Who is responsible for our results?
I spent some time recently, with the former owner of a local high street store. He explained that the reason his business flopped, was that the economy was too weak. I know a number of the people whose retail outlets are on the same high street as his and although a few have flopped, they are the minority. Most are doing fine, others are doing very well and expanding.
Not his fault?
He was blaming the wrong culprit. The reason that guy’s business failed, was that he did too few of the things required for success.
For example, he was trying to compete based on price, against online retailers who had a fraction of his overhead — playing to his weaknesses, rather than his strengths. Plus, his in-store experience was also very average.
His marketing was ineffective compared to his competitors. He did it himself, because like most small business owners, he lacked the brains and the confidence to get expert marketing help. The brains, because he thought it didn’t matter. The confidence, because he saw only risk and it scared him.
He told me, “Finding the right expert help isn’t easy, Jim”. Yes it is! Check their credentials. If they stack up, hire them. If not, don’t. If someone lacks the judgement to know good from bad, they won’t be in business very long.
Blaming the economy for the failure of his business is like a bank robber blaming the police for being in jail, rather than taking responsibility for having robbed the bank.
We need to be smarter than that. Which, let’s face it, isn’t hard.
You see the blame game everywhere
Listen to the coach of a losing team after a game and you will often hear all kinds of blame being dished out. Listen to the winning coach and you will hear them talking about how effective the planning was and how committed the team were.
The most effective people in any area of life take responsibility for their actions and inactions. The buck stops with them. They wouldn’t have it any other way. Why? Because accepting responsibility gives them complete freedom. It motivates them to do the right things, correctly… knowing that the right results will surely follow.
- If you want more sales, build a better marketing plan and work that plan.
- If you want higher profits, build a better profitability plan and work that plan.
- If you want to start getting bankable results from all that social networking you do, build a better social networking plan and work that plan.
- If you want to retain more customers, build a better customer retention plan and work that plan.
Take responsibility. Decide what you want. Get the help you need. Then do the work. Simple, yet usually overlooked.