The biggest problem is... we are on the chess board. We are involved in our day to day business up to our eyes and then some. Although it is brilliant that we understand our businesses inside out it comes back to haunt us where innovation is concerned. The bottom line is we're thinking the way a person running our business would think... inside the box... controlled by what 'we know' which is a small subset of 'what could be' and... limited by one brain. We are also more than likely hampered by our lack of technical IT knowledge and what could be done more effectively for less... and we're so busy with our business we don't have time to build our network of trusted contacts...
So.... what is the solution?
Actually we need to innovate our networking too. Like you, I no longer want to follow the same script, hear the same elevator pitches and listen to people discreetly (or not as the case may be) 'selling' to me what they do. What I want as a business owner is to be mixing with people who are
- Thinking about different ways of doing things, thinking outside the box, finding alternative ways of achieving things
- Coming up with ideas for themselves, for others, and for the community as a whole
- Willing to share information and knowledge and signpost me to places which might be useful to me
- Supportive and through deeper relationships looking out for opportunities to help each other
- Able to admit that it's tough for all of us, be a bit vulnerable and recognise that if we all work as a team we can all come through this better
- People who are suggesting things not because they stand to benefit or gain from it, but because they genuinely want to see things improving for you
Innovate and Create
Imagine if we began to forget being fearful about competition and started collaborating with each other. Let's face it... could it actually get worse? ... if it did you would pack it in anyway, a thought that has probably crossed everyone's mind who is reading this.
What if you weren't alone in your business? ... what if you knew that you had a trusted set of allies ready and willing to come to your rescue if and when you needed it... and... who you would do the same for if asked?
What if you woke up tomorrow knowing that you were part of a thousand strong local business community all working hard to improve the local economy and encouraging our families, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, colleagues to use other local business owners? ... wouldn't the world look different?
What's stopping us? ... absolutely nothing...
We just need to innovate it and create it, simple.