Self-management

Personal peace - and profit


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Today, there is a sense of things changing so radically that nothing will ever be the same. People believe we are in the midst of a big change, to the point where some are even preparing for an "escape," should one be needed.

I'm not talking about fringe survivalists. I'm talking about the types of people I work with every day: CEOs and entrepreneurs. People who run successful companies, people with employees and families and mortgages.

They are, in a word, decidedly unpeaceful right now. They are concerned, fearful, hesitant. They're still running their businesses, but at the same time, constantly looking over their shoulders or out to the horizon, trying to figure out what is going to happen next.

Revenue and your character: The high price of pride


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"I know, I know," the child says, grabbing a tool from his father, who is partway through showing how it works and what to do with it. But something goes wrong as the child tries to use the tool. He stops and mumbles, "Must be broken." He is reluctant to admit that he really didn't "know," and that he really hadn't thought it all through, and he shouldn't have been so hasty. He doesn't want to admit that he could have learned something from his dad after all.

Fast forward thirty years. Now the child owns his own business. "I know, I know," he says, interrupting the customer. The customer, an expert in his field, is trying to explain his needs. But the business owner doesn't want to hear it, because he "knows."

Fear for sale


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You can always tell when you are being sold something that you might regret buying later when the person selling it keeps talking about how sorry you will be if you don't buy it. They are selling fear, pure and simple. IBM used to call it "FUD: Fear, uncertainty and doubt." The goal was to convince the buyer how bad off he would be if he didn't buy whatever was being sold.

Right now we are being told to be afraid, very afraid. We are supposed to buy into that fear, to believe it, to act upon it. To fret and worry and rush around tearing out our hair.

Forces of nature


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One part of life often teaches us lessons that we can use in other parts of life. Recently I watched as a crew of guys tried to wrestle with a very large runaway schooner, being pushed by 50-mile-an-hour gusts into the other boats in the harbor. The strong winds had caught the bow, so that instead of just backing nicely out of her slip and going out to sea as her skipper intended, the large wooden bowsprit (the part that sticks out beyond the bow) was blown into neighboring boats and was literally ripping them apart. The engine just didn't have enough power to overcome the forces of nature.

After scraping along two boats, and getting stuck up against some mid-channel pilings, the crew decided to give up and take her back to her dock. This was not her day to go out to sea.

Are you refusing to grow your revenue?


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She runs a hot dog shack on the waterfront of a major harbor. She's a tough old bird. Her name is Abbey. She serves hot dogs, burgers and coffee to the industrial workers from around the harbor.

I was standing there along with the workers, last in line, waiting to order. It was obvious that Abbey was often in a bad mood, and always saying, "Nope, can't do that." I had already heard from others that "No" was her favorite word. Someone went to her for a cup of coffee at one point in the day, and she said, "I'm not serving coffee now." He smiled and pleaded, to no avail. She only served coffee when she wanted to serve coffee, in spite of the sign saying "coffee" to the side of the window.

 

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