Dream Big as Small Biz People

I had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Harrington, a pioneer in the infomercial business, selling products on TV and on the ABC hit show Shark Tank, speak this week at The Inpex Convention in Pittsburgh, PA.

Harrington imparted the crowd with a boat load of information on the best practices of inventing and getting a product on TV, but what seemed to leave the biggest impression on the audience were these words:  ‘If you have always done what you have done, you will always get what you have always gotten.’

Just a simple mantra of Harrington’s had the audience in a tizzy.  How could something so obviously simple be so profound?  Well, it just can.

In my opinion, the bottom line is this:  We get good a providing a particular service or making a certain product and complacency settles in. As humans, we like familiar and resist change.  If it is not broken, Why Fix IT?

Yet, we continue to want and desire more ‘stuff’ whether it be tech, cars, clothes, or a new kitchen.  We want to increase and change our surroundings and everything in it without evolving ourselves.

I don’t think anyone would disagree – being in small business is tough (but very rewarding).  We have to distinguish ourselves as being better than the big dogs.  We often have to wear many hats and fill many roles ourselves.  However, we care more than anything about our little babies, I mean, businesses, so often we grow an exceptional reputation.

Once we get to that point, if we want more, we have to put in more.  It is as simple as that.  If you continue to do what you have done, you will continue to reap the same rewards.  Otherwise known as being stagnant.

Which if I am correct, is not what we set out to do at all when starting our own business?  We got involved in startup business because we are dreamers and have big aspirations.  When we get comfortable in a routine, it is hard to break out of it, though.

If you feel comfy and cozy with where you are, it is time to change things up a bit before you regret it.  Just like Apple Computer came out with a brand new Macbook Pro this week and Heinz makes a new ketchup with less sugar and no corn syrup, our businesses must continue to add something new or evolve.

There are all the usual suspects when it comes to evaluating your business like quarterly reports and consistently evolving business plans, but here are a few tips to clear your head and figure out how to get something new:

  • dream pad – Keep a notepad with you at all times.  If you see something that peeks your interest or have a mini idea, jot it down.
  • call off – Take a day off to let your mind breathe and rest from your business.  You will come back reinvigorated.
  • escape the subjective – Ask a mentor or coach to evaluate where you are in regards to where you thought you may or may not be.

Sometimes it is the most simple advice that moves us like Harrington’s.

As for me, I always say: Dream BIG!


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