I recently celebrated 5 years as an independent consultant and coach. Well... I moonlighted for some time before that, but it's been five years since I was employed by a company. I wasn't expecting this to be a significant milestone - just another month/quarter/year in which to balance work and life, to balance planning and executing, and to keep growing.
Whether Thanksgiving time is stressful or relaxing isn’t just about the cooking and all the family. In terms of one’s professional life, this time of year means different things to different people depending upon their role.
What does “persistence” mean to you? Do you picture a salesperson who just won’t take no for an answer, the telemarketer whose number pops up on your caller ID every day for weeks on end (likely a computer doing the dialing, but you know what I mean)?
You may have heard this statement before -- "luck is when preparation meets opportunity." Profound. These six words offer incredible clarity about a complex question -- "how can we create luck in our businesses?"
If you are like many business owners, this time of year is a mixed bag of regrets over what you didn't accomplish during 2009 and renewed energy to make 2010 your best year ever. In your dark moments, do you feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day...doomed to live the same day, with the same issues and challenges, over and over?
"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter" is a quotation from T.S. Eliot. I agree that it is hard to boil down big ideas and concepts into brief statements. But the process is so valuable. Not only that, the output is exponentially more valuable the shorter it gets.
Isn't funny that so many powerful tools boil down to just a few simple concepts. I am constantly reading books on business, leadership, self-improvement and the like. At least for me, the most profound insights are the ones that make you go "duh -- why didn't I think of that?"
I get some "pushback" on this point -- the idea that setting your marketing strategy should come a whole lot earlier than "step 3." Some of it is symantics -- of course establishing a Vision for your business 1 year and 5 years down the road is a fundamental step in refining your existing business strategy. As for sliding step 2 "Maximizing the Current" into the mix instead of continuing from Vision on to flesh out an overall marketing strategy, think of it this way.
The simple question I help my clients tackle is "How do I grow my business?" That's a pretty big question though, you have to admit. It's a big question because making a REAL change can set you on a completely different path. Don't fall into the trap of just working harder!
I was privileged to attend a leadership summit here in Danville, CA over the weekend that drew about 1,500 people from Northern California and beyond. The event was put on by a local job-seeker networking group, but went far beyond just a "hang-in-there" message for those caught in the middle of this economic crisis.