I have two very sharp teenagers at home who tend to, shall we say, do the things that teenagers do. Of course, since they are boys, I get stuck having to “manage their behaviors,” which must be done. As a consultant, my goal is a) to get to the root of the problem, b) figure out what we could do differently and c) correct the problem while keeping the relationship in tact.
My teenagers, of course, have an agenda of their own, which pretty much goes a) No matter what, take no responsibility, b) find some way to blame dad for whatever the infraction is and, if all else fails, diverge, meaning, find a way to shift the topic away from the main point to something off topic that really keeps any sort of progress from being made.
I think that, sometimes, in business, we do the same thing: there are those important things that we need to do for our business that we tend to avoid, like business development, marketing, advertising, updating the accounting and the like, and focusing on the things that are right in front of us. I always refer to those things as, “the new shiny” – referring to the way a little child will instantly be in love with the shiny thing you will give them – until someone else gives them something else that is new and shiny.
What happens, though, when you avoid those things that you know are important to your business? Well, the same thing that would happen if you didn’t keep up with the maintenance on your vehicle or bicycle or even yourself: it would break down.
What does this have to do with keeping the main thing the main thing? Well, like my boys, when running a business, we can get off track performing activities that are outside of our core responsibilities (or what needs to be our core responsibilities!), which, for most business owners, is keeping the business moving toward the company vision, or where the business is headed.
Aepiphanni, for instance, has a vision of providing a suite of products and services for small businesses that will help to create strong, stable, lasting organizations. Therefore, I put all of my energy into keeping the organization moving in that direction. Anything that gets in the way of that, or slows the progress, has to be removed.
Do I get off track? Yes! absolutely! but I know what the main thing is, so that I KNOW WHEN I AM OFF TRACK, and can get myself back on target.
Is it easy to stay on track? No! There are lots of “new shinies” that come across my desk and email every day. Can you say Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Skype? You can’t get much newer or shinier than those.
How do I avoid this and try to stay on track? EAT THAT FROG!!
Take a look at the 1:28 video from Simpletruths.com.
Remember: keep the main thing the main thing. It is vital to the success of your business.
At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Strategy Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping business leaders and executives organize, plan and develop strategies for their organizations. We are committed to our clients’ success.