By Peter Janis
TIME ... ILLUSIVE OR IMPORTANT ?
Over the years , I have read many business books . Good to Great , Blue Ocean Strategies , and The Tipping Point immediately come to mind . No matter what I read , I always got something back . Good to Great really helped identify the value of good people in an organization . Blue Ocean Strategies solidified the concept of combining two businesses or products together to create a new category . The Tipping Point reinforced my belief that bringing a product or concept to market requires targeting a specific set of users or resellers who in turn will take on the role of promoting it .
These book-induced ideas serve as the impetus for new ideas or ways in which we can improve our business practices . They do not necessarily provide us with instant solutions . It takes time to think things through . Ideas have to germinate . With every action there is a reaction . So before one jumps in and makes a change , it really behoves us to take the time to think about it .
That said , this isn ’ t something that comes easy to me . I hate playing chess because you have to plan five moves ahead to win . It takes a tremendous amount of brain power to be any good . Because I hate to think , I avoid the game and the pain that goes along with it ! Yet , growing a business requires planning . For instance , you may know that you have to let go of your sales manager to find someone that matches your work ethic . Yet , unless you have a replacement , you will be forced to take on the role yourself . You actually have to think this through before you make the move . What will be the outcome ? Best case , worst case , and most probable case ?
But how can you think when you are constantly bombarded with emails , customer and client issues , staff turnover , bills to pay , products to order , and sales to generate ? You can ’ t . There are fires to be put out and these take priority , right ? Or do they ?
The biggest obstacle for the entrepreneur is being able to step out of the trees to see the forest . To do so , you need to put aside real time to think — to zoom out . I call this “ blue sky time ” and it plays a much larger role in your business and work than you may realize . This is when you let your mind go , free yourself from all of the daily anxieties , and let your thoughts expand outside the box . Imagine what-if scenarios … where do we go next ? and so on . To do this , you need to be free . Take long walk in the woods . Better yet , book a weekend away , or week vacation and stick to it . Let your staff handle the emergencies . Try leaving your cell phone at home . If you feel you can ’ t let go , think of what you would do if you got sick or got hit by a bus . Would your business come to a complete halt ? Truth is , it would likely survive .
Many entrepreneurs get caught into the belief that if they step away , all things will fail . If this is in fact true , then you really have to take some time off to think about how you are running your business because it sounds more like your business is running you ! Managing a business begins with managing people . Good people , when given direction , will take pride in doing a good job and take on responsibility . Give them the tools and let them take on the role . If you can ’ t let go , you are absolutely doomed .
Early on at Radial , I hired a general manager that I entrusted to manage staff and oversee administration . This allowed me to move around at lightspeed without being shackled to the mundane duties that I hated . I would often go for hikes on weekends and always booked a vacation over Christmas to get away . I invested in blue sky time to think . When I came back , I was rejuvenated . This helped me formulate plans , which in turn helped me grow my business . This played a huge role in my success .
This column is the property of Peter Janis and authorised to be published and republished by NWC .
Formerly the president and CEO of Radial Engineering Ltd ., Peter Janis has been in the Canadian music industry for over 40 years , working in retail , distribution , and manufacturing . Peter now offers consulting services with his firm Exit-Plan , where he assists business owners in increasing their sales and enhancing the attractiveness of their business in preparation for retirement . For more information , visit www . exit-plan . ca .
PROFESSIONAL SOUND 9