Career Employment Strategies

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Get out of "StatusQuoVille!"

The other day I ran into an old friend, the owner of a successful business, who I haven't seen in about five years. We both had a little time so we went for a cup of coffee and talked. After reminiscing a little and catching up on family and old friends I asked, "So, what are you doing now?" He replied with a sigh, "Pretty much the same old thing, running the business, but it's tough. Lots of hungry competition, can't get good help… you know." And I realized that, in the time since I had last seen him, he has been stuck in a place I call "StatusQuoVille" where nothing changes, nothing moves forward and, in fact, things start sliding backwards.

His hungry competitors, on the other hand, are beating their brains out creating ways to grow their businesses. They are working hard to add value to their products and services, hiring better, training better, motivating their staff, creating new ways to overcome old problems while my old friend is mired in yesterday's solutions to yesterday's problems.

I think he, like many business owners, get their businesses to a comfortable place and decide that, since it's pretty nice in StatusQuoVille that they want to stay there so they work just hard enough to maintain the status quo. The "fire in their belly" that feeds innovation, the striving to succeed and satisfy, and is the precurser to expanding vision gives way to an attitude of maintaining a comfortable existence. But the competitive business world we live in won't let companies stay in StatusQuoVille for very long because those hungry competitors are energetically taking away market share to feed their growth and prosperity.

So here's my advice to those who own businesses in StatusQuoVille. Get out of town! Either sell the business to someone with that "fire in the belly" or get hungry and get moving. Rekindle the enthusiasm, the energy, the drive that got you where you are and see where it can take you because you'll find you can't stay in StatusQuoVille for long.

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