Today I am starting a new series on Business Survival. Thanks to my faithful readers who have been patiently listening to my podcasts while I took a short break from writing.
For those that have ever watched movies or TV shows about survival, one of the tools that is most important is the compass. If you don’t know the direction that you are traveling, it is pretty tough to reach your destination without one.
In 1982 I moved from Denver to Dallas. For my international readers that are not familiar with either of these places, Denver is flanked on the west by the majestic Rocky Mountains and on the east by very flat plains. Dallas is one big flat plain.
It took me a little while after I moved to Dallas to realize why I was often disoriented.
In Denver, I didn’t need a physical compass or one in my car (we didn’t have iPhones with a compass app back then). The mountains were my compass. If they were on my left, I was going north. If they were to my back, I was going east. Simple.
In Dallas, everything looked the same, so the sun became my compass. But on a cloudy day, that method of navigation failed.
What is your compass in your business? How do you know you are headed in the right direction? What are the business metrics and are you achieving them? Are they visible?
Today on the plane, I was reading Chris Brogan’s book “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth” and he recounted a story about baseball, where much ado is made about the number of base hits, errors and steals. Chris had seen a movie that talked about a team that figured out that all that really matters is getting on base (not how you got there), as that is a pre-requisite to scoring. Getting on base is the compass. Once you are on base you can move forward. But if you strike out and go back to the bench, you don’t ever score.
This is SO true in business and it is essential to surviving everything that you will encounter. You have to have a plan, or you won't know where you are going and when you have arrived.
Make sure your compass is pointing you in the right direction and that you can move ahead from where you are.
Tomorrow, we'll talk about what makes an entrepreneur a "seal".