Execution « be-unreasonable.com

Execution



If you keep doing what other people want you to do, and thinking about what other people want you to think, what do you suppose is likely to happen?

Repeating the successes of the past, preserving tradition, doing things as they are “supposed” to be done, will- at best – produce results like those had before.  Except that in this new future – our present – those results can’t possibly be as good, as productive, or as powerful as they once were.  And probably not as much fun, either.

 


Everyone wants to be more successful, but often, hard work seems just too hard. Some people turn to the Law of Attraction for help, so I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.

Hey, you know what? All hoopla aside, I like the LOA. And why not? It’s a cool idea, and if the choice is between focusing my mind on things I want versus focusing on things I don’t want, I’d rather spend my mental energy on things I want.

But here’s the question: Is “just” thinking, and emoting, and visualizing, and meditating, and yes, praying, about things I want going to bring them into my life?

 


There are no rules that fit all situations. (Check the Ten Commandments if you don’t believe this.) Our businesses and our lives are far too complex for any guidelines to be 100 percent appropriate in all cases. This is not meant as an inducement to break very basic rules, such as your core values. It means that when your beloved rule comes smack up against holding back progress, you should at least be willing to question whether the rule is still appropriate, or whether it’s some kind of holdover.

 


Here are three “Marketing Mistakes” that business owners routinely make.  (I saw an article in Direct Magazine which inspired me.)

1. Marketing plans and not aligned with business goals.   For instance, say you have a goals to grow top-line revenues by 50%. (Only 50%?  Well, it is a recession.)  In Formula 5 terms, that would mean a three-part combination of strategies to improve pricing and margins, monetization of each customer, and of course, lead generation.   Most business owners never think this way. They never try to figure out what it will take to reach that 50%, in action-oriented terms.

 


I just read this following passage in Gary Kasparov’s new book, “How Life Imitates Chess.” He has been writing about the phase of a chess game called “nothing to do,” and how greats such as Petrosian and Karpov used this time to eke out small positional advantages.

“In life, there is no such obligation to move. If you can’t find a useful plan, you can watch television, stick with business as usual, and believe that no news is good news. Human beings are brilliantly creative at finding ways to pass time in unconstructive ways. At these times, the true strategist shines by finding the means to make progress, to strengthen his position and prepare for the inevitable conflict. And conflict, we cannot forget, is inevitable.”

 


Start here: Answer the question, “What am I trying to accomplish?”

Then, “What are some of the ways that can happen?” This will give you the high order possible strategies.

Next, validate that this is, in some way, possible. Use internal and external market research.

Your research opens up the Gap Analysis, and starts to answer the question, What is needed to get THERE?

Consider, “How different is that from WHERE YOU ARE NOW?” and “What are the ways to close the gaps?”

Prioritize which gaps are most important AND most closable AND Have the biggest payoff.

 


It’s been a very distracting few weeks, and I keep telling myself that I have to post, otherwise the blog might get stale. Perhaps it’s a time management problem, but of course, that can be fixed. Perhaps business is just too good, and I certainly don’t want a fix for that!

In any case, I was reading Jerry West writing about… what else, blogs…

He referenced something that I feel should be pasted backwards on my forehead so that I can see it every time I look in a mirror. It’s an old Chinese proverb:

 


Since the publication of Be Unreasonable, my consulting and speaking activities have multiplied dramatically.  While I didn’t have a ton of “free time” before the book came out, I seem to have less and less at an increasing rate.  This is not a complaint, just an observation.  I’m finding that my time is at a premium, and my goal is to use it as effectively as possible. I wrote a while ago that “time management” was a myth, and that you couldn’t really manage time per se.  I still agree with this.  But without a doubt you can have a great effect by choosing what you do with the limited time available. 

 


Are there really only three ways?

I’ve been wracking my brain to find a new one, but there’s no way around it.  Although there are hundreds of specific approaches, when you distill them all down, there are only three ways to expand a business.  Three main ways, and only three.  What are they?

1. Sell more to your existing customers
2. Find more new customers
3. Merge or acquire your competitors

You might ask, “What’s the point of talking about three when there are ‘hundreds of specific approaches’?”  That’s a reasonable question – it’s easy to think consolidating them obscures the opportunity.  But in fact, it’s just the opposite.

 


I just had a fast lunch at Panda Express (you know, you can substitute steamed vegetables for rice or lo mien, making this almost healthful). At the end, I cracked open my fortune cookie which said:

Counting Time Is Not So Important As Making Time Count.

I had to re-read it a few times to be sure, but I find it profound. Perhaps not the first part, but Making Time Count. That’s my new time management mantra.  Make sure that the time I have available, whether it’s 4 hours a week or 60,  is well used and never squandered.

 


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