Category Archives: Lessons Not Learned

My Primary Aim

What do I value most?

What kind of life do I want?

What do I want my life to look like, to feel like?

Who do I wish to be?

How do I want my story to be told?

What would I like to be able to say about my life after it’s too late to do anything about it?

If I were to write a script for … the mourners at my funeral, how would I like it to be read?

What am I aiming for?

Primary Aim

From The EMyth Revisited

How To #1: Measure the Result of Change

It’s important to be able to measure the results of changes we make in how we do things. Below is a set of guidelines to help us measure the impact of changes.

  1. Determine how many people you were having an impact on before the changes is made
  2. Figure out how many people bough products/services, and what the dollar amount was, before the change was made
  3. Count the number of people you’re having an impact on after the change was implemented
  4. Count the number of people who purchased something
  5. Figure out the average unit value of a sale
  6. Determine what the improvement was after the change

Adapted from The EMyth Revisited

The Key to Failure

If you want to fail, be boring. That’s it.

To explain just a little more:

  1. Don’t listen to your customers – they don’t know what they’re talking about.
  2. Don’t worry about email campaigns or social media, and FOR SURE don’t respond when people reach out that way.
  3. Come up with big ideas and pin them on a board in the back room. That room where nobody goes so nobody else will see them or use them.
  4. Keep doing things the same way you always have and just copy your competition.
  5. Don’t challenge yourself or your employees.
  6. Don’t ask hard questions like “Why not?” That question makes people think and that’s just too much effort.

This is a recipe which means that you need all of the pieces to make a real successful failure. It’s possible though, and you can do it too.

Light Bulb #1

As I was reading Jeffery A. Thompson’s article “What Is Your Calling in Life?” I got to a spot that turned on a light bulb in my head. He said:

“…finding your calling in life may not be a matter of finding the one right job. Instead, it may be that your calling is to bring your unique spiritual gifts to whatever position the Lord blesses you with.”

lightbulb

One of the things I’ve struggled with over the years as I’ve tried to find my “calling” is that the skills and spiritual gifts I’ve been blessed with aren’t … marketable. I can’t think of another word to use there. Maybe it will come as I continue.

One of the skills I’ve been blessed with, is the ability to understand the feelings of others. While that comes in handy at home and when dealing with coworkers, it’s not something that I could start a business with (unless I took decades of school classes and potentially earned a degree in psychology, which doesn’t interest me at all).

Thompson actually summed me up pretty nicely in the paragraph right before the one containing the quote above.

“Other types of gifts that you may notice in yourself include the ability to praise others effectively, to identify and encourage others’ talents, to organize information in a concise manner…”

Those are the things I’m good at, the things I truly enjoy. How do I make those things work for me in a way in which I can still help to support my family?

His next paragraph summarizes how I used to feel at the job I currently have. I know God’s hand was in how I got to where I am. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say that, without personally appearing to me and walking me into the office for an interview, God showed me the path to where I am.

That was five years ago. I’m now feeling like it’s time for a change, but I can’t tell if it’s a change in venue or a change in attitude. I can’t tell if it’s a change in responsibility or a change in location. Or if it’s a change within me that has stunted my abilities to continue to expand my gifts.

Perhaps, as he suggests, if I “exercise faith in the Lord, follow His spirit, and seek to amplify [my] gifts” I will be able to discern the change I feel and figure out the direction I’m intended to go.

Inspiration: Bruce Thompson

I enjoyed watching this video because of how personable Mr. Thompson was. A few of my take-aways…

Work to live. Don’t live to work.

Set limits for yourself. Don’t make your work life your whole life, no matter how exciting it might be. Nobody can do that and sustain that lifestyle forever.

Business is fun. Make it fun. Be confident in yourself. Business is not life, it’s just a part of it. Our families, our relationships and our faith are what really matter. Those should be our priorities and the limits we set for ourselves should reflect those things as our priorities.

“It’s not about how smart you are…”

It’s about your ability to push through.¬†Always listen to the Spirit. He can and will help you gain the confidence you need to push through the hard times.¬†Do the right thing. It will pay in the end.

“It’s all about the people you work with.”

Always work WITH people. They may work for you, but if you treat them like they work with you, you’ll have happier employees. Happier employees help create successful companies.

To hear it it Mr. Thompson’s words, click here.

But How?

I need to figure out how to become the go-to person for my skill set.

First, though, I need to find out what my skill set is. One of the suggestions was to ask other people; people who know me well and will be honest with me about the things I’m good at.

I think part of my problem here is that the things I’m good at are things that most people are good at. How do you become an expert at something everyone can do?