August 10, 2014

Stuck in a Rut?

Robert Brault once said: “An old belief is like an old shoe. We so value its comfort that we fail to see the hole in it”. Sometimes running a business is like wearing old shoes; you are so comfortable that you ignore the problem that is preventing success. You keep doing whatever you have always done and refrain from trying anything new or different. Is this because you fear the unknown or because you are lazy? Maybe you just don’t like change; maybe you cannot deviate from your normal ways.

People who keep doing what they have always done, in spite of receiving back what they have always received are said to be insane. I believe they just cannot bring themselves to try anything new because they don’t believe that the new something will make a difference. They want a guarantee, and guarantees are in short supply. There are not many actions available that have a guarantee.

When you started your current venture, no matter what that was, a new company or a new position working for someone else, you did not receive a guarantee from anyone. No one told you that you would succeed in what you were starting to do; no one gave you a money back warranty that you would not fail. That is not how life works; we just do not have that safety net.

Did anyone tell you not to do whatever you did? Did anyone tell you not to start a business; did anyone tell you not to make that last career move? Did someone tell you that your new venture would fail? Did it make a difference to you? Obviously, it didn’t slow you down. You didn’t get a guarantee; instead you received a warning of impending doom. Didn’t stop you, did it?

So what changed? Did you get old, or did your get cautious? Did you get scared of trying new stuff, or did you just get boring? Whatever happened to the fearless, brave entrepreneur that started a business, or the daring employee who wanted to answer a challenge to make a difference? Did you get burned by something that happened, or did you make a mistake in judgment or action? So what; what difference should that mean?

What if you did make a mistake? People who don’t make mistakes don’t do anything. They meander through life, never taking action of any type, never taking a chance or making a decision to try anything new. If you never try something new you may not make a mistake, but you may never succeed as you might. If you don’t play, you cannot win. While business should never be treated as a game, you must play to win, and that involves risk.

Risk can be great, or it may be small in degree. The risk of trying anything different from whatever you have always done may be scary, or it may not, but it might be fun. I am always in the mood for fun during business as well as in life. There is nothing that prevents us from mixing fun with the scariness of risk. Sometimes we need to enjoy the moment and stop and smell the roses. You cannot do that if you never plant any roses.

When you operate a business or work as an employee, you cannot be stuck in a rut. You must try different, and sometimes scary, actions that will allow you to succeed more than ever. The only thing that stays the same is change. Change is a constant, and businesses that change have better chances of success. Get out of the rut, try something new. If it does not produce the results as planned, try something else. You must do something if you want to grow and move forward.

What new action have you tried lately? What have you done to move your business forward and grow? Have you consulted with your networking partners as to what they may have tried to make their businesses succeed? They might have the secret that you need to implement that will move your company forward. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

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