Consultant Week, Vol 5 of 5 - The Eyes Have It

The last issue in our Consultant Week theme. The eyes have it. Four eyes are better than two. Let us focus on the future.

The boaters have finally got their boats on the trailers and have gone home for the day. I have a few questions for them. Did they learn anything about that issue of getting the boat on the trailer? Did they learn anything about how they solved the perceived problem? Will they repeat a similar scenario the next time? What will the future hold for their boating and docking maneuvers? Do they care?

The great benefit of being outside and looking in is that I have a perspective that the person on the inside would be hard pressed to see. I have seen much of the island of Kauai, Hawaii. It is a beautiful island, but about 90% of the island has no roads. I took an hour long helicopter ride and my did that open my eyes to the beauty of Kauai. I thought it was beautiful in Princeville, but seeing it from a bird's eye view is just incredible. We hovered down inside an ancient volcano shaft. That was a perspective you could never get any other way. It was a unique experience.

It's a great idea to give your company a good check up from time to time. In up economies and down. The whole idea of business is growth. There are so many ways to grow. Even if sales aren't growing, there are a lot of other ways a company can grow. In the car and truck business, vehicle sales may be down, but maintenance should be up (or could be. . .). A good question to ask periodically is what can we do to grow our business? The very first thing is to acknowledge that is a desirable thing. We actually have met many businesses who do not think that way. Once, you have the idea that you want your business to grow, the next step is to visualize what that growth would look like if it were the reality right now. See the task already completed. Next, you can ask, how do we do that? If you have all the answers, go for it and get it done. Chances are, you can do step one and two really well, but step three could use some assistance especially because you are so close to your business. This is the time to ask for assistance. We would love nothing better than to have an owner want their business to grow, and can see what it might look like if it were already done and then call us. We get really excited about this challenge and we can get some synergy going with this wonderful foundation.

The economy doesn't dictate the success of your business. It is the thinking of the person(s) running the company that dictates the success. We see some businesses growing in this economy, and we see many who are not. If it were the economy, they would all be in decline. Every time the thought comes in that it is an external event that is causing a problem, that should be a strong clue to acknowledge that is probably a symptom, but not the problem. It's not the gas prices, that is a symptom. The media will have a field day with your mind if you let them. It seems that everything is a crisis anymore.

A really good question to ask when you see what you think is a problem, is "What's good about this?" Okay, it sucks. Maybe all you can think about is what a problem this problem is. Then try a different approach: Ask, "If there could be something good about this, what might it be?" You might already know that strength comes from adversity. Instead of looking at a problem as a negative thing, consider it a blessing or an opportunity and how it will help you grow, your business grow, help you adapt to change. "Winning is not the only thing. . . attitude is.

Look around at how people you know and businesses you know who are reacting to this economy. Look at them or their business and think of yourself as a consultant to them. See what you see as the real problem and what you think the solutions might be. It is so much easier to see these things in other people and in other people's businesses than it is to see them in you or your business. This is another value of a consultant. By trying to be one yourself, you can see the value of having one for yourself or your business. I have a list of mentors and helpers for myself and for my businesses. I want as many ideas as I can get!

If you had an electrical problem, you would hire an electrical contractor probably. Frustrated with the space you are in, you would hire a design consultant. Expanding your building or adding on? You would hire a general contractor. Need help increasing your sales effectiveness? You need a sales/marketing consultant. Of these, I can tell you which I think will have the most impact on your business: Increasing your sales effectiveness. With that, your business will flourish, and you can afford the other contractors to deal with your physical issues.

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