The Five-Minute Wonder
By Dan Miller
Hopefully, we can get back to doing business – not as usual – but in better and more innovative ways. “Usual” just isn’t going to work anymore. We have to be more innovative and creative in order to survive. And we can do that. Don’t settle for the same work, customers, or methods. Everything must change!
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“ A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. ” — John Barrymore
Serving Customers or Making Cars?
There seems to be a subtle shift that takes place in the history of most businesses. Let’s say Barney was a cave man who made great wagons. But there are only 20 people who live in his known world, so as soon as he makes 20 wagons, he’s out of business. If he can’t imagine using his skills for anything but wagon-making, we might then see him sneaking around at night burning the wagons to rekindle demand. Or the town witch doctor knows he would not be needed if everyone were healthy, so he “creates” illnesses to keep his patients coming back rather than attempting to help them find ultimate health.
Now fast forward – same deal. We have auto manufacturers who can’t risk making a car that really lasts; they need 5-year obsolescence. Parts that wear out and systems that malfunction are a necessary component of keeping the machine of making cars in place. It would be self-defeating to make a car that semi-permanently met the customer’s needs. You have to hope the customer doesn’t stay happy with their purchase for too long.
Do you really think we aren’t smart enough to make a light bulb that would last essentially forever? But what would that do to the sales of light bulbs?
What if a counselor or chiropractor really helped every client they saw? Got them to a point of healthy functioning on their own? How would he/she pay the mortgage the next month? Keeping people dependent on their services may become more important than seeing them get better.
If you realize your “work” is more dependent on keeping a system in place than on meeting the real needs of your customers, you are indeed vulnerable. Real estate developers, publishing houses, record labels, auto manufacturing and “investment” firms are all suffering in their attempts to keep systems in place rather than responding to the changes in demand of the marketplace.
What we need are new ways to engage our creative skills – not government support to allow us to keep doing what no longer works.
I happen to be a car enthusiast, but I think it’s a joke that someone “decided” we needed new models every calendar year? My primary car is a 1991 Mercedes 500SL – it’s 18 years old! It looks great, has great styling, and is fun to drive. I’d love to see a five-year car – where nothing changed for at least five years, or even 10. Can you imagine the streamlining of parts and service, and the reduced waste from excessive manufacturing?
Now, what are you doing in your work or business to make sure you are serving your customer’s needs, even if those needs change?
What will 2009 bring you?
If nothing changed in your life this year, would that be OK? If you want different results, what are you willing to change in what you are doing now?
This is the time to be planning for 2009. Don’t wait to “see what happens.” Decide what kind of success you want in these seven areas:
- Personal Development
Left to themselves, all of these areas will deteriorate. To see success, each one requires a clear plan of action. Farmers don’t “hope” fields of corn will show up. Athletes don’t wish themselves into winning Olympic medals. Business people don’t just “show up” and see profits increase. Great marriages don’t just “happen.” If you want excellence in any area of your life, you must see in advance what that success will look like.
Decide now what you want 2009 to look like. Decide what "success" means for you. As part of my 2006 goals, I had written that I wanted to do 25 radio/TV interviews that year. On January 21 of this year, I did 18 radio interviews on that day alone. Last year I did close to 250 interviews. The writing and personal goals I identified in 2006 seem small now – but if I had not written them down, they would likely have never come into view.
I’ve updated a worksheet you can use to create your plan for 2009. For years I’ve completed my goals by November 15 of each year. Then I can relax and enjoy the holidays, knowing that I’m not waiting on luck; no, I have the plan all laid out. But it still surprises me how much happens before each New Year actually begins. Just “seeing” it clearly in my mind puts things in motion that I cannot stop. I encourage you to do the same.
Don’t wait to see what 2009 brings you. Make your plans for exactly what you want and create the best year of your life.
Here’s the free worksheet
48 Days Online Radio: How Do I Tell Someone I Was Fired?
Each week I create a new online radio podcast — that you can hear in iTunes or at the 48 Days Online Radio Show link below.
Okay, we are certainly entering a new season as a country. How should we move forward? I received a whole lot of these questions – and just addressed it briefly at the beginning of this podcast.
- Now that we know who the next president of the God Loving USA is, how do we prepare our 2009 business goals in regard to taxes and income?
- Dan, what do you think of the concept of network marketing if the product is great and the training is exceptional?
- I was laid of from a job that I had for 10 years. I am currently looking for a part-time job that will not interfere with my current job search. Do you have any recommendations?
- What’s the best way to handle the “Reason for leaving” part of a job application? In my case, I’ve been fired for not performing to my boss’ satisfaction. I’ve also been fired for conflicts with a co-worker.
- Where would I be able to find legitimate liquidation merchandise to sell on e-bay?
- I now work for an employer who I think is maybe not the most honest or moral person. Should I stay for the sake of my direct reports or start looking for something else ASAP.
If you have a question, just click on the 48 Days Online Radio link and you can ask about starting your own business, getting a better job, or finding your purpose in life. That’s the same place you can listen to this week’s broadcast immediately – no downloading, no wait.
48 Days Highlights
Last year I was interviewed by the guys over at ObscureGenius.com on Careers in the Music Industry.
Also, Dick Larkin conducted a webinar, interviewing me on Finding Your Dream Job.
Many of you are asking about my personal coaching. Yes, I still work with a few people each month. And, yes, we get a lot of requests. This is a great time to be planning to make 2009 the best year of your life. If you want to review the process and provide me with some basic information, I’ll be honored to evaluate it and give you some starting feedback. Just go to Personal Coaching and get started.
Chuck Bowen - Financial & Business Coaching
"Need to do better (maybe a lot better?) with your personal finances? Is your business as profitable, or enjoyable, as you'd like it to be? Contact Chuck Bowen Coaching. If you want to transform your life permanently for the better, he's your guy. Chuck serves as President of our 212 Connection and oversees the business side of that part of our business.
Know Yourself – Set Your Goals
The most popular product in the 48 Days arsenal continues to be the 48 Days Career Profile. Before you begin seeking a better job or self-employment, you need to be sure you are pursuing opportunities that match your personality style and will fulfill and reward you for a lifetime!
"Know Thyself – and to Thine Own Self be True!"
Quotes: Moving Forward
"A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." — Harvey Mackay
"It is good to dream, but it is better to dream and work. Faith is mighty, but action with faith is mightier. Desiring is helpful, but work and desire are invincible." — Thomas Robert Gaines
“The simple act of writing down a goal and making a written plan for its accomplishment moves you to the top 3%.” — Brian Tracy
"If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions." — Buddhist Saying
"There are a lot of ways to become a failure, but never taking a chance is the most successful." — Anonymous
"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great." — Les Brown
Dan Miller is the bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and a renowned Life Coach specializing in career fulfillment. His weekly newsletter reaches 70,000 subscribers. Dan’s articles are featured here at CBN every Tuesday, and you can find out more about Dan at www.48days.com.
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