As the year 2013 comes to an end and the New Year, 2014, starts perhaps it’s a good time to reflect back on the year and ask myself a few questions. This could go on for quite a few paragraphs so I’m going to limit it to one question. That question is, “Did I go or did I grow?” I saw this dichotomy in a daily Bible reading I do each morning. It applies to our spiritual life but it can also apply to our daily business activities.
Each and every day our businesses have challenges we must face and problems we must solve. We have a tax audit, a key employee quits, an angry customer threatens to sue, the checking account is a little thin, a Technician has an a fender bender or some other issue. We sometimes think it’s only our business or our industry that has challenges but every business both big and small must deal with the circumstances they are dealt. The question I ask myself and I’m asking you is “How do we really deal with those challenges and circumstances?”
Do I just go through the motions, through the challenge, through the circumstance and move on to the next challenge, the next circumstance, the next crisis? If I just go through them I probably am not any better off when the next one appears before me. This does not mean I don’t solve the issue, correct the problem or meet the challenge. What I am asking is “have I become a better owner, a better boss, a better service provider for my customer? Has the problem taught me anything other than becoming more of an angry cynic? Has the circumstance made me bitter? Has the challenge created health issues? Has the crisis affected my mental state?” When we just go through the problems our health, our mental state, and our attitudes are definitely changed for the worse.
On the other hand, when we grow through a crisis, a problem, a challenge, or an issue we look at it with a different frame of mind and attitude. We can ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this? What can I do differently to avoid this from happening that makes real sense?” Look at the crisis or problem after the immediate rush necessary to handle the emergency and find a constructive way to avoid a repeat or very similar happening from causing the frustration and stress. The answer could be a new policy, training, passing some responsibility down the chain, replacing a problem employee or a myriad of other solutions. But you are not going to find solutions unless you take the time and effort to correct the situation so the issue won’t pop-up again. Time and again I hear owners whining about a problem, an employee, a situation but they do nothing to eliminate the issue and formulate a plan to keep the issue from reoccurring. Learn. grow, and change to make things work better within the business.
So make a New Year’s resolution to GROW not go and your life will be a lot less stressful and your business a place to feel good about!
Dan has been in the service industry for nearly 50 years. He has operated a large plumbing, heating and air conditioning service company and for the past 12 years has helped small companies in the service business to grow and prosper. Contact him at Dan@SayYesToSuccess.com.