Stay In Your Lane

By 0 Permalink 0

Earlier this year, the winner of Celebrity Apprentice was Leeza Gibbons, a correspondent and co-host of Entertainment Tonight and later the host of her own talk show. During the competition, there was a great deal of drama between the ladies in the running. When asked how she managed to stay out of the drama, Gibbons answered:

Leeza Gibbons Stay in Your LaneMy mother’s inspiration was enormously important to my win. I promised her when she got Alzheimer’s disease that I would “tell her story and make it count.” How incredible that she got this amazing prime-time platform for awareness! And I played the game with her advice in my ear. She always said, “Stay in your lane. Run your race,” so I kept remembering just to ignore all the drama around me and focus on what I needed to do to help our team win the task. It proved to be a pretty good winning strategy for “Celebrity Apprentice,” and it’s been pretty good at my career, too!

Simply put, Leeza is a class act, and I have thought many times since then about those words of wisdom handed down from her mother. The words “Stay in your lane. Run your race,” resonate with me as I concentrate on staying focused in my business.

Someone recently asked me, “Wendy, who are your competitors?” I was honestly taken aback by that. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about “the competition”. In business, it’s critical that you stay focused on what you’re doing and ignore the competition. (Yes, it’s important to know the market because you have to stay open to new ideas, but you don’t need to worry about what other people are doing.)

Differentiate

Find your voice and create the magic for your customers. It’s what sets you apart and makes you special. If you are creating the same product as your competition, your only differentiation is price. You have no choice but to compete on price. Stay in your lane.

Negative Thinking

Constantly worrying about your competition, will put a negative spin on everything you do, leading you into victim thinking. That is the kind of thinking that says, “I’m limited because of what I can do.” Instead, turn your thinking around by being positive and staying in your lane. Focus on your customer and listen to their needs. Stay in your lane.

Focus

When you’re driving, you naturally head in the direction of your focus. If you are constantly turning to look at the car in the other lane, you will wind up veering in that direction. Business is the same way. A constant focus on what others are doing will cause you to lose your focus. There’s a lot of noise out there and it’s easy to lose your focus, but focus straight ahead. Stay in your lane.

Abundance Thinking

A mentality of abundance says, “There’s plenty of business to go around.” Embracing this mentality allows you to focus on your clients without worrying about what others are doing. Bring value to your clients. Stay in your lane.

Really Moving the Needle on Profitability

By 0 Permalink 0

In my last blog post, I said that in order to really move the needle on profitability, you must focus on two key areas of your business:

  • Products (the items or services you sell)
  • People (the staff you employ and the people you serve)

Today, I want to hone in on People. It’s been said:

It’s not about what you know but who you know.

That old adage rings true in many situations, including your business. The people you employ and the clients you serve can drive your business and its profitability up, up, up or drag it down to bankruptcy.

STAFF

I can’t overstate that who you hire to do each job in your company is critical to its success. So, take your time in the hiring process. Learn all you can about each applicant, test their skills and knowledge. But most importantly, figure out if they will be a great fit with the culture of your business and if they have the character traits that match up with your company’s values.

When it comes to how the work is getting done by your staff, look for inefficiencies and seek to eliminate them. (You don’t want work being done twice, after all!) You should be encouraging your team to challenge how things are done and bring solutions for better efficiency. (You might even consider giving bonuses to staff who find better ways to serve your customers.)

Jim Collins, in Good to Great, said:

“…Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances.”

CLIENTS

You have clients who aren’t a good fit; you know you do. When it comes to clients, do an analysis of several indicators to determine if they are the right fit for your company. Look at the “cringe factor” of each client. Do you cringe every time you see their name on the caller ID because you know you’re about to hear bad news? Consider value and loyalty, and whether each client finds value in the services you provide and is loyal to you and your company.

It’s important to realize that the time you spend on the clients who are the wrong fit takes you away from serving the right clients. 20% of your clients will yield 80% of your profits, so it’s really important to filter out the 80% in order to identify the 20%.

If you currently have staff or clients in your business that aren’t the right fit, then it may be time to make some changes to get people in the right seats on the bus. I would love to hear from you about what changes you have made in the People of your business.