Mrs. Milch, my sophomore English teacher, led us through an interesting exercise in identifying those things that are most important to us.
She had us list our most treasured possessions on a single piece of paper. We had 15 minutes to write on the front and back of a single sheet of 8- by 11-lined notebook paper. We wrote furiously, inventorying our possessions both large and small, from the obvious (favorite sweater, bicycle, or tennis racquet) to the small details that make life run smoother (like a toothbrush or bicycle lock).
As you’ve already anticipated by now, we began a series of increasingly difficult choices. Pare that list down in factors of 10 from your top 30 items, to the top 10. We had to whittle the list down to five possessions that we called our own. At 15 life, at least in this respect, was much simpler, but the thought process of evaluating and making clear choices was just as difficult as you might experience today.
If we had the time in a coaching session, we could go through this process on several levels and key categories. But in this short span that we have together, I’d like to offer you a question and then a shortcut.
Here’s the question: What’s the single most important asset in your business?
Think about what helped you launch your business. What’s been behind its growth? What’s helped you meet new clients and serve them well? What’s been instrumental in your decision-making and risk management?
If you’re still thinking about a computer, your desk chair, your lucky suit, or even your cell phone, you’re off base. For the answer, go look in a mirror. That’s right, it’s you. Yes, you!
Now that we’ve identified your most valuable asset, we’ve got to think and plan how to nurture your best qualities in the coming year. Why? Because as the leader of your company, the more you grow and expand your thinking and comfort zone, the faster and more successfully your business will do the same. It’s true for me and true for you.
When I narrowed down my high school list to two items, it came down to my bed vs. my desk. In choosing between the two, I realized that my desk could help expand my business opportunities (which consisted of tennis lessons and math tutoring at the time) and earn back all the other possessions. Though I could do work at my bed, I knew I was more productive and inspired at my desk and I’d rather sacrifice sleep at my desk than creative work on my bed. How’s that for personal insight from a NJ teenager!
Take deliberate steps to anticipate in which ways you need to strengthen your most valuable asset and build them into your schedule. In doing so, you’ll build a stronger business.
About the Author:
Entrepreneurs can find more resources to build their business at: www.mybusinessgym.com
Bill Ringle works with business leaders from high tech and professional service entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia region and shares the strategies and tools for accelerating growth through my Business Gym with business leaders from across the United States and in 15 different countries.