Saturday, May 16, 2009

What, If Anything, Do You Have Control Over?

There are very few things you ACTUALLY have CONTROL over in your life or in your business. In fact the list of things you control is much shorter than the thousands that you don't.

- You don't have control over the economy.
- You don't have control over your customers - current or perspective.
- You don't have control over your employees.
- You don't have control over your suppliers / vendors.
- You don't have control over your competition.

I could go on for ever, but I think you get the point.

However, in spite of your lack of control over external forces, you do have complete control over you, your business, and how you respond to each change in any of the above listed factors. YOU can decide how much you will allow each of the complex forces effect you and your business.

So the only control you have in any situation actually stems from your response to the situation - not the ability to actually change the situation.

For example, you can't control whether a customer is happy with your services - that is their choice. But you can control how you handle it - how you treat that customer - how you go about deciding if you want to change your promise to the market so that you don't have that problem again.

And, you may not be able to "fix" or motivate your current employees, but you don't have to keep them either. And you can change the processes in your hiring so as to minimize the likelihood of having unmotivated employees.

As you start examining at your current situation, stop blaming your circumstances for your position, your sales, or your market share. Instead, accept that your status is what it is because of how you choose to respond to the circumstances in the past.

Rather than blaming, or lamenting your current market position, it's time to figure out how your decisions (or lack of decisions) have contributed to current situation. Ask yourself the following questions:

- What have I done or not done, given the changing economy?
- How have I changed my business to demonstrate to my customers how important they are?
- When was the last time I talked to my customers and asked them what they need from my business?
- Rather than blaming my employees for all my problems, how can I change my management style to produce the results I want?
- What is my competition doing that I'm not doing? What could I do or say differently that would give me a competitive advantage over my competition?

It is through the process of asking these questions that we find the answers to our business problems. It is through the process of querying your methods and motives that you will remove the illusion of control over your business and take control of the only element you do have control over - your response.

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