business owners know who can help and seek out help. For your business in 2013 learn who to ask for support and ask for it!
Business 2013 – Focus on Your Strengths and Reduce Weaknesses
All businesses and business managers have strengths and weaknesses. As people, some of us have wonderful people skills. Others are skilled at using tools. Others are great a coming up with ideas.
If there is a big gap between what you’re naturally good at and the skills you need to a good job then this creates frustration and your business can suffer. You need to focus on your strength but you also cannot ignore the weaknesses. Bring in other experts or skill sets to close the gap between the skill set of you and your business and the skill set needed to get the job done well for your customers.
As a manager (and you are certainly a manager of yourself) you need to identify key weaknesses and ensure that do not become major liabilities on your road to success going forward.
Business 2013 – Take Care of Yourself
Try to manage a vacation break every day. It could be a workout, or a walk or a lunch with a friend or colleague. It could be reading for an hour or listening to a podcast from one of your favorite speakers.
Relax. Ease your mind. Rejuvenate your spirit. To do this will help you to solve more problems and advance your cause.
Also, a good internal business climate makes things fun and challenging. Encourage the people you work with and count on for ideas to keep things fun and to take care of themselves.
Business 2013 – Keep Your Options Open
There are many paths to business opportunity and business success. Businesses in 2013 will have many good opportunities presented to them. It is our job, as business leaders, to recognise them and act on the ones that will be best for our society and our business.
It is a good idea to define what success will look like. If you begin with the end in mind you will also see that there are multiple paths to reach success.
When one path seems to be less fruitful or even a dead end then take a step back and seek another path. New options can come from many places. Consult trusted advisor. Think outside the box. Dream. Define how to do things differently. Let go and let something come in to fill the void.
A client of mine once hired a specialist to do a certain part of a project and the specialist did not deliver. My client stayed with the specialist for an entire year without delivery being made before he let go and found another solution. To let go is necessary sometimes when it is clear that the chosen path is not producing the desired results. There are always multiple options and a business manager must be aware of them and then make the tough decisions to discard a path and move to a new one.
Business 2013 – Have Faith in Yourself
Have faith in yourself. If you give up on yourself you can expect others to give up on you too. Solutions are everywhere. Know that faith in yourself can help you to see solutions. If you have lost faith then a solution can be right in front of you and you may not see it.
Business 2013 – Resolve to Never, Ever Give Up
Whatever you do – keep trying. You will not get far if you do not try if you give up. Taking a step back is not giving up. Discarding a particular approach is not giving up. On this thought a great quote to close with is again from Thomas A Edison.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Business 2013 – Create Delightful Content
As always, with both your website and your blog think of ways to create delightful content for your visitors. To learn more about content marketing I invite you to take any one of all of our tutorials on content marketing. Here is a direct link to the Content Marketing Introduction Tutorial.
Have a great time conducting business in 2013!