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By Michael Angier




Web SuccessNet

Step Back and Gain New Perspective

I’ve owned several businesses in my career. As I transitioned from one to another, I always tried to review the experience to see what I could learn from it. I asked the question, “What Worked, What Didn’t and What’s Next?"

As I performed these business autopsies, I made notes about what I would have done differently. Sometimes I grew too fast, sometimes too slowly. I entered into contracts that weren’t always prudent, spent too much money in some areas and not enough in others. I was often under-capitalized. I also noted the things I thought we did well. And I learned from it all.

But the ONE THING I always wrote down that I would change was this: I would take more time off. Not just to play and relax—although I would have done that too—but to gain a higher perspective.

What I would have done in every single business I’ve ever owned would be to step back away from the business—to work ON the business as opposed to working just IN the business.

We all need to gain a better perspective than we can get from working down in the trenches. By getting out of our workday environment and asking elegant questions, we can see better where we are and where we’re going.

Because of our economic times and the rapid rate of change, it's even more important to make sure our ladders are leaning against the right walls. Getting away is the best way to do this.

You can do it alone, but I find it works better if you can do it with someone else. Even two people can brainstorm problems, ask questions and look for unexploited opportunities.

A half- or full-day retreat with your staff can re-energize you and the entire team. It’s a good change of pace, it let’s them know what’s going on, and it gives you a chance to refocus everyone on the objectives and principles that matter most.

I like to ask: If I were starting today, how would I do it differently? What would we do that we’re not doing now? What could we STOP doing that’s unnecessary?

All too often we find ourselves doing tasks that have lost their value or meaning. By eliminating those things that aren’t working very well or producing only minimal results, we free up time and energy to do the things that truly further our intentions.

This kind of thinking isn’t always easy, but it’s a lot easier than trying to do it while going about our day-to-day job.

By taking a break and really looking objectively at our business, we can better understand what and why we’re doing things. We can make better choices, become more profitable and enjoy the process more.

Schedule your mini-retreat today. Start making notes about what you want to focus on—questions that will provide more insight, elegant choices and solutions. You won’t regret it.


Note: Our New Priorities™ Tool is a great way to evaluate and prioritize your problems/opportunities—as well as your projects, goals and purchases.


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Last Updated 07/02/2006