A friend of mine once told me that in order to truly prepare for the future you need to “dig the well, before you need the water.”
My perspective reflects a pendulum. On one end, optimism; an inspiring confidence in the integrity of prospects, clients, vendors and colleagues. On the other end, realism, pragmatism, and a touch of pessissim – the lowest point on the expectancy scale.
No matter the position at which you find yourself, a healthy respect for unanticipated circumstances should be a key consideration. Small Business ownership demands it. .
Today’s headline issues drive that point home. COVID-19 and the historic consequences of near total economic shutdown have clouded every financial forecast, impeded paths towards growth, and punctured the best intentions of business enviornments.
It’s at times of vigorous change – change that lies outside of our own control, that we are forced to focus our attention on the detail. These include operational inefficiencies, excess expenses, duplicative processes and systems, AR/AP ratios, rationalization of policy coverages, and the basic slide from core competencies to diverse service offerings.
Now more than ever, clear-eyed risk vs. reward analysis is essential. To many small business owners use gut instincts to make decisions. Guiding your company toward the goals that you and your team have set requires careful deliberation.
Narrow your focus to the items that you do well. Spend 80% of your time and entrepreneurial energy on those items that move you toward your personal and business goals. Other things may grow in importance over time and draw your attention elsewhere. But, by the time they do, you will have accomplished an important degree of success, enabling you and your company to explore new directions.
By focusing on your strengths, you will generate a process that promotes growth and provides for the reserves necessary to endure any rough weather ahead.
Just remember, that you may not be “thirsty” at the moment. But, at some point, you will require water to survive. Dig the well first, having a clear and concise vision of where you want to go, and you’ll be better prepared to put out the inevitable fires and well equipped to help your business flourish.