We all strive to be successful in our work, but how do we measure success or levels of success achieved? In your personal life, it really can be measured in a variety of ways, but in business, the measurements usually start with a $ sign.
But, let’s forget about money for now and head back to our childhood. When we were young, we repeatedly heard that if worked hard and put in a full day’s work, we’d succeed. Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, knuckle down and all of that. We even quite possibly heard “fake it until you make it” (a bad idea, depending upon how you take this, but more on this later). But, just working harder isn’t necessarily the best path, true? And so, we also heard, “work smarter, not harder”, and “think before you act”. In the business world, this truly means “be strategic”, so let’s explore that a little. (Side note: In our world, we need to work both smarter AND harder – that’s our reality, right?)
Everyone is good at something. Conversely, it’s impossible for one person to be good at everything (not to mention inefficient — imagine the line outside that person’s office!). Each one of us has a specialty or focus. We all have a place in this life that really allows us to shine, whether it is accounting, sales, graphic design, or something really cool like fly-fishing. We are all good at something and when we combine this with a sound strategy, well, that’s we move mountains.
So, how do we get strategic when it comes to doing business? How do we work smarter, not harder? A good first step is to recognize and celebrate our talents and recognize and celebrate the talent of others – both individually and in larger groups. To be strategic in business, when it comes to working smarter, is to recognize not only when you are really good at something, but to also simply recognize when you are not. And the faster this recognition comes about, the faster you’ll do something about it and then succeed. So, the real strategy comes in when you recognize the ability gaps and then fill them it, not struggle along, let alone faking it until you make it. The faster you make “Fake it until you make it” a thing of your past, the better off you’ll be. You aren’t fooling anybody, at least not for very long.
To work more efficiently (think about those $ signs again), your strategy is to focus on the core of your business and leave the DIY projects to Pinterest. If your business is experiencing growth, don’t spread your own resources thin by working around the clock trying to navigate through foreign territory. Or, for instance, by faking your customer service until, magically, you can somehow afford the level of service your customers were sold and therefore deserve. It is frustrating and often times, is a waste of time, money and resources – plus, in our experience, it costs you more than you save.
Skip all those learning curves and save your internal resources (your ability to work hard on other things, the things you do best). Your best strategy is to leverage and partner with professionals that specialize in something that you don’t do well — People that can step in, pick up and keep you moving in the direction your success is driving you. Outsourcing. This is called outsourcing and it can be a powerful tool in business. Outsourcing specific areas of your business offers you the opportunity to focus what you do best, while specialists focus on what they do best. Whether it is customer service, help desk, or fulfillment…or any other area within which you’re not succeeding…there are great companies available to support each piece of your business – sometimes one outsourcing company that can do all of these (or pick and choose, as your needs demand). Outsourcing, when done right, is a strategic partnership that allows businesses to work smarter AND harder – something successful people do.
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