By Robert Craven, The Directors' Centre

This one question has focused me on what it is that I am trying to say: "What is the message?"
And the answer is: "Stop p***ing around!" I apologise for the language but that’s it in a nutshell.

Point one: It is all your fault

You charge too little for your product because you haven’t got the bottle to charge realistic prices. You put up with slow paying customers because you are frightened of losing them. You tolerate sloppy performance from team members to avoid confrontation. You... you... you... It is all about you. There’s no-one else to blame. I am sorry the only person I am talking about is you.

Point two: Stop procrastinating

Your business is like a rabbit frozen in the headlights, incapable of making a move or a decision, unable to move in one direction or another. Or you will die.

Point three: Speed is of the essence

You need to unfreeze, relax, take stock and weigh up the choices. With great speed you need to take the bold decision: left or right, up or down. Speed is of the essence. The consequences of making no decision are there for all to see. Do you want to be one more piece of roadkill for the statistics book?

Point four: Decide which side of the fence you're going to sit on

The world seems to be dividing into two camps and living in the middle ground is purgatory — similar to choosing the wrong side in the first place. So, are you going to be a) decisive or b) indecisive? Bold or meek? Strong or weak? Grown-up or child-like? Responsible or irresponsible? Bright or stupid? Clever or dumb? Fast or slow?

Point five: Just do it - now

Action has a great power to it. The mere act of taking action opens up possibilities, energy and choice. Without action everything fades into a mediocre dull blob of emptiness.

Point six: Take massive action

Enough or just about enough really is not good enough. Not for anyone. So don’t mess around. If you are going to do something, anything, then do it properly. Or just don’t bother.

Point seven: DIY my foot!

Do you really believe you can create an effective quick fix DIY solution to what you are doing? A word to the wise: try bringing in some experts to help you out. Do that unless you really believe that you are cleverer, smarter, more experienced and wiser than they are. (Buyer beware: not all people who claim to be experts will be cleverer, smarter, more experienced and wiser than you. Make sure that they can also get you and your business to move on up to the next level. It is all about results.)

So, now is the time to grow up and take responsibility for the successes and failures of your business. Stop blaming other people and take on the challenge as an adult.

It is the classic epic hero story: our hero feels OK then realises that things aren’t so good. The hero goes on some journey and has to face his/her demons and comes out the other end a stronger and better human being. Lion King, Aladdin, Star Wars, Goonies, James Bond, Pulp Fiction, The Yes Man, Ace Ventura Pet Detective, Batman, and King Lear.

I am not sure if Shakespeare would approve of King Lear being summarised as "Stop p***ing around!". But I am sure you get my point. Anyhow, now it’s your turn!

Go for it!

Robert Craven shows MDs and owners how to grow their sales and profits and focuses on how to do this in recessionary times. His latest book is “Beating the Credit Crunch — survive and thrive in the current recession” www.directorscentre.com

He is a keynote speaker and the author of business best-seller ‘Kick-Start Your Business’ (foreword by Sir Richard Branson) and runs The Directors’ Centre, helping growing businesses to grow.

For further information, contact Robert Craven on 01225 851044, rc@directorscentre.com

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