Do we have to over think everything?

January 16, 2009

32139473 I spent several hours on a recent Saturday with a 25 year old entrepreneur. What struck me the most about him was how quickly and nimbly he moved from idea to action.

I'm not talking huge actions — but test the water actions. 

I think many companies suffer from "Overthinkitis."  By the time they have vetted, committeed and white papered an idea…it's not new anymore.  In fact, someone else launched it 6 months ago.

One of the biggest benefits of the digital world is that we can leap from idea to action quickly and often — inexpensively.  We don't have to vet it in a boardroom — we can vet it in the market.

I'm challenging myself and you — let 2009 be the year that you move from thought to action faster and with more of a "lab experiment" mentality.  Don't wait until it's perfect.  Stop thinking…start doing.  And start doing — faster.

John Moore at Brand Autopsy has an annual tradition.  On New Year's eve, he posts Bruce Mau's Incomplete Manifesto for Change.  Bruce is a remarkable design consultant who first crafted his manifesto in 1998.  Bruce's manifesto captures the spirit of this idea far better than I could.

Please take time to read it.  Better yet — take time to do it.

What's one idea you want to quickly take to action?  Could you do it in 10 days?  Tomorrow?

Update:  Jay Heyman's brain is on the same wave length.

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Want good business advice? Don’t look in the mirror

January 12, 2009

80120533 Everyone is looking for insight.  How do we generate more traffic into our store (or website)?  How can we upsell clients?  Should we raise our prices?

If you're a small business owner, you're probably facing these kinds of questions every day.  And in  most cases, you're sorting through it all on your own.  That's a problem.

No one is less objective about your business than you are.  No one has more of an emotional investment that you do.  No one has more on the line than you.  So — no one is less objective than you.  Which leads to some pretty dangerous decision-making.

So how can you balance your lack of objectivity? 

  • Create an advisory board (often made up of your professional advisors….attorney, accountant, etc.) that will meet with you monthly/quarterly to provide some balance
  • Join an accountability/mastermind group to not only give you a place to vet your ideas but also a safe place to do some brainstorming
  • Put together a customer-based advisory group to give you some balance
  • Join a professional organization that will put you together with other business owners in different parts of the world.  You can learn best practices from each other…and not worry about competing

The message here — don't go it alone.  I know what you're thinking.  You are the one in a million business owner who can in fact, be objective.  Don't fool yourself.  That's like asking someone who's had 10 shots if they're okay to drive.  They may think they're okay….but you'd better get a designated driver.

Be sure you've got some smart and loyal designated drivers at your side as you begin to make decisions for '09 and beyond.

Okay….I'll share if you will.  Have you ever tried any of the suggestions above?  Which worked best for you?

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