Conditions Over Destinations

Think for a minute about the biggest issues you face in your business. Many of you would think about lack of sales, or a key hire that you need to make or maybe you are in a cash crunch. Each of these problems are real and pressing, but I would suggest that these are not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem is that you don’t know how to deal with problems.

Your Biggest Problem

The first step to creating a system to deal with problems is to understand that problems will always come up. The fact that you have a crisis to deal with right now is par for the course in leading a small business. So stop whining about it or complaining that the cards are stacked against you. Your plan moving forward has to account for chaos.

When you encounter chaos, those that succeed have a plan. This plan does not entail just pressing your head down and continuing to plow no matter the circumstances. The plan accounts for changes by foreseeing conditions that will lead to success.

Don’t Focus on the Future, Focus on the Conditions that will Create It

If our biggest problem is dealing with chaos, then our solution has to be planning for chaos. The way we do this is by focusing on conditions not destinations. In everyone of our businesses there is a very high likelihood that in the next 10 years there will be a game changing innovation or cultural shift that will make our current work obsolete.

I’ve been running my business for 15 years and I’ve experienced three of these shifts. When we first started, there were no great content management systems to allow my clients to edit their websites. So, we built one… from scratch. It took us hundreds of thousands of dollars to build it and it worked great. Then WordPress press came around, which completely made our system obsolete. Next, very powerful and simple page editors came out which gave designers and end-users the power to build their own pages. Again, we had to shift our focus to helping our customers build sites that convert visitors to customers using analytics and marketing automation.

Our focus during this time has been to continue to research new ways to serve our customers. Our technical experience, curiosity, and connection to small business customers created an environment that has allowed us to shift our business multiple times. I could never have predicted 15 years ago that there would be such cool new technologies as marketing automation. I surely won’t be able to predict the next big innovation. However, I know we will succeed because we are focusing on the conditions that will create a successful future.

The only way for us to overcome the chaos that will surely come is to create conditions for success. Take some time now and brainstorm what some of the conditions for success would be for your business.

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