I took the first two weeks of August for a trip to Europe with my wife, Tammy. Tammy joined one of Berkshire Choral International’s groups which rehearsed and sang in Budapest, Hungary. While she was in rehearsals I toured Budapest and caught up on my reading, both business and pleasure. Following are comments about and links to a few of the articles that struck a chord.
- Jason Fried in the July/August 2017 issue of INC Magazine in an article headlined “Starbucks Wasn’t Built in a Day”, subtitled “Entrepreneurs are told to go big or go home. Stop obsessing over scale, and perfect the basics.” In the article Jason talks about John who wishes to open a tea shop, but often drifted to talking about his next shop, and his next shop, etc. He advises John to slow down and get the basics right before focusing on rapid growth. I have long agreed with this philosophy. While there is nothing wrong with having big long range goals, we emphasize long term planning at ActionCOACH, one needs not to get ahead of one’s self. One of the major points of the ActionCOACH 5-Way Formula is that a business must be built in balance. Before I joined ActionCOACH, I had several turn-around clients. One in particular, a consumer goods company, had great marketing and product, but couldn’t reliably deliver their products to their customers, the retail stores. Ultimately their customers abandoned them in favor of suppliers that had great product, marketed well and consistently delivered. My client had grown their business out of balance, and could not cover the basics.
- In the July 2017 issue of Golf Digest an article about confidence by Sam Weinman titled “What If Everything You’ve Been Told To Think Is Wrong?” caught my eye. Within the article are several concepts that apply equally to business as well as golf. One very important concept was highlighted by a quote from Dr. Fran Pirozzolo, a sports psychologist and mental-skills coach “Confidence is a garbage term in that it induces illusions of competence.” If in business, we confuse confidence with competence, our mind will be closed to our limitations and that will limit our ability to construct plans to overcome them. It is the difference between an “I Know” attitude which cuts off learning and an “Isn’t that interesting” attitude which encourages learning.
Another concept applicable to business revolves around Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck’s division of our mind-sets into two categories:
– Fixed mind-set – people who seek validation of their abilities
– Growth mind-set – people who believe their skills can be cultivated through effort
The final concept that jumped off the page also came from Dr. Pirozzolo – “Don’t believe the hype.” During my career in the fashion industry, I was aware of countless fashion designers who crashed and burned because they believed the hype and were unable to adjust to changing market and business realities.
- From the September 2017 issue of Success Magazine John C. Maxwell has an article about time management “4 Tips to Set Yourself Up for a Better Tomorrow Today.” The title of the article says it all. In our TimeRICH seminar, we encourage the audience to be militant about their time. Along the militant line, Maxwell’s article contains a great quote I intend to add to the TimeRICH presentation:
“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
These are just a few of the ideas I gleaned during my vacation reading, I hope you will find them useful.