Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint – But You Gotta Go Really Fast!

When deciding to start a business it is always important to keep the long play in mind. It’s okay to make sacrifices in the early going with the expectation that it will pay off in the long run. It’s fine to keep business at a slow, steady, and manageable pace in order to achieve a level of comfort and sustainability. And, there’s nothing wrong with finding your stride and establishing a work flow that’s right for you. However, it’s never time to allow complacency to settle in because allowing yourself to fall behind means you will inevitably get left behind. Below are few key ideas to keep in mind order for your business to keep pace and make the right strides from start to finish.


No matter how cutting edge you think you are, the next big thing is right around the corner – it’s just a simple fact with the current state of technology. The moment a new technology is released, companies are on the move making refinements and developing their own patents in order to stay in the race and get a piece of the pie. It’s not always necessary to be at the vanguard of innovation, but it’s essential that you keep a pulse on whatever the latest upgrades are and keep your own systems up to date. Always make a point to reevaluate the state of your company’s level of innovation every quarter – yes, things change just that quickly.

Ask for feedback, and respond to criticism.

No matter what service, or product, your company provides, the needs of your clients will change from one day to the next and it’s essential that you stay on top of what those needs are. At the end of the day it is your job to provide them with what they are looking for, not what you think they should want. Being sensitive to customer needs is the cornerstone to profitability because it is customer needs that, in fact, drive innovation. Also, it’s essential that you never become bitter towards negative criticisms to your product or service. As great as it feels to receive a pat on the back once in a while, that’s not necessarily how we grow. Every negative criticism represents an insight into the potential flaws with your service or product and what may need tweaking or overhauling. Criticism isn’t so much an indictment of your abilities as it is an opportunity to step up and prove what you’re capable of.

Embrace change.

Once upon a time people graduated from college, got a job, and stayed right there until they retired. It’s well understood that nowadays college graduates should prepare to have several careers before they decide to call in their pensions. In the previous paradigm a layoff would have been calamitous, but today it’s almost so common that the phrase “I’m between jobs right now” has almost become cliché. Keeping everything in a constant state of flux should be the only permanent aspect of your life and business. It prepares you for every eventuality because if you’ve been keeping up you likely saw the changes coming a long time ago.

Have no fear.

 Anyone unfamiliar with the term “self-sabotage” needs to go look it up, because all too often we are the biggest obstacle we need to overcome. Whether it’s fear or apathy, very often we become limited by what we feel we deserve and no one is going to just pay us because we think we’re cool. It’s fine to speak soft, but paramount to be assertive enough to do what needs to be done. It’s not enough to just put one foot in front of the other. In order to make real strides you have to pound the pavement and you need to have a talk with yourself and not let yourself get in the way of you achieving your dreams.