Every now and then, I spend time working in the yard. Usually I avoid it like a child going to a dentist, but occasionally I find it therapeutic.
Recently, I was sitting in our back courtyard -- one of my favorite places to hold client meetings -- enjoying the peace and quite of my surroundings. As I was noticing the flowers, bushes and trees around the space, I couldn’t help but remember all of the work that we put into this area just a few months ago.
It was a grueling process. We hauled in plants, mulch and dirt. We dug in soil that was hard as steel. We were dirty, sweaty and dealing with killer backaches. But through all of the mess, we ended up creating a place that we’ll enjoy for quite some time. At the time I was tired and not in the mood for pruning bushes, pulling weeds, fertilizing trees, and preparing pots for the season. Now, however, I’m so glad that I put in the effort.
Much like our courtyard, it’s important to weed and prune our businesses (and lives).
A few ways to keep things in perspective:
Why are you where you are? Are you happy doing what you’re doing, or are you just collecting a paycheck? Are you good at what you do or do you think you’d be better in a different field? These questions shouldn’t only be asked of the recent college graduate -- they should be asked of everyone throughout each stage of life.
I frequently challenge our team at TrendyMinds to make sure they are here for the right reasons. If they aren’t happy, I ask that they move on to something different that does fulfill them. I want our agency to be full of people with true passion, energy and talent for what they do – and luckily, this is the case. It is important to check yourself every now and then; otherwise you may wake up one day and realize you’ve been in the wrong field doing mediocre work your entire life.
Evaluate Your Surroundings
What do you like and dislike about those around you? Are you happy with your company, coworkers, and clients? It’s okay to be honest and realize that some person or client isn’t the best fit for you. It’s okay to make the decision to separate yourself from another company or individual if it means an all-around healthier environment. Throughout my career, I’ve learned that making these tough decisions allows you to free up your time and energy in order to focus on better alternatives. Don’t waste your time (and the time of others) by staying in something that isn’t working, no matter how difficult it may seem to exit the situation.
Evaluate Your Services
As everything in today’s world seems to be moving at lightning fast speed, it is important to adapt to what’s happening. This isn’t to say that you should jump on every new service that comes out, but you should always look to see how you could improve your offerings.
We made some pretty significant changes to our service lines at the beginning of the year and kicked out some aspects we felt weren’t best for our clients or business model. This was one of the best decisions that we made in our 15-year history. In fact, those very changes are the reasons for the record growth that we’ve been fortunate enough to experience in 2010. This process wasn’t easy for our team, but now we’re able to admire the results and enjoy the rewards that come with it.
Having said all of this, I don’t want to give the misconception that you should quit something when the going gets tough. In fact, much like a nicely landscaped yard, you have to go through a lot of dirt (and sweat, and pain medicine for the back pain) in order to have notable results. Hard work and careful trimming are the keys to prosperity.
Now, get out there and do your fall chores so you (and your business) can blossom in the spring!
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