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Leave your assumptions at the door - See what happens

February 2, 2011

business consulting servicesThis section below in red was part of a post recently posted atChris Brogan’s Escape Velocity Blog by Rick Dixon


An Entrepreneur’s Hopeful Assumptions:
  1. I believe in my ability to influence positive outcomes in any situation. Even when I can’t control events, I can take actions that increase the probability of a positive result.
  2. I view events in a larger, and generally more positive, context. A big slide in the stock market is an opportunity to buy at bargain prices.
  3. Positive events impact my overall life in a positive way. Negative events are limited to a single aspect of life. Spilling my orange juice is an isolated occurrence; a great, interactive Q&A session makes the whole day brighter.
  4. Positive events are the beginning of a beneficial trend. Negative events are isolated and less likely to become patterns. A jump in web site traffic means things are looking up, while un-subscribers indicate folks who really didn’t fit my circle anyway.
  5. Others have innate value and can contribute in positive ways. I welcome comments and input from everyone.
  6. I look more at long-term consequences and outcomes than short-term results. Doing the right thing in the right way may not lead to success today, but over the long haul it’ll get me closer to my destination.
  7. I judge behaviors, not people.
  8. I am responsible for, and capable of, analyzing and developing my own character and capability. I’m too busy improving myself to waste time being a critic.
  9. I learn from the past, anticipate the future, and live in the present.
  10. I can laugh at myself. I take serious things seriously and myself not so seriously.

When I started my company a year and a half ago, I don’t think I really identified with many of these assumptions.  #’s 5 & 6 were probably my strongest association.  But now, 20 month later, I see my daily self-talk in all 10 points.

I think for any small business person, the ability to step back, look at the bigger picture, and see what has changed for themselves and for their customers is a critical part of your ability to be successful.  We have to recognize that business and life is a journey, and not a stateless, motionless place (at least not for very long)

Reading the above list of 10 hopeful assumptions really stopped me today.  It made me realize the shift I had been through.  It also made me realize that I need to drop my assumptions that I walk into many conversations with.

That’s my simple challenge to you today.  When was the last time you checked your assumptions at the door?  By that I mean, what the last time you entered into a conversation with yourself, a client or prospective customer with absolutely no preconceived opinions or ideas about what you should do or could do or hope of what would happen?

Try that tomorrow or the next time you talk with a customer, prospect, one of your employees (or even your kids).  Go in with no assumptions. No preconceived notions.  See what happens when you really listen before you judge, decide or think.

….Oh, and the 11th assumption I would add:  I always assume that I can re-invent my business, my processes and my approach a better way each time.  Change is just another type of motion that will keep me moving forward.

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Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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