In my former military life, I had a boss who I used to secretly refer to as the ‘shiny penny’ because he could not stay on any subject for more than 33 seconds. It was insane and incredibly frustrating because potentially 10-minute conversations would stretch over hours and sometimes even days. I had another boss who taught me how and empowered me to think critically. While many were frustrated with his style I valued his leadership because he did that. It was rough going the first few months (actually for the whole time LOL) but eventually I learned and knew to examine every situation from every possible angle before engaging with him. Butttttttttttttttttttttt somewhere between then and now I fell in love with shiny pennies.
We’re still in the early stages of business but that’s not a good reason to get tricked into chasing shiny pennies. Sure, I’ve read several books authored by phenomenal and successful entrepreneurs who suggest numerous ways to stay on track, BUT. STILL. OFF. I. GO. blindly chasing shiny apps, tools, connections, events, and opportunities all because “that seems cool”. Now don’t get me wrong, there can always be value in chasing all of these and more HOWEVER, if I fail to delve deep prior to every action and every decision, I risk following a whole trail of pennies. And I seriously doubt I’d be lucky enough to find that glowing pot at the end.
I’ve already shared that my why is my beacon; now I need to consistently measure every decision and action against it. I got gentle reminders three times this week! Who gets that many chances? The first was finally (formally) meeting my ideal client! She was the stranger who got me back on track when I almost lost my way about 3 months ago. I’ll tell you more about her another day, but chatting with her back then reminded me that I must know and clearly articulate what is important in this business. The next gentle reminder resulted from a casual conversation with John, the exceptional entrepreneur/connector behind RevCowork who, with a simple question, led me to examine the reason I was considering a commitment to an opportunity that I have not questioned. Like, at all. The third nudge happened during a BCRCC workshop I attended this week. In a small group exercise, we had to come up with a superhero concept complete with a logo and everything. Our group’s superpower was to make everyone ‘pause’ before taking action to encourage responding versus reacting. This really resonated with the entire class and I was sitting there thinking dang, this theme keeps repeating for me and I learned this years ago!
Quickly saying yes to lots of things or everything seems like the common sense thing to do when building a business however, it’s not a smart or strategic thing to do. At least, not for me; critical thinking serves me well. Of course I will have to flex as we grow. This is a journey, and I certainly don’t want a journey that is rife with delays or problems. Most of us do some level of planning for everyday life journeys (career, family, vacations etc.). We ask questions as we plan: What? Where? Who? When? WHY? We seek answers to at least one, if not a plethora of questions. This journey is no different.
Why is this important? Can this be accomplished another way? Would another time/date be more beneficial? How will this impact my why? Sometimes any question can be a start. The key is to remember not to chase blindly.
Oooooooooh look! A shiny penny! So what?