These days it seems that all we are doing is trying to keep up. We are keeping up with the latest trends, keeping up with the ever-changing customer, heck, we are even Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
I think this incessant need to keep up is holding us back!
In both your personal life and in business, the ability to stop and reflect on the present is so important to creating a healthy status quo. We are so scared that we are going to miss the ‘next big thing’ that we often miss the thing right in front of us.
Let’s take your brand, for example. You are experiencing incredible business growth, you are working like a dog to bring in the customers, and you are definitely keeping up with the Jones’. But, where is your brand? Have you managed to outgrow your brand?
Your brand is the backbone of your business. It is the basis for everything you should be doing to grow your business. But, if you have lost sight of your brand, or if you trampled over it to get ahead, it’s time to slow down and evaluate the now.
Stop doing things and start thinking about things.
When you started this business, you knew what it was going to be. You carefully crafted your vision statement, you created a culture that you wanted and you developed your brand to speak for the business. But, now its time to pause. Take a look around you. Is your brand still speaking for who you are now?
Find Clarity in the Now
For your brand and your business, it is so important to clarify that you are still who and where you want to be. I’m not saying that you need to be who you were when you started your venture. I know that business visions change, that the world changes and some great ideas become obsolete. But, if your vision has changed and if your great idea is heading the way of the pet rock, you really should be aware of that.
Your brand is generally a living, breathing thing within your business. It has the ability to grow and change. But, the characteristics that make your brand your brand, should remain steady. By continuing to focus on your brand, despite trying to keep up, you can ensure you don’t outgrow your brand.
Investigate the Why
Why are you doing what you are doing? Have you figured out the collection of little things that are gathering together to make the big things happen? If not, it’s time to investigate the whys. Why are we successful? Why are we happy? Why are we creating this product? Is any of this sustainable? Because if you are not sustainable, your business won’t be keeping up with anyone in the future.
I don’t like watching basketball, but I will gladly sit and watch a football game with my husband. He used to question me about my sports choices until I explained my rationale to him. Basketball is too fast and the fans don’t get the opportunity to enjoy anything. As a sports fan, I need for something to happen, the action to pause, we get to cheer and enjoy the play, and then we move on to the next one. In basketball, we don’t get the opportunity to enjoy the basket because someone grabs the ball and runs away with it immediately. In football, a play occurs, they stop and have to line up again. I get to enjoy what happened and my husband gets to analyze the success/failure of the play (and inevitably tell me what the coach/player should’ve done) and then we begin again.
We all want a full, productive life. A full, productive business. But sometimes that doesn’t mean speeding up. Sometimes it means it’s time to slow down.