Proceed and Succeed
By Billy Cox
We all face disappointments and setbacks. Everyone has times in their life where they ask themselves such questions as “is it all worthwhile,” “am I really on the right path” and “if so, why is it so hard?”
These are not ordinary moments … these are your destiny-defining moments. These are moments where the decisions you make determine the path you take which will lead you to your ultimate destination. So when you find yourself at one of life’s crossroads, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Do I love what I do? An old cliché goes, “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” No one loves everything about what they do. However, you must love the core cause, the mission behind what you do, if you expect any lasting success.
2. Do I have the talents to succeed at it? This is a good question because you may love what you’re doing but have no chance at ever being successful at it. If you don’t believe me, just watch American Idol. You must be brutally honest with yourself when you ask this question. You must also solicit the opinions of people you trust who will be brutally honest with you.
3. Does what I’m doing offer me the potential to achieve my social and economic goals? You may love what you do and have the talent to do it, but there’s no potential in it. An example is Will Smith trying to sell high-powered X-ray machines in The Pursuit of Happyness. That would almost be like trying to sell high-powered fax machines or starting a new automobile company today. What you’re doing must have opportunity and potential.
If you answered “NO” to any of these questions you need to do as we say in Texas: “Dismount a Dead Horse.” Change directions as quickly as possible. Find something you love to do that has potential and that brings your talents to light.
If you answered “YES” to all three questions, chances are you’re just in a lull. Or, as Seth Godin says, you’re in “The Dip.” These life-altering moments are when you must proceed and succeed. Remember that most of life’s greatest victories are just inches away from life’s biggest setbacks, and there’s always a way if you’re committed.
This is the time to keep your eye on the target, turn up the heat and keep pressing onward toward the prize.
If you’ve experienced setbacks, you may have to analyze the situation and try a different strategy. You may have to get creative and think out of the box. Where there’s talent, passion and potential, you can proceed confidently, knowing that you will succeed because you are on the right path and victory is near.
Walking the tightrope of change
By Larry Galler
I often write about “change.” I usually write that change is a positive activity. After all, the world is changing constantly for better or worse, and, at a seemingly increasing rate. The economy changes, the political forces change locally and globally, the tastes and desires of customers change, styles change, laws change requiring that businesses institute change to comply, the prices you pay for products and supplies change and the prices you charge for the products and services you sell change. Let’s face it, everything changes. Even if we don’t want it to. Businesses, if they are going to remain viable concerns, must change constantly in order to meet these challenges. But there are risks. Too much change too fast and loyal customers who like things as they are might be alienated and leave to seek the more familiar somewhere else. Too little change too slow might be viewed as “too little too late” or, worse yet, not noticed at all. The difficulty is finding that sweet spot of being able to walk the tightrope of change between the two extremes without falling off. How does a company retain its loyal following and, at the same time, create interest from new prospects? Perhaps the best approach is to develop a two-tier strategy where the message is based upon retaining the legacy, yet cautiously and gradually introducing the new. Something like, “You know us for xyz. We still have it and honor it…but look – we also have something new!” That way the best of the familiar is acknowledged and retained while a spotlight is shining on the changes that are being made. If done well, the new should also be promoted to the loyal customer base in order to get them to try something different to help them transition into the future, to spend just a little on the cutting edge. It might be surprising, if done in a gradual, gentle manner, how many will embrace change without even feeling that they are being led on to the tightrope until they have made it safely to the future.
Are you willing to step out of your rut!
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