What do you wish for?

Ever notice how you often get what you wish for?

Life is funny at times!

More so, when you are in sales, or in business for yourself, and have some leadership control over where you choose to invest your time.

There are times when you are so busy you really don't know where one project ends and another starts and you wish for some breathing room. Have you ever caught yourself feeling this?

Amazingly enough, you often get that wish. Why? Often it is due to your being too busy working in the business, to work on the business.

• By working on the business, I mean spending time in strategic planning and development of new service and profit areas.

• By working on the business, I mean working on new sales approaches and techniques to equip yourself to succeed.

• By working on the business, I mean investing time marketing and promoting what you do to current and prospective clients.

• By working on the business, I mean investing time and resources in your own skills development.

• By working on the business, I mean investing time in strategic play and creative indulgence. This will energize both your mind and your body.

When you are working in the business, your focus is on selling, doing the jobs, engagements, projects that you have committed to doing... at times, just keeping up or keeping your head above water. The result of not investing time to work on the business is the gigantic roller coaster of cash flow and client engagement.

If you study North America's top sales professionals or top companies and their leaders you'll find out they take regular time to strategically work on their businesses, to work on developing their sales teams and enhancing their skills, and to tweak what they are doing and to make it better.

Many have regular leadership or sales retreats and bring in someone like me to facilitate discussion and attention on what the 'next level' would be and what steps are required to move in that direction.

One of my client's meets with his top level counterparts in the USA and Mexico 3 times a year to discuss 'best practices' and share ideas and challenges. No wonder, they are the best in Canada at what they do! I will be meeting with them in Chicago (May 2007) to share www.SecretSellingTips.com and how they can help their sales teams.

I love to be busy and am at my best when I am working on a variety of projects. This allows me to more fully utilize my energy and creativity. I can switch from one project to another and often this change is in itself an energizer. I need to frequently remind myself that some of those projects need to be focused on building the business by working on the business.

For example: In May of 2005, we re-designed and launched our Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success e-zine. We are moving into our 3rd year of publication and have been constantly tweaking what we provide each month.

I've been collecting ideas, writing 'Points to Ponder', reviewing books and recruiting fellow North American business experts to share their ideas to keep a rich wealth of material for my readership. I've been learning new ideas, techniques and tips from readers like you, who take time to write me. My strategic plan is to have at least one issue completed several months in advance at all times. That way, should I find myself too busy or away from the office, I can still send it out on time. I can add breaking news as needed, but the majority of the ezine will be locked and loaded. That is working very well, as I now sit down and write in specific blocks of dedicated time.

I am working ahead and eventually will take part of my mini-breaks as creative writing sessions where I can work on issues as far out as 6 months. This, for example, may be a semi-annual 'creative writing break' in the country each summer or on a beach or pool side during the winter months.

Another area where we have taken some pro-active moves in expanding and working on the business is in the creation and expansion of our Ideas At Work! - Group of Companies network of websites.

We have registered a few new websites over the past while. We've been busy creating a series of mini-sites that will serve to promote or focus on specific services and facets of our business. These mini-sites will also act as strategic portals, leading or nudging people to our main sites. With more people searching the web for products and professional services it makes dollars and sense to invest in creating opportunities for current and potential clients to find us and find out what we can do for them. They help us attract and connect with new clients, sell new services, products and programs. For example (2007) we created and launched www.SecretSellingTips.com to equip and serve sales teams across North America. Strategic investment with a great ROI.

We also spent a good part of July and August working with a Search Engine Optimization company in the US and reworking our main site: www.ideaman.net What are you doing to increase your presence on the web to better serve your current and potential clients?

As leading edge owners, entrepreneurs, selling professionals, managers and self-motivated career professionals, we need to work for a sense of fluidity or balance in our lives, careers and companies. We are never really in balance, but we can work to ensure we are not running full tilt, out of control toward a brick wall or cliff in our futures.

Investing time to work on your life, career or business is the best investment of your time and resources. The long-term pay offs will be tremendous in better use of time, increased energy, enhanced career success, increased sales and client acquisition, and increased productivity and profitability.

© 2006 Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey www.ideaman.net


Canadian Ideaman, Bob Hooey is an acknowledged expert who will equip and motivate your leadership and employees to grow and win! Bob is the author of 10 business, leadership and career building books including two on sales. He is a frequent contributor and columnist for North American consumer, corporate, association, on-line trade publications on diverse topics, eg: productivity, creativity and innovation, leadership, teamwork, sales, management, training, motivation, customer service, and m...

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