Tag Archives: business decisions

Two Essential Components to Running a Business

Simply put, the two essential components to running a (small) business are:

1. Nimbleness

Merriam-Webster: able to move quickly, easily, and lightly : able to learn and understand things quickly and easily.

2. Flexibility
Merriam-Webster: easily changed : able to change or to do different things : willing to change or to try different things.

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The Path Towards Progress

Progress is typically defined by forward momentum. Is a company moving forward? Is a person moving on? Is an organization taking progressive steps? The question should really be, is growth taking place?

Progress should not be defined by the number of steps taken forward, but by the number of steps retraced for the sake of learning. Growth and progress always come with bumps and bruises. Mistakes will happen. External forces will work against us. Which means that sometimes, in order to achieve progress, reflection on those mistakes must take place. Although the goal should be to avoid as many mistakes as possible, they will happen. Progress will only take place when learning from those mistakes has occured.

Thomas Edison said it best, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” With each failed attempt, Edison couldn’t just start over. He looked at what was done, why it didn’t work, and then tried again. Progress.

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Lessons Learned from Church Name Tags

Have you ever been to a church where all the (regular) congregation members had on name tags? Did you have a name tag too? If not, did they offer you a ‘Guest’ tag?

1428915_19697637I was at a large meeting the other day, and as name tags and Sharpies were going around for us, someone mentioned that her church has name tags for everyone. My first thought: that church has name tags for everyone except for first timers. My second thought was a question: how many times does someone have to attend before they are given a name tag?

In this situation, name tags equal exclusivity. Even if that’s not the message this church intends to send, it’s the message that’s likely being received. If I was new to church and the whole God thing, I’d be freaked out if the church I decided to visit was full of people wearing name tags. I’d be even more freaked if they wanted me to wear a ‘Guest’ name tag.

Does your business unintentionally create exclusivity? If exclusivity is created intentionally, that’s one thing. But if you’re a small business, you probably can’t afford to be exclusive. You definitely can’t afford to create barriers for new customers. Entry – to your website, or your brick and mortar location, or your LinkedIn group – should be easy and with as few barriers as possible.

Otherwise, it may seem like you’re just another social clique.

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Shopping When You’re Hungry

Out of all the advice I’ve ever given, or will ever give, this principle seems to be the most important. Why? Because I see the same mistake made over and over and over again.

Do not make important decisions regarding your business when you’re strapped for cash or when you’re emotional. You won’t be thinking clearly, therefore you’ll make poor decisions. Just like going shopping when you’re hungry.

My advice? Take a deep breath. Consult a third party, preferably one you trust. Or, at least wait until you’re no longer hungry.

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