Take the blinders off. There is a better faster way.

by Rick Murray, ASBA Chief Executive Officer

asba_pg1_0514Have you ever arrived at a destination after driving for 30 or so minutes and wonder how you got there? That happens to me more times than I care to admit, and I find myself wondering if I ran any red lights, or cut anyone off on the freeway. For all I know, I could have left a trail of destruction on the freeway, and I would have never had a clue.

During an early morning meeting, I was checking my email as I got up to take a bathroom break. While in the bathroom stall, I hear people come in and occupy the stalls on either side of me. It didn’t take long for me to realize that these weren’t men in the stalls. The absolute horror that coursed through my veins at that moment is indescribable. Trying to be as quiet as possible, and waiting for the occupants to wash their hands…and of course chat…and then finally leave, I peered over the stall to make sure the coast was clear. As I dashed out of the women’s bathroom across the hall into the men’s bathroom, I was scolding myself. How could I be so inattentive! The moral of the story? Sometimes we can get halfway through our business before we realize we’re in a completely different place than we thought we were.

As business owners, we have so many things that consume our attention that we sometimes end up running our businesses in the same mental state as that zombie-like commute to the office or that misguided bathroom break. We tend to run on “auto pilot,” which assumes the situation or conditions are always constant, when most times they are not. While running on auto-pilot can be efficient, a time-saver and sometimes necessary, you still need to focus, pay attention and “grab the steering wheel” to get better control of the road and where you are ultimately going.

If this sounds like you, just know you aren’t alone, and there is a cure. It’s called the ASBA Business Mentoring Program. This unique business-building program incorporates mentoring, education and information. It connects committed business owners, professionals and executives who want help (Mentees) with experienced business owners, specialists and subject-matter experts who want to provide help to support the growth of other businesses (Mentors). Of all the products and services offered by the Arizona Small Business Association, the Business Mentoring Program is perhaps the best resource there is to help any small business to succeed.

Too often we have blinders on…we don’t pay attention. We just follow in a straight line because we think we are heading in the right direction, but it may not always be the right direction for us. Take the blinders off, and see if there are better, faster, quicker and more efficient ways to get to your ultimate destination. Stop and smell the roses! Sometimes we are so focused on the end goal that we forget to enjoy the journey and smell the roses along the way. Let the Arizona Small Business Association help you re-capture that vision and enthusiasm it takes to be successful.

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