Driving south on I-95 in Maryland recently, I glanced to the east and saw a huge colorful “For Lease” sign on a large building. What struck me at that moment was that I had not seen that sign on the way north a few hours earlier. I know it’s been there for a year, but it didn’t register as I drove past. It was so familiar that I didn’t see it. It wasn’t until I changed directions that I saw it again.
I remembered again that nothing will change until you change.
The same is often true in companies. Owners and executives have such familiarity with their company’s behaviors, language and approaches to business that they really don’t see them.
One President told me the company is stuck. Revenue isn’t growing. There’s more competition and she’s losing business to it. She can’t hire a new person because they don’t have enough revenue to justify that, but they have too much business for the current staff to handle well. Her reasoning for chasing after new business the same way she always has is that she’s too busy to do things differently. She does not see that big sign on the side of her business reading “Nothing will change until you change.”
There is an auto services owner who spent years getting agreement from his two closest friends who really only wanted to tell the owner what he wanted to hear. When I challenged him, they supported his resistance. So he continued to be unhappy, until he finally saw the sign that reads “Nothing will change until you change.” Within in one year his grew his revenue by 37%.
Are you the owner or executive who finds yourself saying “I never would have thought of that” when you hear an idea you like? Or worse, perhaps, “I wish I had thought of that?” when a competitor gets ahead. I hear that so often and I always say “Yes, you would have”– if you took a step, or ten steps, back, opened your ears and your mind to contrarian or unusual suggestions, and become risk tolerant enough to take some bold steps.
One of the boldest steps is to stop everything you’re doing long enough to consider contrarian or unusual approaches or opportunities for change. As owner or executive, you must be able to take a short hiatus from your daily activities to think bigger and longer-term. If you feel you can’t take this kind of break, that’s a powerful sign you really need to. “Nothing will change until you change.”
The key to successful revenue growth—and growing owner wealth—is to make changes. The range and type of changes varies widely depending on the company. The one absolute is that nothing will change until you change.
If you’re curious about changes you might make for the benefit of your top and bottom line, let’s talk. 703-790-1424. You have everything to gain.