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I was recently asked about what to do when it feels like you need to change the core purpose of your business. Another person answered that “your core purpose is always to return money to your shareholders, that never changes.”

I believe that attitude is fifty years out of date.

Sure, if you choose to create a company which is merely about extracting money from your customers and giving it to your investors, fine. But that’s not the people I’m working with.

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There are many times in business where it feels like you don’t know where you’re going. Employee issues. Customers giving you grief.

It just feels like the formula isn’t working anymore.

So what do you do when it feels like a need for change somehow?

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YOU HAVE THE BIG CHANGE you’re trying to take your organization through. You’ve created the wonderful slides which explain why it’s necessary, how the org chart is changing, and even why life will be so wonderful after the change.

And then having all the employees actually change what they’re doing … it slows to a crawl. You even see instances of reverting back to the old patterns.

What the heck is going on?

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WE’D LIKE TO THINK that planning takes away all the risk. But as soon as I say that, you know it’s not true.

The world is changing. People are unpredictable. And … stuff happens.

So, while planning is useful and necessary, it doesn’t remove all the risk. So why bother?

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RUNNING A BUSINESS can feel pretty isolated.

Even when you’re surrounded by employees, teams, partners, suppliers, contractors … it can feel like the weight of the whole world is on your shoulders. Because all of them seem to look to you for direction and answers.

And you don’t want to burden your loved ones with business concerns: it seems unfair.

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THE CUSTOMER IS COMPLAINING. That employee didn’t show up for work. It’s getting near tax time and you’re not sure what that’s going to look like. And the dog needs to go to the vet.

And that’s just in the first 15 minutes this morning.

Running a successful business is a challenge every minute of every day. Guess what? The buck stops with the business owner, so it seems like you’re sucked into EVERYthing.

There’s a way to deal with this, and I’m not talking drugs.

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THINGS DON’T GO SMOOTHLY all the time.

 

Yes, you’re on a powerful mission.  But danger happens:

  • Regulations change
  • New competitors arise
  • A key employee leaves

So how do you navigate when things turn dark and threatening?

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seasonTO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON.

One of the biggest challenge that we have in directing business is to know when to hold the course steady, versus changing things up. In fact, you’re probably doing both simultaneously in different aspects.

As you know, I’m a fan of cycles, seasons, holidays, and the general rhythm of life.  Not because I’m easily bored, but because it helps to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.

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WE JUST SURVIVED the most contentious election cycle in my lifetime.

There’s a lot of people who feel injured right now.  But our strength as a country is being able to pull together for the good of the nation after each election.

What we’re seeing is directly applicable to running a company.

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RyanRYAN WALLACE OPENED A GREAT PUB here in Fort Collins three years ago.  William Oliver’s Publick House has great food, wonderful drinks … It’s a place that you enjoy taking friends.

But there’s a lot more to the story.

I found out that they instituted a no-tipping policy last September, so I was eager to find out why he made the decision and what the results have been.  After all, very few restaurants have the courage to make this magnitude of change.

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