or… Improve the existing?
You all know the feeling… every day you get new and exciting opportunities to add something new to the mix. Someone comes to you with a new idea. You read an article and your brain neurons are stimulated into cool new directions.
New is exciting. It’s positive change. It carries the seed of bringing something to life which is tremendously fulfilling.
But new has a downside. New means focus is diverted from current. And if current is what keeps you alive, or is the core of your business, new can be dangerous.
Here’s lies the subtle distinction between NEW and IMPROVE.
You can find a better way to do what you currently do. That might feel new but it’s really ‘improve’.
So do can you navigate your way through your days when opportunity comes knocking with every new sales proposal, staff member idea, article with good business tips etc?
Here’s the lesson I was taught…
Improve the existing before starting the new.
If what you are doing can be done better – do that first.
The psychological habit is this… if you always gravitate towards NEW it becomes a habit. You see it in network marketing where individuals have ran with every NEW opportunity that comes their way. But they have no sticking power. They flit from one thing to another without much thought. They get caught up in exciting. New becomes their path.
As an individual habit, new infers lack of discipline, lack of focus, lack of staying power.
Improve on the other hand is its polar opposite. I think of IMPROVE as an athlete. You don’t see a world class athlete get disgruntled every 6 months and change sport because they can’t master it. World class athletes have a mindset of “improve”. They stick at it and do the necessary over and over again until it simply becomes part of what they do and who they are.
Imagine if we approached business more like this…
See your business as a sport. “Yep, this is the game I play” say to yourself and now commit to improving until your are amongst the best at it. Unlike athletic endeavours, business success is not dependant on age, fitness or even health as we often see. Sports has a short life in comparison and there is definitely a peak period. But not in business. Businesses can grow and improve over decades and lifetimes for those who commit.
Begin looking at every system, product, sales method, marketing piece, management and leadership practice, customer service method and ask yourself -“How Can I Improve This?”
The excitement people feel in NEW is short lived. But there is another type of excitement which surpasses NEW. It’s the feeling of “Progress”. As you improve, you see the results. And the excitement of results is like no other. It contains the hard work, the sweat, the frustrations, the breakthroughs – it’s an excitement that carries “worth”.
There is no doubt a point in some businesses where improving is a missed step and things have gone too far, markets have changed too much, the disaster is knocking at your door and your only option is NEW. Like the house that is easier to knock down than renovate. But if things have gone that far, you might find there is a lot more that needs fixing before you begin your next NEW.
Improve the existing before starting the new – sometimes that might even mean YOU!