WE SEEM TO HAVE a whole lot of things going on right now. Clients. Projects. Presentations. Prospects.

And, for whatever reason, I’m hearing similar things from a lot of other people as well.

This happens. But how do we keep from getting stressed out when things are super busy?

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HERE’S AN INTERESTING THOUGHT: In the mountains, the haze lies in the valley. To see further, you have to hike up.

It’s a wonderful metaphor for business.

Yes, you have to get down in the details; that’s where the progress is made. But it’s quite possible that you’re going in circles down there, so you have to pull yourself out occasionally to look at the big picture.

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SOME THINGS ARE really hard to nail down.

One of the biggest examples is how complicated business decisions are made, like taking on a partner or promoting an employee. There’s this amorphous mix of logic, feelings, history, and unique factors you never would have planned for.

When this happens, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten too immersed in the details, and need to go up a level.

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THE WORLD SEEMS like it’s sliding all over the place. Things we assumed were solid and unchanging are being constantly questioned.

Even my kids have noticed.

The honest truth, though, is that your business foundation is as solid as you want it to be.

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WE WOULD LIKE TO THINK that following the guidebook will make choices nice and neat and clean. So you might be discouraged at how, well, it’s a bit of a mess.

I just wanted to say this: you’re OK.

If it was nice and clean and orderly, everybody else could do it. The fact that choices ARE hard to make means that you have to put some work into creating order out of chaos.

And the universe is always going towards chaos.

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RUNNING A BUSINESS sure seems like a lot of work. I don’t want to disregard that.

But if that’s ALL it is, why bother? Go out and get a real job that’s less stress!

Let’s be honest: We do this because we find joy in the mission, the problem-solving, the control. There’s a lot of things which are a pain in the ***, but on the whole there’s a balance toward making the business work.

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THERE WAS AN INTERESTING QUESTION on Quora recently, posed by an entrepreneur who is feeling the pressure of competition from large multi-national corporations. It’s very worrisome for him, and he’s struggling to figure out how to compete against those with more resources and shady tactics.

But every advantage has a weakness built in.

When I worked for a huge Fortune 50 company, I saw this exact situation – but from the inside. I was working for a team that was chartered to find new products and services to invest in.

But it was an almost impossible situation.

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WE’RE ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT at finding problems. Humans are hard-wired for it.

And people get rewarded for solving problems. So we get really good at it.

The problem is that this tendency means we’re not paying attention to what’s going right, what’s working. And your employees who aren’t creating problems tend to get ignored as well.

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2017-10-23 Hiring for culture or values.jpg
COMPANIES HAVE BEEN TALKING FOR YEARS about the importance of culture fit when hiring a new employee. But we’ve now discovered it can be a big trap.

When someone fits well into your culture, it means that they’re pretty much just like you. Which then leads to a homogeneous company, stifled creativity, and stagnation.

Not that you want to hire someone who hates your organization’s culture. But … you do want to stretch it.

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REACHING THE TOP can be exciting … but it’s also a lonely place. I’ve actually found that the fear of reaching goals can hold people back.

Because when you reach the top, what’s next?

I happen to believe that it’s the business equivalent of the “mid life crisis.” Is this all there is? Wasn’t life supposed to be glorious by now?

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