Running a business involves a thousand little decisions and individual moments. It’s not just one grand success or failure, but a thousand tiny successes and failures that add up over time.
Ninety-nine point nine percent of these moments and decisions will have just a momentary, mild effect on your overall business success and the shape of your future. Making mistakes with some of these decisions or failing to seize these opportunities will result in valuable lessons that can help you improve the business going forward.
Only a small number of moments will define your company and its future. Failing to seize those opportunities or making the wrong decision at those junctures can literally mean success or failure for your business, and whether you'll ever be in the position to sell your business when the time is right.
But how can you identify these “defining moments”? How can you effectively prepare for them? And how can you best manage them when they occur?
These defining moments will be different for every business, but they do have some qualities in common, which is how you’ll be able to identify the moments unique to your business. Some examples include:
In the case of most, if not all, defining moments, there’s not likely to be a bright, flashing neon sign warning you well in advance of their arrival. Part of what makes these moments so much more powerful than the thousands of other little decisions and events that occur throughout your career is the fact that they appear suddenly and require near-immediate action if you’re going to take advantage of them.
By their very nature, defining moments are hard to specifically prepare for. But you can follow some basic tips that can ensure you’re as well-prepared as possible for these moments when they suddenly appear:
With a good handle on what your company’s possible defining moments may be and adequate preparation in place to ensure you’re in the best position to take positive action when they occur, you're left with the need to execute at the time and effectively manage the moment.
More than anything else, managing a defining moment has to do with your attitude. If you’re fully committed to the business, confident in the team surrounding you and the quality of the product or service you’re offering, and you know you’ve done the very best job you could to prepare the business for growth and change, then you should be able to manage a major defining moment just as confidently as you manage all those other relatively unimportant decisions and events that occur every day.
Being decisive and determined to following through are the keys to seizing unexpected opportunities and turning disasters into success stories.
Are you identifying, preparing for and properly managing the moments that will define your business?
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