Monday, May 12, 2014

Bird watching

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that in several small operations.

     So what does bird watching have to do with your business?

     High atop a column, part of which provides the support of my front porch roof, a couple of robins set up housekeeping. They built a nest there, and they come back every year to raise a family. Then they move on.

     What the robins do is basic to nature. They live and reproduce according to basic instincts.

     Too often humans drift far afield from their core. It happens in our personal lives and it happens in our business lives. 

     We live in a world of distractions. It's largely a world we've created--in commerce, in technology, in politics, in many daily concerns that--frequently--have little to do with our core. 

     Example: An environmental engineer gets caught up in the lengthy permitting process for a project. Getting the permits in place saps his attention and distracts him so much so that he ignores new developments in environmental science. In the interest of satisfying the tedious process of permit approvals, the project is saddled with outdated solutions. Looking back, the engineer comes to regret some of his recommendations--though valid at the time, he knows he could have done better.

     What originally moved us to create our business is too often lost in the daily operations. Day by day, we are pulled away from the core. The core passion that caused us to start up the business gets left behind.

     Example: A lady was inspired to open a bakery by the looks on children's faces when they sampled her brownies. Her passion caused her to expand into cookies and cakes. She began to concentrate on high-end, and high-priced, cakes. The business is very successful, and these days, she concentrates almost entirely on specialty cakes. But she misses the kids' faces when they used to bite into her brownies.

     Businesses have a way of pulling you in various directions. Be careful not to abandon your core passion.

     I have found it useful from time to time to watch the robins. They never drift far from their core nature.

     Questions? I retired when I turned 75. You can email me at with your business questions. Put BLOG in the subject line.
     Quick answers on handling customers, getting referrals, finding funding, expanding the business, managing employees, organizing and more from my extensive experience in founding and running small businesses. 


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