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Edition 54 – A is for Acceleration

Would you ever go out, buy a Porsche 911 Turbo, bring it back home then set fire to it? More in a moment.

In 2017, the world is changing fast. The business world is changing faster. Uber has the largest fleet of vehicles of any transportation network in the world – yet it doesn’t own a single vehicle. Less than ten years ago, people were lined up three deep on a Saturday morning in my local newsagency buying the five sections of the Sydney Morning Herald. Now, I read it, or something else, online. That same newsagency now tries to sell me Instant Lottery tickets (I don’t gamble) and gifts (that are dust gatherers anyway).

The taxi and newsagent industries did not contemplate these threats to their business ten years ago. Even five years ago they might have expected something was on the horizon, but far enough away to not be a concern at that point in time.

One of the big problems I see in family businesses is they take too long to make a decision. They decide to develop a new product or service or employ someone new, then spend ages pontificating the pros and cons of the decision.

So, the Porsche 911? I was with a good client a few weeks ago. Great business. Niche industry. During our meeting we talked about the Sales Manager at an Interstate branch who was a key underperformer. Despite the fact this person has industry contacts and product knowledge, they are falling short of every target that had been set for them. It’s been a year now.

As we continued to discuss this person, the Managing Director felt no decision could be made about them until the end of 2017. An important marketing event was taking place mid- year and the business needed this “bum on a seat” to help out at the event and afterwards. That’s two years of underperformance. From a Sales Manager on a six figure salary package, company car and other benefits.

So, I asked the Managing Director, would he go out, buy himself a Porsche 911 Turbo (he likes nice cars), take it home and set fire to it? The look on his face was priceless. He got my point.

To survive in the modern business world, you need to crank up the pace. You need to get quicker at making decisions. Ironically, the best way to do that is to switch off the phone, shut the door, turn off the email and focus your mind on the following:

  1. What you are doing?
  2. Why you are doing it?
  3. Should you be doing it?
  4. Could you be doing it differently, better or faster (or both)?
  5. Who is doing it with you?
  6. Are they the best people to be doing that with you in the future?
  7. Who else is doing what you are doing?
  8. What else you could be doing?
  9. What else you should be doing?
  10. What catastrophic events could stop you from doing it?

The more you clutter your head with the everyday, the more you are bogging yourself down in today’s business and not thinking about the business of tomorrow. Which is not next year or next quarter, but actually is tomorrow.

The more you clear your head, the more you give your mind the opportunity to consider an alternative to what you are facing in business right now. That’s why you have the best ideas on weekends, when you are on holidays or in the shower in the morning.

This Week’s Tip

Spend time daily to unclutter your mind and question what it is you are doing in your business. Develop a routine around it so that you stick to it. Faster decisions in business will eventuate from this thinking time.