INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
A powerful way to dramatically grow your business is to ask yourself, “What business do I really compete in?” How might you reframe, expand, and reimagine the category in which it lies to create a bigger pond to fish in, stocked with exponentially more opportunity? For example, Tide detergent decided years ago they’re not in the laundry detergent business; they’re in the clothing-care business. Much more opportunity to grow sales that way. Special K decided they’re not in the cereal business; they’re in the healthy-lifestyle business. A vastly bigger business to compete and carve out ownership in. You can redefine the business in which you compete by thinking more broadly of who you can serve in what ways, reinventing an end user benefit, or by imagining doing something that your competitors would be afraid you were doing – just to mention a few ways. So, rethink the category you really compete in to rekindle growth.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake often made)
I was dropping off my daughter at college when I happened across an inscription on a walkway in the campus quad. It was a quote by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, and it stopped me in my tracks: “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” So often, especially when we feel unfulfilled, we set out on a journey to discover our true selves. To find our calling. To uncover the mystery of who we actually are or who we’re destined to be. To reveal the identity that will finally unlock our true happiness. It’s a journey that can be filled with exasperation and elusiveness. But, what if, instead of searching for ourselves, we built ourselves? From what we are to what we yearn to be? Brick by brick. Layer by layer. That would require starting from a place of acceptance, that you’re right where you’re supposed to be, with a perfectly solid foundation –as opposed to searching in the wilderness for that one path, assuming that, along the way, the path you’re currently on is incorrect. Every new experience you take on, each new thing you learn, every bit of progress, each setback you suffer through and learn from, it all becomes part of what you’re building. The you that you want to become. It’s an important nuance. Creating yourself puts the effort on step-by-step tangible action. Finding yourself focuses on searching for answers that might never come. So, build it, and it will come. The you that you intend will arise before your eyes.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Criticism doesn’t have to cripple you. Here are the 9 best tips I’ve heard for dealing with criticism.
1. Know that the critics’ intent is to create better art, in the form of a better version of you.
2. You decide who gets to criticize you.
3. Avoiding criticism is costly:
– Avoiding criticism is what makes you weaker, not the criticism itself
– Avoiding criticism means you’re withholding your gifts from the world
– “The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing, be nothing” (Aristotle)
4. On your deathbed, will you ever say, “Whew, I avoided criticism”?
5. Would you rather be judged or ignored?
6. Anything worth doing attracts admiration and criticism.
7. Seek improvement, not approval.
8. You determine the value you’ll assign to words of criticism – you can’t change the words spoken to you, but you can assign the meaning you give them. You can rise above any words.
9. Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.