Archive for November, 2009

The Right Tools for The Job

Posted by Andrew Baird on November 18, 2009
Business, Family, General / No Comments

So I was making our breakfast shake this morning – our usual breakfast unless I’m making pikelets – and I noticed that a rubber foot had come off the blender.  No worries I think, I’ll just pop it back in the slot.

Hmmmm, wait on…this doesn’t seem right.

In my hurry to get it back in I had stuck it in the wrong hole – okay no worries I can just grab that out like…

No, it seems I can’t.  It’s stuck.

After drinking the shake I came back and had another go with chopsticks – no dice.  Ahh ha, pocket knife I’m thinking and I get it out and whip out the tweezers.  I’m certain I’m going to get it out now.  Much poking and grabbing and holding the blender over my head and…

Hmmm I seem to have wedged it further in.

At this point I seriously consider giving up, it’s stuck in the narrowing pipe (why would that be on the bottom of the blender anyway???) but I go back to the pocket knife and think “Can I use this some other way?”  Well there’s a toothpick but – wait a minute what about the corkscrew.  Put it in gently and out it pops.

First time, no effort at all – the exact right tool for the job.

And how often is it like this in life and in Business where we try and solve a problem and NOTHING works.  And we start to go – well this problem just can’t be solved, this job just can’t be done – when actually we’re just not approaching it right – we’re not using The Right Tools for The Job.

And this is a critical distinction for us to make – and very important too – I know a lot of times in my business I’ve started down a path and met with failure and it’s very easy to go “well it can’t be done”.  Rather than asking “How can it be done?” and “Did I approach this in the right way?”  Let’s look at a specific example.

One year we did a promotion for an Event using a new website domain and a series of videos to engage an audience and help them understand what to look for in such an event.  Then we went on to recommend the event once they went through the course.  Now the strategy was not flawed and we also ended up with a new website asset at the end of the promotion.

However it was not the Right Tool for The job – and how did we end up in this situation?  Well I jumped in to the first big idea I had with my Entrepreneurial feet – rather than reflecting on the different tools I could use for promoting the Event.  It doesn’t mean that the promotion was a failure – but it was harder than it needed to be (and most likely we didn’t get as big a result as we could have).

Remember that whilst action is incredibly important to grow your business (and as a general rule better than in-action ;) having a plan and consciously reviewing and refining something before putting it into action is also important.  Often we sit on one side of the spectrum or the other – and it’s important to have a balance.  If you love to plan – make sure you put those plans into action AND if you love to take action make sure you have some kind of plan that you are taking action on.

So next time you find yourself struggling to get something to work ask yourself – am I approaching this in the right way and with the right tools?  Let me know if you’ve come across this in your business and how you handled it.

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