Hang on with me as we slam together a couple of apparently random experiences this week. Trust me; we’ll wind up with a strategic lesson here.
Instigating a Strategic Lesson
A reading at morning mass this week from the Gospel of John involved Jesus talking about the apostles being “in the world” but not “of" the world. The point is since His followers should focus on the importance of a heavenly reward, time in this world needs to be marked by a sense of detachment. While human functioning, making a living, and being of service to others are important, the expectation is to resist becoming overly enamored with things (in particular) that belong to this world since they are fleeting relative to eternity.
This may seem a simple enough statement, but the world beckons so strongly with so many attractive diversions - both good and (many) bad – that it’s an incredibly challenging call to live out successfully.
Another Version of the Strategic Lesson
My trainer recently had me begin using myfitnesspal, a weight and fitness monitoring app. I whined like crazy, but within days, the accountability of logging all my exercise and everything I ate changed my behavior dramatically. Seeing the numbers behind my eating caused me to cut down on snacking, especially late at night when I am writing.
One number that surprises me daily is the outrageous amount of sodium in pre-prepared foods.
One day I had a partial order of leftover Chinese food for lunch, munched an appetizer at a happy hour meeting, and ate a sandwich based on a recipe from my family’s former restaurant that my wife made for dinner. When everything was plugged into myfitnesspal, my daily sodium intake was nearly double the recommended amount. The surprising thing about my huge sodium intake is I pick up a salt shaker once a year - maybe. I don’t add salt to food.
Slamming Two Experiences Together
If you had asked me before myfitnesspal, I’d have confidently told you I was “IN but not OF a salt-filled world.”
My gigantic sodium number tells a very different story tough.
It’s clear that through uninformed and lackadaisical decision making about what I eat daily, there is way too much sodium in my diet. What has seemed harmless or not even an issue is, I now realize, something harmful.
And the Strategic Lesson Is?
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to decide what you plan to do to build your business.
It seems even easier though, to pursue other enticing (potentially overhyped) possibilities that promise to build your business - but not directly and not right away.
In my case, these activities include creating content in lots of venues, exploring intriguing possibilities, and putting additional time into opportunities that once seemed promising. They all tend to be about reaching a new / different / bigger audience that SHOULD yield even greater success than the same old audience.
Absent some way to measure and monitor how much time, energy, and effort is going into all these enticing activities relative to the solid activities to build a business however, you can get away completely from what matters for your business.
The cumulative impact is you wind up being not just in a world of overhyped possibilities, but spending most of your available time on them.
When we started The Brainzooming Group, I sketched out a decision making hierarchy for ranking and narrowing promising but more speculative activities. Because of my interest in trying new things and challenges in saying "No," that decision hierarchy is still in a long-ago shelved notebook.
So the strategic lesson from these random events this week is it’s time to actually apply the decision making hierarchy and stick to it.
How about you? Can you benefit from this strategic lesson in your business?
By the way, thanks for hanging on with me to get here. – Mike Brown
The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.