THE END…WHERE IT ACTUALLY STARTS (1st)

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

“If you were to close your eyes, and imagine where your wildest dreams would take you, where would you go? If you had no limits, where would you end up?”

It was a warm Tuesday evening, and I had just found myself being that guy who was challenging a small business owner about her goals. Her name was Carol, and we had a close relationship. She wrote a book about grief recovery, and had a deep passion for this type of ministry. Unfortunately, she struggled with identifying and combining the necessary components to effectively communicate this passion.

“Let me rephrase that, Carol. If you were to close your eyes, where does the success of your published book place you when it’s all said and done with?”

“Well I’d never thought where it might land me,” she replied.

Shocked, I said “So you’re telling me you work day and night on this passion of yours, but don’t have the slightest clue of what drives you?”

Pausing for a minute, she replied, “Hmm, I guess I want to make a comfortable living, and help people.”

“Come on Carol,” I said. “I know you have a wild imagination. If you close your eyes, where does your success land you? Do you change the perspective of humanity and adjust society, or do you live out a peaceful existence, touching one life at a time?”

“Okay fine, let me think.” After a few quick seconds, she opened her eyes, and smiled. “My dream is to change the culture of how people deal with the loss of a loved one. I feel most people miss out on the silver lining grief has to offer a hurting soul.”

“There you go! Now that’s what I’m talking about!”

Sitting straight up in her chair, Carol realized what she’d been missing out on. “Wow! I can’t believe I’ve never said that out loud! Yes, this is definitely my dream, and it’s exactly what I am working towards!”

“Carol, you’ve done what most people will never do. You’ve stated something without limiting yourself, making excuses, or shortchanging your imagination. I’m so proud of you! Let me ask you a question. Where are you in relationship to your end success dream?”

dream-holiday

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

She paused for another moment, then dropped her shoulders with disappointment. “Very far away.”

“Great!” I replied, smiling from ear to ear. “That means we now have a beginning point, and an end…five minutes ago, you didn’t have either of those. We now have a direction we are headed.”

Her eyes open wide, and she sits back up. “You’re right! We at least have a start and a finish. That makes so much sense! Is it truly as simple as that?”

“Yes,” I replied. “The trick is to imagine the end first, then the beginning next – it’s backwards!”

“So now that I’ve stated this end and beginning points, some invisible spirit of greatness will lead me to success, right? State it, and let the gods of destiny do the rest!”

“No, silly. It means you’re not going to spend any energy without knowing if it helps you get to your dream of success. You’ve already done what most people haven’t, now you get to be more effective in the areas most people aren’t. While everyone else is hoping for a result, you’re crafting yours.”

She began to slump in her chair again. “Well, I have so much to learn though. I don’t know anything about Facebook, or Twitter, or even how to do accounting. I can’t even design a website, and I struggle with getting people to view my blog.”

“Carol, you’re getting scared. Why don’t you close your eyes and imagine that dream again. This time, remember how it feels!”

After a few seconds, her smile returns. “There you go,” I said. “When you feel like there’s just so much to do, with so little skill, just close your eyes.”

“Okay,” she said. “I’ll practice closing my eyes, but how are we going to get to this success dream I have?”

“Let’s meet back here tomorrow, and I’ll tell you how.”

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LEADERSHIP, WHAT’S CHANGED?

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

It was the classic reply I’d heard many times. “Can you just focus on your job?”

“Of course I can,” I replied, “but as I said in my interview, I didn’t come on board to be number two in our industry.”

She snapped back, “I’m the owner, and you’re the manager! I hired you to do a job, not to do mine.”

I responded, “Times are different now, and you need to listen to me!”

“What do you mean,” she says.

“We can’t go about this like we used to back in the day. We need a framework, so we can have some predictability.”

She replied, “But everyone knows how to do their job. There’s no need to do that tedious “structure” stuff.”

“I understand, but if you want your business to experience explosive growth, then we have to!”

Still defensive, she said “We’ve been here 15 years, and it’s always worked for us.”

“So what happens when a new employee gets hired? Do we spend all of our time and energy training them the old way, even though modern times requires us to be more streamlined?”

“Didn’t we hire you to train people” she replied.

“No! I yelled. “You hired me to add value to your company, and to grow your business. Not to spin my wheels, and waste my energy.”

Sitting up in her chair, she replied, “We’re not a big corporation. Why are you trying to make us like one?”

“I know we’re not a big corporation, but why do you think they’re the ones growing, and we’re still where we were 10 years ago?”

“Hold up,” she says. “What do you mean?”

Standing up to leave the office, I say, “These employees will never work hard enough to meet customer’s minimum demands if can’t see how they fit within your business picture. There’s nothing for them to reference, and there’s no consistency for them to build off of. Do you really think they’ll ever give you good enough ideas for you to grow if there’s nothing for them to lean on?”

restaurant-open

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

With all of the technology in today’s world, how do the small businesses harness the talent of today’s entry level employee? If today’s business success depends on their employee’s suggestions, how do we get the best from them?

How do small businesses structure for our new Millennial generation? That new guy who can identify the concept before his manager has made their point. That employee who knows there are so many other options to choose from, they can show up late…and get away with it. How do we explain the complex combination of business mechanics and leadership to a generation who “knows it all?”

If today’s employees can have an adventure on their cellphone, and explore the world in just one click, where’s that same adventure in the work place? If we can’t keep up with their high frequency of emotional stimulation, do we really think they’re going to slow down for us? No, they’ll simply find a business that can. It’s not the same as back in the day where we commanded compliance, and told our employees to just “trust us.” This explosion of technology has robbed small business owners of their own reigns, and their own speed. If managers fight their employees for control, they’ll find a different boss. If you let them steer completely, they’ll run themselves(and you) off a cliff.

Today’s employees know the playing field is level now, and they can effectively demand excellence from their leaders. Times have changed, and we can do one of two things to welcome this sudden shift in the workforce. We can fight for the reigns, or we can learn how to share them. We can try to convince our employees they don’t know what they’re talking about, or we can show them how their view isn’t the only perspective for success. It’s the simple mind shift from operating your business for your employees to operating it with them.

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Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

It’s as simple as providing a written down structure for people to lean on. The framework of what to do, and when to do it. Today’s employee craves this type of structure, and leans on it like a man leans on his cane. Today’s non human structures are essential to bring our employees to life.

Have you ever walked into a business where the owner understands this type of employee? Do you notice how they are placed more carefully, perform better, and treat their customers with a higher respect? Do you notice how they move hastily for their boss, and their words are full of life?

Employees want to be effective in your business, one shift at a time. They want to know what their special addition to your vision is. They want to learn from you, but only from a common ground. This is why having a framework is crucial.

“What do you expect will happen when we get this up and running,” she said.

Before I closed the door to the office, I replied, “Wait and see! There’s nothing more rewarding, and exhausting than to have engaged employees adding to your vision and continually giving you ideas. You’ll need a structure to lead this kind of momentum. Unless you want to grow a meager 10% every year, you need this kind of employee to be competitive in today’s market.”

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HE MOVES TOO SLOW!

snail-man

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

“You have to move faster,” I said.

“I am,” he replied, as he saunters to the back room to get more supplies.

What’s with this guy’s attitude? Is he being passive aggressive? He tells me he’s moving quickly, but he’s moving slower than a snail!

Have you ever had that one employee who’s so darn slow and methodical, it’s painful to be around? How about that employee who crams ideas down your throat so much, even air can’t get in? What about that jolly employee who everyone loves, including you?

As a leader, how do you manage such differences, and as an employee, how do we effectively get our managers to listen?

How to People Watch!

How to Analyze People on Sight does just this. This audio book is 7 hours long, but the information it provides is invaluable. It’s a great book for that long road trip!

The main point this book delivers is how to analyze a  person within seconds! It describes how a person’s appearance, actions and patterns closely mirror a particular biological type of human.

How to Analyze

Photo Credit: How to Analyze People on Sight

 

There’s Only 5 Types of Humans?

That’s right! The author explains to us that even though there is so much to the human psyche, the core of us is pretty simple. In this maze of our internal hardware, there are only five core types of human beings.

This books helps us identify what’s changing, and what will never change. When we adopt these five core human types, we begin to have control over being effective with our actions and conversations. We choose better employees, and place them in better positions for our organizations. We build faster and better rapport, and we don’t anger our bosses quite as frequently.

When we “people watch” next time, How to Analyze People on Sight tells us to remember two things:

  1. Focus on these five types, but don’t be conclusive – there’s always a probability factor.
  2. Understand there are environmental variables, dysfunctions, and events that shape, enhance, or skew our main core…sometimes even mislead us.

This book stresses how we as humans can stretch, adjust, control, and monitor our type…but we can never change it. We must understand how to differentiate the type of human from how he/she adjusted it through the different variables.

For example, if your friend clearly fits within a Cerebral type, but is very effective and personable, he/she may have been able to adjust, or control their specific quirks and weaknesses. Instead of allowing the Cerebral’s sense of “impracticality” to dictate their financial freedom, they may have found a way to control this specific weakness, avoiding living in a constant financial distress.

The different combinations, and the variables may throw us for a loop, but if we focus on the core type of human, our interactions may be more effective, and our energy better utilized.

denker

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

My Interpretation of the 5 Types

  • Alimentive – The happy jolly fat guy/girl
  • Thoracic – The adventurous showoff
  • Muscular – The steady workhorse
  • Osseous – The stubborn, bony, and methodical type
  • Cerebral – The thinker

When you’re on that long road trip next time, How to Analyze People on Sight will explain in depth, these five types for you. You’ll learn most of us have a combination of two to three of these.

“Have you ever noticed how a happy, jolly fat guy is a human’s best friend, or a bosses fastest promotion? His rounder head, with his softer eyes, and jaunty walk are key components to likability. How about that beautiful Thoracic woman who struts around like the next fashion model, flirting with all of the guys, and always catching the eye of her colleagues?

What about that friend of yours who always works out, and preaches democracy and fairness? Do you notice how they buy sturdier vehicles, and longer lasting clothes? They are much different than our fat friend buying clothes for his need of comfort.” -How to Analyze People on Sight

The activities we do, and the things we choose to spend our energy on, are often identical, but the reasons can be drastically different. For example, we all eat food, but the Alimentive eats solely for pleasure, while the Thoracic eats at gourmet restaurants to complement his adventurous, and luxury seeking nature. Chances are they may get along! The muscular type tend to eat hearty meat and potatoes while the Cerebral tends to forget to eat, due to his absent minded state of being. Our large jointed Osseous friends eat frugally, and rarely deviate from their pattern, much like how they never deviate from other set patterns.

fat-boy-1442971976Fe9

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

How to Effectively Connect

All humans have the capability of starting, and cultivating a relationship with anyone. Regardless of their religion, political stance, or sociological outlook, we were created to connect with all.

Do you ever wonder how to properly start a conversation? Have you noticed that our Alimentive type is more effective, and productive when they are comfortable? The probability of a better interaction may have more to do with the setting than the interaction itself. Maybe you want to connect with that stylish, adventurous Thoracic man sitting with his head buried in his laptop. Make a comment about that skydiving clip he just finished, and he may bring you into his adventure. Perhaps, asking about the durability of the Muscular guy’s truck may induce a more thoughtful answer than if we were to simply state how great the weather is today.

making-bubbles

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

Just like a soapy bubble pops when it hits a hard wall, but meshes with other bubbles, we must also know how to mesh with other types of humans. When we are interested in creating a connection, we will adjust our style to mesh with the type of human we are interacting with. The better we are with noticing people’s appearance, the more powerful we are in building rapport, and cultivating relationships. The pro’s say mirror each other to connect, I say mesh with each other.

 

The 5 Types and Effective Business

If we know our Thoracic can be a bit flighty, would we want to put them in a monotonous, mundane style of work? Absolutely not! Would we hide our Alimentive in a cubical? No, he’s best out creating and cultivating relationships. Would we place our steady work horses in a position of being creative? No, let the Thoracic be the visionary! Would we tell our large jointed, slow moving Osseous employees to move quicker? You could try, but the consistent criticism may hurt your employee’s drive.

weight-training-for-competition

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

We as leaders fail to realize that these types of humans are as distinct and unchangeable as the color black, or the law of inertia. We force our employees to move quicker, when we’re the one’s who goofed, and placed them in the wrong position. We jump to the conclusion of people having bad attitudes, when in reality, it’s simple science. We become infuriated when someone tells us yes, but then does the opposite behind our backs…maybe we shouldn’t have tried to push our Alimentive relationship builder, to do the work of a muscular workhorse.

How do small businesses place their people for maximum effectiveness? Every business needs that relationship guy, and every organization needs a visionary. Who’s going to do all of the heavy lifting, or analyze the numbers? When small business owners start thinking in this format, they will begin to feel how their employees bring life to their company.

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WHO FORGOT THE COUCHES?

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Avoid criticizing the person at all costs, but if you must, praise the person, criticize the category. If you must criticize the person, praise them first. -Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets

“Lindsey, you’re late! We have employees who need to go, and you’re not here to replace them.”

“I’m so sorry! I totally forgot about my shift. I’ll be there in 30 minutes,” she replied.

“This can’t happen again! Please be on time to your shift.”

 

Warren Buffet’s Management Secrets is one of the only publications describing Warren Buffet’s leadership style. It discusses effective strategies on winning people over, navigating through conflict, and paying attention to your employees.

When trying to compare his advice to other’s, it seems nearly impossible! Here is a man who is the second richest person in the world, a “CEO’s CEO,” and a master of guiding his empire through disastrous economic periods! Most people would only dream of getting to a CEO position – Buffett has managed over 80 of them. I’m not one to listen to just one person, but if I had to, I’d choose this man.

As I listened to his audio book, I began to reflect on the mistakes I made during my first couple of management positions. Although being very sharp and structured with my skills, I failed miserably in the area of constructive criticism. I failed to practice the art of tactful and mindful feedback.

In this one particular business, I wanted to raise the bar in every category. The categories included customer service, cleanliness, community interaction, leadership education, and employee development. The formula needed to attain this was a daunting task, and the processes needed to be implemented was exhausting…but I was up for the challenge. I knew what needed to be done like a contractor knows how to build a house.

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Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

I had calculated in my head, all of the necessary steps in getting this business to operate effectively and efficiently. I needed to update the training, systematize the bar operations, and adjust the priorities. I was building the “framework,” and spent most of my energy explaining my process to my college aged employees.

I would frequently use the metaphor of how we were building a structured house of operations off of a foundation of core values. I preached about providing a structure to withstand any type of weather conditions. I described how components, such as drywall, didn’t necessarily eliminate the flaws in the framework.

We developed better systems rid inefficiency, and an easier platform to measure effectiveness. The vision was in place, and the modern day renovation of this shop’s operational structure was coming together!

Even though the logic and research behind such a grueling task were pure and true, there was still something missing. I remember thinking to myself, what am I missing? Why do I implement systems to ease unnecessary energy expenditure, yet I still feel like I’m spinning my wheels? We should be able to start moving forward with the other stuff. The other stuff being coffee education, teaching the art of effectively up-selling, and diving into the concept of organizational leadership. This was the gift I wanted to give to these employees who normally wouldn’t be exposed to it otherwise.

I asked for feedback, and I was left empty handed. I searched for answers, but couldn’t get any. I just didn’t understand why no one wanted to stay in my “house.” The mechanics were on point, and my calculations were accurate! The measurements were strong, and the numbers were growing. What was the issue?

Then it hit me! I don’t have any comfortable couches in my home! I was so focused on the framework, I was forgetting about the comfort element to it. There was nowhere to sit! Even though people were in a beautifully built home, their legs were tired from standing. Was it truly as simple as my inability to be gentle? Did I spend all of my energy on systems and sustainability, that I forgot all about the art of being tactful, and showing a little bit of grace? No wonder people were leaving! They didn’t feel the comfort of this house, and they’d rather leave than sit on the hard floor.

contrast-couch

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

Warren Buffett puts it in plain English:

Avoid criticizing the person at all costs, but if you must, praise the person, criticize the category. If you must criticize the person, praise them first.

The need to save face is top priority for an employee. Your empathy towards that need will win their respect, and they’ll go above and beyond your expectations. It’s one of Buffett’s secrets, and it’s now one of mine.

It’s crucial to “shelter” your employees from the harshness of the business weather. It’s important to understand the “structure” of what makes a sustainable business. However, if we as leaders don’t give our employees any couches to sit on, they won’t stay! If there is no grace for our employee’s mistakes, then there is no home for our employees to enjoy.

“Hey Susan, it’s 6AM. Where are you,” I said calmly.

“I’m so sorry! I forgot to set my alarm, and my phone died. I’ll be right over!”

“I’m just glad you’re okay,” I replied. “Hurry on over, our customers need their coffee. They’ll be bummed out if they don’t get to see you.”

“Okay, Anton. I’m really sorry! I’ll stay extra if you need me to.”

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BUT I’M JUST A SERVER

“But I’m just a server,” she said. “So,” I replied, “I’m just a coffee salesman.”

Video Credit: Younes Marxieu

 

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively” -Bob Marley

 

Her name was Cara, and I had seen her working at the same restaurant for three years now. It was a good restaurant, and she was a great server. On this particular day, I noticed something was a bit off about her.

I asked her, “Cara, what’s wrong?” She looked up from the register and replied, “I’m a really good server, but I want to make a difference.”

As I glance outside, I notice the sun had set, and the darkness was starting to take over. I take a deep breath, and ask her “why do you say that?”

“I want to be great, and change people’s lives, but I’m just a server.”

As I pay for my food, I was beginning to feel this was a bit too much emotion for my nightly takeout. I pick up my bag of food, and say something lighthearted to break this now awkward interaction. “So, I’m just a coffee salesman.”

Noticing my lively comment was ineffective, I decided to seize the moment. I set my bag back down on the counter, and asked, “What’s wrong, Cara? Really, what’s going on?”

After hesitating to reveal the real problem, she muttered out, “how do you deal with it? You’re almost thirty, and you’re selling coffee for a local coffee roaster. Don’t you want more?”

“Cara, there’s a reason why I’m selling coffee right now. I use the high frequency of interactions to learn how to sell better. Since coffee is a low ticket item, it gives me a chance to practice more than if I were selling high ticket items.”

As she closes the register, and straightens up the counter, she replies, “isn’t that frustrating?”

“Not at all! I get to make money while I develop myself for my dreams.”

I lean into the counter, and move in a little closer to her. “Cara, you don’t realize how much you can influence your restaurant from your position. Instead of harnessing your talent, you’ve allowed your position to define you.”

She snapped back, “well it’s not like I’m going to be the next Steve Jobs, or the future Einstein. I didn’t go to college, and I don’t have any special skills.”

“That’s your problem, Cara! Who said you needed a high IQ to be influential? Where on earth did you hear you needed to invent a product in order to possess greatness?

You’ve diminished the value of greatness to a simple action, or an accomplishment when in reality, it’s a personal state of being. The actions are just the result of you being true to yourself. It’s already in you, but you refuse to be aware of it. You’re so busy comparing your value to those who have massively influenced society, you can’t possibly let your own greatness shine!”

She looked at me as if a light bulb had turned on and exploded, right before our eyes. “But what if the extent of my greatness is only serving food?”

As I picked up my bag off of the counter, I told her one final thing. “When you realize that the greatness within was designed uniquely for you, serving food won’t be such a mundane experience. Remember, I’m just a coffee salesman.”

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LIQUID GOLD

 

It was a mundane Monday morning. The doors to the coffee shop had just been opened for business, and customers were starting to trickle in. This morning was a classic “lather, rinse, repeat” scenario.

While I  brewed the coffees, and prepped the whipped creams, another employee stocked the fridge, and spot swept the floor. It seemed the morning was already dragging along, perhaps I needed an extra day off this week. One after another, the regulars dropped in to get their fix. It was so predictable and repetitive, I was already starting the infamous countdown to my lunch…then that one customer comes in.

That customer who hangs out all morning, takes advantage of the free refills, and uses up all of our the bandwidth playing his computer games. The customer who never bothers to shower, brush his teeth, or put on respectable clothes. Yes, he’s the one I try to avoid every morning.

As I hold my my breath, he pulls out his debit card to pay for his cup. While I slide his card through the reader, I fight the urge to comment about his awful odor excreting from his body.

I think to myself, how does this guy remember his bank card, but forget the soap aisle at CVS? He walks away with his cup of coffee as I inhale a much needed breath of air. Why does he live like that? For some strange reason, I pondered his lifestyle choice a little longer this morning. A few minutes later, out of nowhere I hear, “Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?” Startled, I turn around to see he’d come back to the counter…maybe he saw me holding my breath.

He continued saying “I normally don’t share my opinions, but you seem to know how to handle complaints.”

I finally give up, and give the man a chance. He went on saying, “I’ve been coming here for 10 years, and I have seen a lot of managers run this place. You do a pretty darn good job, and I appreciate how hard you work.”

By this time, I was knee deep in this conversation. Somehow he’d won me over with his compliment.

As I listened, he continued to tell me, “I think it’s really important to figure out how to keep your coffee constantly mixed, and here’s why. When the empty insulated coffee pot sits cold all night, the first brew of coffee is much different than when the pot is already hot. The explanation to this is simple. When the internal atmospheric environment of the pot is cools from sitting out all night, the hot coffee separates when you brew into it…especially the darker, oilier coffees.

What this means is, half of your customers get ridiculously burnt tasting coffee, while the other half get the watery leftovers. I know this may sound like a bunch of gibberish to you, but I used to be a chemical engineer. This is the kind of stuff we do for a living.

Take it with a grain of Splenda, but I myself don’t enjoy reading ‘burnt coffee’ reviews on Yelp when it’s not true.”

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

With my jaw dropped, and the line growing, I find myself staring at him in disbelief!

This guy? The guy I try to avoid every day? The man who gets multiple refills because he technically can?

I can’t believe it! In a matter of a few short sentences, this man completely shifted my perception on the very topic I was there to educate him about. Suddenly, there was nothing mundane about today at all. Forget about lunch altogether, I wasn’t hungry anymore!

As I listened to him explain more in depth, I replayed this morning’s interaction in my head. How did this valuable information just fall in my lap? Why did any of this make sense, and why did he choose me for this feedback?

He’s supposed to be “that customer I don’t like,” not that customer who just effectively added value to my business and my life. Where was this yesterday, or the day before, or two months ago? Was I conveniently busy every time he tried to get my attention? Was I too wrapped up in judging him, I missed his previous attempts? Maybe I deserved those bad reviews on Yelp.

That day, I was reminded once again, of the precious gold element in each of us waiting to shared with those who deserve to experience it. Sometimes it’s in pretty showcases at Tiffany’s, other times we have to dig for it. As I stood at the espresso machine steaming the next customer’s latte milk, a huge wave of humbleness rolled in. While I was too busy disregarding him, he was patiently waiting to share his valuable gold.

So often, information gets tossed aside just because the people giving it don’t fit our specifications. When people value you, they’ll reveal that special secret gold element about them. If we’re too busy putting them into a “lower category,” we’ll never get the chance to know why they value us.

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BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?

Let me ask you a question. If you were to sum up business using only one sentence, what would it be? Would it be something you heard from your favorite college teacher, or would it be something your dad told you? Would that same sentence be valid 40 years from now? Could it be understood in all parts of the world, to all people? If you’re having a little bit of trouble, that’s okay. If your mind is going blank, you’re not alone.

Let’s try something different. Close your eyes, and think of the last vacation you went on. Where did you go? What was your favorite activity? Was it the plane ride to Hawaii, or that bus trip to the Grand Canyon? Perhaps it was a family cruise, or you just simply enjoyed a classic stay-cation at home to recharge the battery. Do you remember how it made you feel?

Why is it that we can remember our vacations so easily, but struggle to explain business in one simple sentence? Trying to understand the art of business in a “one sentence fits all” format is a very difficult task for even the most experienced individuals. Why is that? Why can’t we just simply adopt that classic phrase “Business is about relationships” and earn millions of dollars? How about that respected corporate leader telling us success is “all about organization,” or those motivational posts telling us that “true business is about the details?” Isn’t there just one magical phrase that could shift us into a world of unimaginable success?

Let’s go back to the vacation example. Just like you visualized your favorite activity, could you sum up business using a single picture? What would it be?

If your mind’s eye is struggling to effectively jump to a picture, chances are you don’t have one!

Pictures provoke emotions, and emotions provoke memories that are easily accessible. Just like your memory of your stay-cation made you feel comfortable for a split second, you can do the same with envisioning a “business picture.

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

 

Your beginning picture may start with a simple format, but at least you’ve started. If you’re a chef, business may be like a plate of food. The plate may represent the foundation of the restaurant, while the food describes the operations of the kitchen. If you’re a plumber, the pipes connecting to one another may be used to describe the relationships built for money to flow through.

An artist may explain business as an art of blending and meshing, much like how they do with the colors of a masterpiece. An architect may have a slightly rigid approach when describing business as a blueprint for a new multistory building.

Your picture is unique to you. It’s a picture that naturally inserts emotion and life into this intangible concept we call business. It’s a picture you can wrap your head around, and do something about it, today. Learning about he art of business can truly be as simple as a picture while simultaneously being as complex as a thousand words. It’s a picture you can remember and reflect on, add to and adjust. In the same way your business evolves, and you gain more knowledge, your picture also develops.

A chef can always add food to the plate without having to throw away the steak. An architect can always add a floor to his blueprint without needing to change the address of the building.

What is your picture today? How will you build on it as you develop your understanding of business?

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