“He (who is) Not Busy Being Born Is Busy Dying” – Bob Dylan
This priceless gem of wisdom disguised as a song lyric is not just literal to one’s personal life. It is especially applicable to business. We’ve all heard the cliché that the “first rule in business is to stay in business” but when businesses reach a certain level of success, sometimes lethargy rears its ugly head. We start to believe that we’ve “nailed it” or that we have the formula for success.
Whether or not our business or our careers are successful or just teetering for survival there are things that we all can incorporate in our daily agenda. However first, we must have (and maintain) a certain mindset.
The mindset is that change is going to happen. Furthermore there is nothing that anyone can do about change except to embrace it fully. Embrace the fact that something at some time is going to change and we will need to adapt. Change does not have to mean something negative. In fact, change can be extremely positive.
Change terrifies most people. That’s because we get comfortable. However it is critical to remember that change is right around the corner and it takes no prisoners. So why not be fully aware and look for things that might change? As long as we continue to work smart and hard, we can take advantage of change to make our lives even better.
So knowing that things will change “on a dime” here are 6 things to do right now to increase your business or career:
1. Constantly search for creative new ideas. The internet is loaded with ideas that anyone can read about. Strive to seek out what other successful people are doing regardless of their field of expertise and think about how to incorporate or transfer that success to your own. Everything in business has a transferable aspect to it. Lawyers can learn from Dentists. Hospital Administrators can learn Hotel operators. You can learn from me and I can learn from you. New ideas are business currencies of gold.
2. Begin each day in survival mode. What happened yesterday was yesterday. The same with last week and last year. Begin each day in brand new survival mode and take nothing for granted. Right now, you might be successful or struggling. So what. There is always tomorrow. When you begin each day as if nothing came before, work hard but work smart. You are going back to basics; however you now have wisdom. The wisdom we garner in our business life enables us to work smart. Start all over again tomorrow.
3. Keep your contacts fresh. Through the months and years of our lives we encounter many people that may or may not have an influence on our careers. Never lose touch with a contact you have made. Reach out and touch base with past colleagues, clients or business acquaintances. In so doing, it brings you current on what others are doing and it’s quite possible that reactivating an old contact could lead to a new business venture or career move. Remind people about what you are doing and what your needs might be. Keep in touch!
4. Strike when the iron is hot. If business is good right now, put your foot on the gas and don’t let up. Take advantage of everything coming your way. Work even harder when your business or your career is going well. Because just as in nature, all businesses have seasons. Sometimes for reasons that cannot be explained, things are slow and revenue can be tight. This is the time to remember that things will change and when it does, pound as hard as you can and squeeze every bit of opportunity available during this cycle. Work harder when things are going well.
5. Network like it’s a full time job. Networking is easier than ever in the 21st century with all of the available social media. However, attending conferences and events are extremely helpful for your business or your career by meeting new people and learning new ideas. Try this: ask a contact of yours to make an introduction on your behalf to someone that might be influential to your business. Most people enjoy helping each other. Having someone make an introduction for you is like networking on steroids.
6. Man the phones like there is no tomorrow. No matter what you hear or read about social media the telephone is still the top way to reach people with the advantage of being able to speak on a personal level. Emailing and texting are wonderful ways to communicate but it will never replace the human voice. Here is an idea about making great use of the phone: call people and ask for referrals. Ask for introductions. Find out what is going on in your industry. Use the phone to follow up with people that you may have just met or people you haven’t spoken to in years. Call people. By doing so, you stay relevant in people’s lives. It is ironic that most people have “smart phones” and are so enamored with all the apps and gadgets however they are not being “smart” about the most important part of the gadget: the phone!