An Eye on the Present with a Glance to the Future

Some have said that 2020 is the “year of perfect vision” because when your vision is 20/20 you can see clearly. What are we seeing during this challenging year? We are seeing many things that make us distressed, hurt, anxious and upset. We fear for our health, our finances, our families, our neighborhoods. As faculty and administrators we are deeply concerned for our students. Our focus is on what is not happening (pandemic closures and restrictions) as well as what IS happening (civil unrest, injustice, racism). It makes for a confusing picture. We look toward our leaders to guide us through these difficult times. Some of those leaders are forthright and inspiring. Some seem to be more in disarray than we are. Everything is disrupted. In a recent conference keynote I spoke about how to cope with disruption. One of the things I mentioned was that during a storm at sea, ships lower a sea anchor that drags in the water to help keep the ship steady. What anchors can you use to stay steady in such volatile circumstances? A trusted advisor, a wise loyal friend, a role model, or mentor can help you find calm in the storm. Good…

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Is it a Job or a Business?

I have encountered clients who desperately want to grow their businesses, but are already feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do to keep their current operations running smoothly. In most of these situations, we discover that they don’t really have a business, they have a job that they’ve created for themselves. They’ve actually created a self-employment situation. They may have employees, a range of products, repeat customers, and an infrastructure, but they have no freedom. You have a job if you absolutely have to be there (or reachable by phone) for the business to continue running. It’s a business if you can be away from it for months and have it still continue to thrive. Many services businesses are really jobs. A client who is a graphic designer had a storefront, employees, an organization chart, equipment, and all the accoutrements of a business. Yet she did all the graphic design work herself, and met with all of the clients. Her business could not grow until she recognized that she could only work so many hours a day. She had to let go of the idea that she had to do everything herself. While much of the…

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