Decades ago, I was involved in some emergency response training that—even though I did not pursue a career in the field—sticks with me today. They dropped a group of us off at a road-side ditch where a fake car accident had been staged, complete with actors and dummies representing the victims. The challenge was simple:
“What would you do right here, right now, with what you have to work with?”
What a great question, challenging each of us to improvise… and take action.
We live in an age where there are all kinds of new technologies and tools that are supposed to make our lives easier, our work more productive, and our time more efficient. So it’s easy to want all of those awesome tools! But just as your household budget does not expand with every wish and desire that crosses your mind, your company must invest according to priorities and available resources.
So you can't always have every new computer, tablet, app, or piece of office equipment you’d like. You can’t go to every educational conference you’d like to attend, and you aren’t allowed to donate a bunch of “bonus inventory” to every client who’s asking for a better (no, cheaper) deal.
Here’s how the strongest professionals WON’T respond to those situations (insert whiny voice here):
- “Gosh I could sell more digitally if only the company would buy me ___________.”
- “Gee whiz, I’d be a better sales person if only I could go to the __________ convention.”
- “The reason I can’t push this deal through is that the client wants ________ (freebies).”
The next time that evil little coulda-woulda-shoulda person on your left shoulder starts to make you think of excuses like this (which are often not much more than forms of procrastination), tell them to shut up, and turn your attention to the smart, successful person who’s standing on your right shoulder, who’s asking you:
“What can we do right here, right now, with what we have to work with?”
You’ll beat competitors to the punch before they even have time to show up at the point of sale.
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