That project in the corner.

Every business has one – a project that needs to be done, but keeps getting postponed.

If you’re a job seeker, think about targeting your dream company and suggesting that you take a stab at that overflowing pile in the corner.

It may just be the hook that finally opens the door.

 

Guessing.

Every year my husband and I put together a business plan by culling through past receipts and marketing stats.

And while our plan is based on experience, it’s just a guess – a stake in the ground to help guide us to where we want to go.

Our first year, our plan turned out to be nearly 50% accurate.

After more than 25 years, our precision is still not perfect, but it does give me chills when something we outline in January comes to fruition in June.

People don’t plan because they fear they’ll be wrong.   They don’t know exactly where to start, and so they don’t.

But what if you realized that we’re all just guessing?

Would that put you at ease enough to get you started?

The long payoff.

In the beginning, “doing things the right way” is the only way.

In the middle, the slog of putting one foot in front of the other, day after day, feels like a waste of time.  This is the point that short cuts become tempting and people’s determination peters out.

In the end, plodding along in the right direction for years usually pays off big time.

Hint:  This applies to practically everything.

Another hint:  You’ve reached “the big payoff” when you hear yourself saying, “I have no idea how I got this lucky.”

 

The truth.

I have worked with my husband Lou for over two decades.

When there’s a business issue, there’s no posturing, masquerading or blaming.

When something is scary, we don’t have to pretend to be brave.

And when one of us is going down a path that is just plain wrong, the other doesn’t have to coach, cajole, set up a special meeting or converse in PC terms.  We just speak our mind openly to stop the mistake in its tracks.

The truth sure saves a lot of time and energy.

 

 

 

This is Marketing.

Seth’s new book reminded me of something.

Back in the day, my newly minted OB/GYN needed patients.

She hired a manicurist to give manicures to her patients in her waiting room.

In her first year she delivered more babies than doctors that had been practicing for decades.

This is marketing.

Other peoples’ spreadsheets.

People love their own spreadsheets.

This passion is born out of the author’s deep understanding of the logic they’ve painstakingly developed inside every cell.

But something happens when the spreadsheet is shared with others.  The author is exuberant:

“Isn’t this cool?”

“It’s so clear.”

But onlookers are confused. The unfamiliar jumble of numbers, colors and tables, is disorientating.

“Is ‘red’ a good outcome?”

“Why are we dividing cell A3 by cell T5?”

The audience simply doesn’t have their sea legs.

Other peoples’ spreadsheets make me feel downright dopey.

Please don’t email me your spreadsheet or present it on a large screen.

Spoon-feed me the results instead.

One extra minute.

The clasp on my watch had a recurring problem:  It would suddenly release at random times.

I took my watch from jeweler to jeweler and everyone had the same answer:  There was nothing wrong with the watch clasp.

At the last store, the jeweler asked if he could examine the way I put the watch on my wrist.

In just 60 seconds of observing me, he realized I was closing the latch from left-to-right, when it should be clasped right-to-left.

Problem solved.

Imagine the chronic issues and pains that might be solved with just one extra minute of attention.

 

Secret rules.

I’m convinced that there are secret rules everyone knows but me.

“Where do I stand to wait for a StairMaster?”

“Do I need to tip for takeout?”

Turns out most people feel this way.

The other day a woman at Aldi gave me her shopping cart.  If you know the secret-cart- rule at Aldi, you know that to release a grocery cart from the corral, you need to pay a quarter.  Aldi exit-ers simply hand off their carts to Aldi enter-ers in a pay-it-forward kind of way.  First-timers are confused at the dogged insistence of the exit-er to take their cart, until an Aldi old-timer explains the arrangement.

Mentoring is all about explaining the secret-rules.  What knowledge can you share that’ll bring someone a little more into the loop?

 

 

Everyday.

Most days, I send gratitude group text to my immediate family.   Sometimes one of my sons will reply with something he’s thankful for, but often it’s just me.

This tiny habit helps set my mood to a good one.  And often changes it from a bad one.

Turns out, it’s hard for me to remember my struggles at the same time I’m being grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyday.

Managing conflict.

I am a conflict-allergic manager.

But I’ve found another way:  Instead of confronting bad behavior, I compliment good behaviors instead.

Has almost the same outcome in results.