Experience in business is a wonderful asset. You spot trends quickly, you make decisions faster and more easily and you become very skilled at problem solving.
And experience is also a liability. You expect people to act a certain way when they don’t intend to, things that have failed in the past, you believe, will fail now and you cling to self limiting beliefs about the potential for a better business than you have now.
“Shoshin”, the beginner’s mind, is helpful for evaluating and improving your business periodically. The beginner’s mind is open and full of possibilities for the future; the expert’s mind is often closed and busy defending the past. The beginner’s mind is energizing, non-assuming and capable of doing things the expert’s mind has long dismissed as being impossible.
If I show up at your farm today and offer to run the place for 7 days for free while you take the vacation you never get, are you able to immediately hand me a complete business operating manual on how things are done? If the answer is no, that may be part of the reason why you never get a 7 day vacation.
Written systems matter.
Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach has a terrific podcast with Joe Polish at www.10XTalk.com Podcast listening has made barn chores move quickly for me as I get knowledge and the stimulus for new business ideas. If you haven’t checked out the amazing variety of free podcasts available to listen to while walking, running, exercising, driving or doing simple chores, you should.
Dan is an exceptional thinker about business and life and has been practicing for decades. He just turned 70 and has a 20 year plan looking forward in his life. And his plan isn’t all about fishing and golfing and hanging out in a gated retirement community. He’s serious about continuing to lead, teach and learn for the next 20 years. His professional and personal circles of friends are filled with energizing people who think like he does.
Sullivan asks a telling question: “Is your future bigger than your past?”
If you are over 49 years old, I believe this is a question that helps you take stock of where you are in your life and may stimulate an attitude adjustment.
If you’re under 50, your answer better be YES! If it isn’t, I suspect your business is destined for hard times. Businesses are either growing or shrinking, they never stay in equilibrium.