Are your 15 years of experience 15 years of accumulated experiences, or one year of experience repeated 15 times?
The answer would hopefully be accumulated experiences. How about your leadership team and sales team – how would they stack up when asked this question? The challenge is to make sure that you and your team are taking full advantage of those years to outperform your competitors, reach the goals you’ve set for yourself and achieve the maximum return for the years of experience that have been earned.
We Know What We Know
We know what we know, and what we know is a collection of our experiences. Where we’ve been, who we speak with, what we read and listen to, and what’s on our calendar each and every day builds on what we know. I don’t believe that experience is static. It can be fed, and nurtured in a way that allows you to grow and capitalize on what you know to apply it onto your next set of challenges. You should find a way to build on this every day.
It becomes very easy to overlook your vast experiences when you’re caught up in the day-to-day fire-fighting of running a business, and taking care of customers. One day turns into the next, this week turns into next week, and the first thing you know you’re halfway through the year.
A good exercise is to review what you have accomplished, how you have grown, and more importantly, take measure of how you have applied your strengths to capitalize on the opportunities that were in front of you. If you can articulate your wins, you have a higher likelihood of repeating it. It’s like watching game film and crafting your practice plan based on what worked well and what still needs improvement.
Make The Time To Re-Energize
Burn out and getting stuck in a rut will happen if you’re not careful. How many times have you seen a colleague continue to do the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results. Yet, if their experience were truly applied, they could probably come up with a good solution to their situation.
Time is one of our most valuable commodities, yet how we manage it sometimes is questionable. Finding the time to re-energize and regroup can be difficult and each person has their own set of unique circumstances. Perhaps your time is during your commute to work, on the treadmill, or pushing a lawnmower. For others it may be getting away for a weekend. There’s no wrong answer and you need to use what works for you. But you need to do it – on purpose.
Learn To Teach, Teach To Grow
A strategy that I have found effective is that when I learn things, I try to learn it so that I can teach it to someone. In its simplest form, if you attend a webinar or a conference, take notes with the understanding that you’ll have to share what you learned with others in such a way that they can learn what you learned. It may force you to take notes in a whole different way. Doing this makes more of a lasting impression for me and I find that I’m more apt to repeat what I learned and use it in solving problems and gaining insight into situations.
Another example could be as your colleagues approach you every day to help solve a problem or to get an answer. Rather than just giving them the answer they are looking for, teach them how you arrived at that answer so the next time they may have a higher likelihood of answering it for themselves. It’s a learning process for all, but it’s just one way to capitalize on your experience and help scale your organization so that others can grow as well.
You have a wealth of information and experience, and combined with the strength of your organization, there are many years of unique know-how that can be applied in winning customers and nurturing your business. As the economy re-engages in the coming months, you’ll be faced with challenges in maintaining your existing customers and earning new business. Don’t compete at the lowest or simplest level. Work to define and create your opportunities and try to avoid only reactionary moves.
There will be good opportunities for your business going forward, but they may not look like what you’ve seen in the past. This will be a unique opportunity to capitalize on your experience and earn the business that you’ve worked hard for all these years. I welcome any thoughts or questions, please add them below or reach out to me directly.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic counsel, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.