To make a long story shorter…

If you find yourself saying “to make a long story shorter” it’s probably too late.

Rather then apologizing for the story being so long, just make it shorter from the very beginning.

If you can’t make it shorter, don’t lengthen it by apologizing.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Problems

When all of a sudden no one brings any problems to your attention it would be easy to think everything is going smoothly.

Sadly, the reality is when no one brings problems to your attention it usually means people don’t think you can solve the problems anymore.

We will never live in a world without problems, if you don’t see any problems, that is the FIRST problem.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Which direction are you racing?

If you try to race someone faster then you in the same direction that they are going you will almost always lose.

If you want to provide online storage for documents, files, pictures etc you can get caught up in a race to zero. You will be competing with companies with billions of dollars they can afford to lose in order to gain market share. Each are offering more storage for less money then the last one. If you try to race these companies, you better have a huge budget and a willingness to lose a LOT of money in order to possibly make a profit some day.

The alternative is to race in the other direction. Instead of offering more space for less money, you could offer more secure space, or more reliable space or more remarkable space for more money.

While others are going one direction, look to see if you can go the other direction and instead of being in a race to zero, race to profits!

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Messy Middle

I saw the term messy middle yesterday and thought it was incredibly relevant to what happens every day in business.

A new manufacturing plant is announced for an area and everyone gets excited about the possibility. Ten months later the manufacturing plant opens and again there is a lot of excitement.

The messy middle is the day after the announcement of the plant to the day it opens. The media isn’t there, the well wishers aren’t there and the excitement is gone. This is the messy middle when all of the hard work takes place.

Lot’s of people want to be involved in the initial announcement and then in the ribbon cutting but are no where to be found during the hard part. They aren’t there with the hard hats on moving dirt, putting in the infrastructure, writing the checks or putting in the sweat.

Because of the silent part of the messy middle, people don’t know what to expect and it’s not unusual for people to get discouraged and quit during this time period.

The willingness to roll up the sleeves, get dirty, be tired, get discouraged and keep going is frequently what separates the successes from the wannabes.

The messy middle is hard but if you don’t go through it, you never get to the good stuff.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Bobbleheads

Attending a meeting with a bunch of bobbleheads can be quite frustrating.

If you don’t know what a bobblehead is, it’s one of those dolls whose head shakes so you can set it to always agree with you.

Having human bobbleheads accomplishes nothing (a human bobblehead is a person who always agrees with someone, they might make the person feel more important then they really are but in reality, the agreement without thought is quite useless).

If you are surrounded with a bunch of bobbleheads, get out now. Find people who want to make a difference. Find people who are willing to disagree. Find people with an opinion and a thought and if the opinion is different then your own, so much the better.

Don’t be a bobblehead and don’t surround yourself with bobbleheads. Being around free thinkers is how to make the world a better place.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Lots of things I can’t do

There are lots of things I can’t do. I can’t get taller, smarter, faster or much quicker. I can’t get more coordinated, more artistic or get creative. I can’t become a talented musician, a great chef or a sculpture.

One thing I can do is work harder and smarter.

By working harder and smarter I can offset many of the things I can’t do.

Focus on what you can do and take advantage of them when possible.

Have a great day!

Lawremce

Innovation

What is Innovation?

There are innovation centers at a number of universities. There are innovation incubators. There are innovation seminars.

The question is, what is innovation? It seems that a lot of these innovation centers are not terribly innovative. They encourage the same things that people have been doing for years. They might try to improve upon someones performance but helping someone write a better business plan isn’t terribly innovative, it’s just improving upon a current plan or process.

Innovation is trying something new or different. If something isn’t working, is there a better way to do it? Is there a completely new approach to improve a system?

Innovation isn’t complaining about the current system. Innovation is changing the system to make it better.

Innovation isn’t making a marginal improvement to a presentation. Innovation is changing the way presentations are done.

Innovation isn’t doing things the same way they have always been done, with some minor modification. Doing things the same way as has been done before, especially if it’s not working, isn’t innovative, it’s more like the definition of insanity.

It’s easy to talk about innovation, it’s about time someone does something innovative.

Have a great, and innovative, day!

Lawrence

Exporting knowledge

Some people export products. They manufacture goods, sell them out of the area and bring revenue into their local economy.

Another way to do this is to export knowledge. You can help others with your knowledge and experience. You can consult,you can train, you can mentor.

Exporting knowledge can sometimes be the best solution for all concerned.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Expectations

People tend to live up to, or down to, the expectations set for them.

If we continue to lower the expectations we can’t expect the results to get better.

Raise the expectations, raise the bar and you will be surprised at what people can accomplish.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

The crowd

Following the crowd will take you where everyone else is going.

Following the crowd allows you to be part of something bigger.

Following the crowd means you will never be considered an outsider.

The problem is, what if the crowd is going the wrong way?

What if the leader of the crowd is lost or even worse is trying to take everyone the wrong place?

Why not lead yourself and over time have the crowd follow you?

Have a great day!

Lawrence