As business leaders, one’s posture – surviving, sustaining or succeeding – impacts that way one makes decisions about their business and activities surrounding the business. Decisions you make every day can affect the way that your business operates, interacts with clients, vendors, investors and your community. If they get the impression that you are operating from survival mode, meaning that you are doing whatever you can just to survive, they may seek to do business with a company that appears more stable. If you seem to be sustaining, they may stick with you for a while, but will be suspicious. If you are succeeding, you may as well have built a better mousetrap.
Surviving: When operating in survival mode, anything that looks like it might be helpful grabs your attention. You’ve abandoned any strategies and plans you’ve made for the company. You’re even willing to work outside of the company’s beliefs or brand, thinking that you are doing whatever it takes, just to survive. People can see that. People might be impressed with the fact that you work hard, but they won’t respect your company or its brand for long. Focus and integrity are most important.
Sustaining: Sustaining means that you are existing, and are focused on doing the things it takes to keep moving. You might call it proceeding on inertia. The problem with proceeding on inertia, by definition, is that – things in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force. Outside forces meaning changes in economies, business models, purchasing patterns, technologies, etc. If you are moving forward on inertia, your customers and clients are going to move on without you. Your clients are looking for the best value at the best price. If you are lucky, you will keep the ones that stick with you because it’s what they’ve always done. The question is, therefore: Do you feel lucky?
Succeeding: Succeeding, by definition, means to achieve or accomplish. This means that despite what is going on in the economy or technology or within your business, you are completely committed to and focused on achieving or accomplishing your business’s objectives. That means that you aren’t doing things to minimize that effort. That means that you aren’t doing things that are dividing your time and causing you to split your focus. Succeeding is more than the end zone; it is a mentality or belief. It is an attractor, or something that draws other people and businesses to you. It is a motivator for you and those around you. It can even be a pass key. If people see that you believe in yourself and what you are selling, they will help you get where you are going, whether they realize it or not.
The great thing about having a succeeding mentality is that no one can define what it means, but you. No one can tell you that you are successful or unsuccessful. It has everything to do with your attitude. Success truly starts with a clear mission statement – why you are here and what you do, and a vision statement – where you intend to go or how you will impact the world. Succeeding is not a destination, but rather a state of being. Wealth and material items are symbols, of sorts, but they never provide a feeling of long-term satisfaction.
So – where are you? Are you surviving? Sustaining? Succeeding? Ask your stakeholders what they think you are doing. Then do something about it. Succeed!
Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].