By Mark Lupo, CBCP
The scene unfolds in a large conference room set in the 1990’s. The Internet is brand new and an emerging wild frontier. Executives surround the impressive conference table in the center of the room, their attention focused on the large projection screen at the front of the room. On the screen is a counter (similar to one of those older gas pumps), set to zero. Here, though, the counter reveals the number of clicks the company will experience as their new website is launched. Anticipation is thick in the room as everyone eagerly anticipates the launch of their new e-commerce site, finally allowing their company to enter into the online fray of web based sales. At the appointed time the Chairman of the Board presses a large, prominent button at the front of the room activating the e-commerce site. You can feel the excitement in the air as the first clique shows up. Each executive lets an audible sigh of relief escape and everyone begins high-fiving and excitedly celebrating the success of their new site. As they continue to watch the second click hits and then the 3rd and the 4 and the pace of the sales increases. Within just a few minutes the movement of the counter looks like one is pumping gas at full tilt as the number of sales increases to a point where it appears as a continual flood of orders. Looking around the room the faces of the executives move from excitement and jubilation to downcast and somewhat fearful. They now realize that even though they have successfully launched their website and that they are now transacting sales, there is absolutely no way that the company will be able to keep up with the volume of sales now being placed.
BE… DO… HAVE… This is a concept I was introduced to some years back. It has to do with the fact that many of us think of what we would like to have in this life or what we would like to attain from the businesses we develop (the HAVE). These things that we wish to have from our efforts seem fairly easy to visualize and picture in our minds. They can be either personal or professional, possibly within our career, within our small business, within our personal lives. Based on prior experience we kind of know what we need to do, or we think we know what we need to do, in order to have those things (the DO). So, we set out on this journey of doing the things that will allow us to have the things we want in life, or what we want our business to develop into and bring into our life.
By doing the ‘right’ things we believe we can successfully attain the things that we have so eagerly anticipated. Very possibly we can in the short term. Potentially, though, the volume of the DOING, or the expanse of the HAVING, exceeds the foundational structure (time, energy, personnel, cash) that we have built and we (or our business) are not able to keep up. This foundation can be our own self-image, possibly our ability to handle certain situations, or as we saw in the example of the executives, we can exceed the infrastructure of our business and what is in place to fulfill the customer expectations.
This brings us to the importance of becoming (the BE). In order for us to HAVE the things in life we want, it is clear we must DO certain things to attain them. The one aspect that I have learned through my own experience and through my career of working with many businesses, is that in order to do the things necessary to grow our business successfully over a long period of time and with increasing complexity, we must become a different person and build a different business. We must focus on becoming the person (and subsequently the business) that can handle greater and greater challenges consistently, across a larger scale and with increasing complex systems and decisions.
This process of becoming takes time and requires persistent, consistent action and a determined effort for working not only in doing certain things, but also working on our selves; not just working “in” the business but also “on” the business. On a personal level, we must consciously focus our efforts on becoming the person that can do the things necessary in order to have what we want in life. I come back to the quote by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, who some years back said, “We will be the same person, in five years, that we are today except for two things: 1. The books we read and, 2. The people we’re around. By changing those two things, we affect who we will be in five years. By controlling who we are becoming, we also begin modifying what we can do and thus what we can have in life. So, remember, the next time you wish to have something new personally, or desire your business to grow to the next level, consider who you need to BE, what your business needs to become, in order to do the things necessary to have what you aspire to have. It is in the being, not simply the doing, that we ultimately achieve what we want in life. Until next time…