(Time to read this Blog is about 3.5 minutes)
Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:
- My Biz Quote of the week:
“Our profit is something we plan for and commit to…not something we hope for. What profit do you commit to for 2024…and have you a clear and specific plan to deliver that?”
- Quick Biz Tip:
Margins are shrinking in every industry and every business in this price-driven world. Improving operational efficiency in every part of your business is essential to profitability and sustainability. Only the most efficient will survive.
What do you commit to do in 2024 to improve operational efficiency? What improved methods, systems, processes, communication, measurement and incentives need to be designed, implemented and communicated…and who will drive this important initiative?
- What could your business learn from the world’s most expensive chocolate bar? Here’s a great video about a ‘sold out’, limited edition $350 chocolate bar At $345 For Less Than 2 Ounces, This Is The World’s Most Expensive Chocolate | CNBC Make It. – YouTube
What could you do in your business to create and effectively market a super-premium, extraordinary product, service or experience that would clearly differentiate you, make you ‘famous’ and grow your bottom line? Sit with some of the best minds and hearts in your business for just one hour and focus on this.
- Air Canada is out of touch…again. This is too big an ‘ask’. Last week I flew Air Canada to speak at a Conference in Vancouver. The day after returning to Toronto, Air Canada sent me an E-Survey asking for feedback regarding my travel experience.
They promised that the Survey would take just 10 minutes of my time. They’re completely out of touch with their customers’ reality. Who wants to take 10 minutes to for such an exercise? I’m thinking two minutes max.
I hope you’re much more in tune with your customers realities and priorities than Air Canada.
Now, to this week’s important topic:
Do you still love what you do?
While speaking at a Conference a few weeks ago, I sat at breakfast with a 50ish senior manager from a large international company who asked me why I, at my age, I’m still speaking and coaching all over the world.
My answer was simple. “I’m doing some of the most important work of my life, I’m making a difference, I’m very well paid, I don’t work with any clients that I don’t want to…and I love it.”
He told me that he could hardly wait to retire when he hits 65 so that he can finally do something that he actually enjoys…and this guy’s only 50 now. How tragic is that? He’s going to hang on for another 14 or 15 years, hating what he does, cheating both his employer and the people who report to him, being miserable, making his family miserable…and destroying his soul.
And, he may be in for a big shock about that ‘retire at 65’ dream. Many economists now suggest that the average number of retirement years will be reduced from the current 15.8 years to just 7 years. We’ll live longer …but we’ll have to work longer.
“You may as well love what you do, because you’ll probably be doing it for a lot longer than you thought.”
My guess is that at least 20% of the people in every Conference audience I speak to have fallen out of love with their business, or their job, to some extent…and I may be an optimist on that 20% number.
Do you still love what you do? Are you as passionate and focused as you once were, or have you lost some of the passion, drive and commitment that got you where you are today? I’ve worked with many business owners and managers who are just tired, worn out, or bitter. They’re sucking energy out of their own business or department, and everyone in it.
No one will ever love your business more than you do. Not your staff, not your customers, not your bank manager…nobody. As a business owner, leader or manager, you are the source of joy, energy and light in your business, your division, or your department. If not you, who would it be? So, if the lights are out on the front porch of your life, if you don’t love it, the business and your life are in big trouble.
While speaking at a Gift and Tableware Show a few years ago, I complimented the President of one of Canada’s largest giftware distributors on his excellent product offering and magnificent merchandise presentation. His response was, “I just hope the s_ _t sells and people pay their bills.” Now there’s a guy that you don’t want running a giftware business. ‘Gifts’ are about love and caring…and this guy’s just bitter and burnt out. I’ve known him for years, and he wasn’t always that way.
Have you lost interest? The owner of an Ad Specialty and Trophy business attended my 1-day Management Boot Camp last year. He sat like a bump on a log throughout the day, took no notes and showed no interest. When I got around to doing some 1-on-1 coaching with this guy, he told me that his sales were down 30% and there was really no fixing that. I quickly came up with 7 marketing ideas to proactively jump-start his business. He seemed completely disinterested.
Frustrated, I said, “I seem to be more excited about your business than you are.” To which he snapped, “Do you know how tired you can get after 22 years in the same business?” WOW. He’s beyond ‘complacent’…he’s bitter. Sales are down 30% and he’s going down the tubes. He should have sold the business 5 years ago while it was growing, profitable and saleable. Timing is everything.
If it isn’t ‘fun’ anymore…move on: A friend of ours in the UK recently sold his manufacturing business because, he said, “It wasn’t fun anymore.”
- Customers who had been friends for years had become ruthless predators.
- Suppliers who used to be friends had become unreliable and deceitful.
- Factory and office staff whom he had supported and nurtured for years, refused to embrace the changes required to move the business forward.
- And the government, who should be encouraging and facilitating business growth, kept throwing more and more obstacles in the way.
So, the world loses another brilliant, caring, diligent entrepreneur who believes that business should be, among other things, FUN.
Now, ‘fun’ doesn’t mean sitting around telling jokes all day. That’s not fun…that’s stupid. ‘Fun’ is some feeling of accomplishment. The joy of positive and respectful connections with our customers, suppliers, and staff team. ‘Fun’ might be creating a ‘win-win’ rather than a ‘you win …I lose’ situation, over and over again. ‘Fun’ is not feeling beaten up all the time.
So, my friend said, “Business isn’t fun any more…but just think of all the fun I can have with $350 million.”…and, boy, is he having fun!
Do you still love what you do, who you do it for and who you do it with? Are you passionate, complacent or bitter? Are you an ‘unstoppable force’, or have you given up? Are you providing your business or department with the energy, passion, love and commitment that it deserves and needs?
If not, what can you do to get the ‘love’ back? And, if you just can’t do that, what’s your plan to move on and reinvent yourself before it’s too late?
That’s it for this week…
Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability. He can be reached by email at email@example.com in Toronto, Canada.