Of Blind Spots and Bottlenecks

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In spite of the holiday break, have you come back to energy-draining frustrations, inefficiencies, and a lack of productivity at work?

Do you feel like the only treadmill you’re on is the one keeping you from gaining traction and momentum?

Have you considered there might be a bottleneck?

“Well, of course there is! That’s why I’m so dang frustrated …”

Sheesh. There’s no easy way to say this, but …

Have you considered it might be, umm, you?

Trust me. I know from which I speak. You don’t see it comin’ … and it hits you like one of my 2-year-old daughter’s surprise Hai Karate punch-pounces onto your … you know … sensitive area there.

Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

December 5, 2011

“You’re trying to solve a problem created by great marketing … with more great marketing.”

I’ve written about blind spots before. I’ve uncovered a couple hundred of them for business owners and read about countless more.

But here we were, completely ignorant of what the next right thing was for our own company.

Dee and I were in Austin. We had come to see the Wizard.

Roy H. Williams, my mentor and business partner and arguably the best owner-operated business strategist on the planet, had agreed to meet with my wife and me late last year to discuss taking our own practice to the next level.

Our practice had been growing swiftly and steadily for several years, and I had come prepared … or so I thought.

I had three tools ready to grow our practice to new heights:

  1. A book on the precipice of publication
  2. A series of lectures and presentations that could easily be turned into e-books and other products
  3. A new model for promoting and putting on workshops and lectures for media companies

They were all good. Very good.

Roy didn’t disagree. Instead, he did some crazy freakin’ jujitsu move that spun the room 180 degrees.

“You’re trying to solve a problem created by great marketing … with more great marketing.”

Well … Umm … Yes …

“You’re going to quickly run out of you … if you haven’t already.”

Well … Umm … Yes …

“Are you already finding yourself becoming the bottleneck in your practice?”

Well …

“If your time, energy, enthusiasm, spark and optimism are finite, how will those three tactics help replenish them?”

Umm …

“Are you willing to look at this from a completely different point-of-view?”

(Head hung low … bottom lip out … )

Yes …

And so, we spent the next several hours developing a 23-point action plan to escalate not our creativity or the level of our ideas, but our operational excellence – our systems, policies and procedures.

It was time to think bigger.

It was time to think differentIt was time to burst through the bottleneck.

We didn’t know it when we boarded the plane to Austin, but it was time to turn pro.

January 5, 2012

That was one month ago today.

Several points are already checked off the action plan. It’s an exhilarating time as we turn our practice into a business.

How about you? What could you do in the next month so that your world looks different?

Sorry – that’s a trick question. Let me do some crazy freakin’ jujitsu:

Ask a mentor or a business partner. Ask someone who sees you real and knows the length of your shadow. Explain those energy-draining frustrations, inefficiencies, and the lack of productivity at work.

Let her try to catch the anomaly. Let him offer you advice.

Listen. Then plan. Then act.

Can you imagine how awesome things could be just thirty-one days from today?

Seriously. Imagine it. I’ll wait … … … … … …

Now, think of someone to help you burst through the bottleneck.

Now … GO! Surprise Hai Karate pounce-punch that treadmill in the … you know … sensitive area there.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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  • http://www.lollipopphotography.com Rhiannon Trask

    Dude. Seriously good post! I can’t wait to see what you have on the horizon!

    • http://timmilesandco.com/about Tim

      Thanks so much. I can’t wait either …