Consultants, myself included, tend to ask potential clients “What’s not going well? Where are you feeling the pain?” We do this to help the potential client see their need for our services because we understand that a person is more likely to spend money to fix something that is broken and causing pain.
Today, I challenge you to answer a different question.
“What is working well?”
In your business and in your life, what is working well for you?
- Where do things run so smoothly that you are able to run on autopilot?
- Where are you achieving a great deal of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment?
- Where do you feel competent and on top of the world?
Take a moment now and list them out. Write them down on a piece of paper so you can see what is working well. How long is your list? Can you add a couple more? Don’t forget to check out your personal life as well as your business.
Now take a moment and be grateful for all those things that you have accomplished and that have been running smoothly. For just this moment, shine the light on your list and be appreciative. Instead of taking these items for granted, be thankful for all the good in your life. As Tal Ben-Shahar (author of Being Happy) says “appreciate the good, it appreciates.”
Did you know that you have also created a valuable business tool? A tool that will provide you with a strategic advantage in the market place? To use your list strategically, analyze your list and see what your successes have in common.
- What skills, knowledge or abilities do they require?
- Do they suggest a niche – either in the marketplace or in your customer base?
- Is there a specialization or other uniqueness that you can leverage?
Again, write down your answers. This time you have created a list of your strengths.
To strategically prepare for the upcoming year, answer the following questions:
- How can you expand on your strengths?
- Where are your strengths aligned with outside opportunities?
- Can your strengths help you compensate for any of your weaknesses or outside threats?
The answers to these questions form the basis for both your potential business excellence and a focused strategic plan.
Somewhere along the line it will be useful to also analyze the opposite side and apply the same questions to your challenges. For today, let’s stay positive and appreciate the good so it can appreciate.