“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” is a quote that we’re all pretty familiar with but do you know how the rest of it goes?
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”
You ever notice how smart people sound when they’re quoting other peoples brilliance–let’s move on before you realize I’m in that category.
How’s your year going? I realize this is the type of article that you’d expect to read on December 31st just in time for New Years and all those resolutions but in reality it’s a great time to reevaluate your plans, goals and results and make changes for the better. You’ve had 3 full months now to see what’s working and what’s not and whether you’re way far ahead or lagging behind it is the perfect time to make those adjustments.
Now I don’t know what you need for your business, maybe you’re a start up struggling just to ad customers or perhaps you have 2 dozen trucks on the road and you haven’t hit your sales goal for 2 years. I could easily go down the list and give you all the proven methods for increasing your bottom line and I’d have you do the daily check lists and writing down of goals that all the top books recommend. You’ve read those books, let’s be honest are they helping you now? You know I bet you a dollar you could pick out a sales book from 2010 and find the phrase, “in today’s economy.” Double or nothing says you could also pick out a book from 20 years ago and find very similar words. For whatever reason it’s always a difficult time to get ahead and become a great success but a few make it big and that gives pause to us average folk who want more for their business or career. They think “wow, I’d like to be big like that someday.” Still for some of you business is no problem at all and you’ve got trucks, vans and cars with fancy wraps buzzing all over town and you almost passed up reading this article but you didn’t. Is there something you can improve?
As I said, it’s a great time to reevaluate but I’m hardly the person to give you advice on numbers and quotas. I am, if I may say however fully qualified to encourage you do just one thing that will go farther than anything else to help improve your business. What I encourage you to do, is to be honest and that not with the world but only with yourself. The quote from Dickens said it all and most people would nod their heads in agreement of how true those words are. Somehow however, when it comes down to our life, our activity they just don’t seem to apply. In the quote there was no gray areas just black and white, for you and I and the furtherance of our business or career we can’t have the gray that we’ve been accepting or we will surely fail. We need to face the mirror and ask, “am I doing all I can?” and being brutally honest let the answer we know is true come out and be said out loud.
They say you can’t fool yourself but THEY are wrong, we justify not doing the things we know to do and fully embrace the gray landscape, we rationalize our shortcomings because we don’t want to see ourselves as anything but a conquerer. We transfer responsibility for the lack of results to anything other than ourselves and worst of all accept good intentions as a substitute for actions.
It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner, service tech or office personnel the company is only as good as its weakest link and although that may not be you, just how close are you to that distinction. I believe that once we air out what we know to be our shortcomings we can take action. Facing the reality of ‘we are where we are because of us and our actions or lack thereof’ will clear the path to a better day. (present tense) I’ll leave you with yet another quote that always hits home for me. In this time of assessing where we are and where we want to go I can think of no better words.
“ON THE SANDS OF HESITATION, LAY THE BONES OF COUNTLESS MILLIONS. WHO AT THE DAWN OF VICTORY Sat down to wait, And waiting—died!”
– Evangeline Wilkes