Stuart R. Crawford (Calgary, AB - Business Development Manager of IT Matters)
How many times have you heard this at a seminar or trade show? You must be present to win. Has this ever happened to you? You bow out of a seminar earlier because you have an emergency at the office only to find out the next day from your peers that your name was drawn for some great prize and you weren’t there to claim it. How do you feel knowing that you were chosen for this great prize only not to be there to collect?
Unfortunately, this occurrence happens too many of us in our business and personal lives as well, we are simply not “present to win” and wonder the next day, what did I miss? Even worse, you wake up several years later and start questioning why your business or your life has been a struggle.
When I am talking about being present in your business, I am not speaking about being there physically; anyone can sit in a chair and looked engaged. Do this simple exercise, just look around your office and see how many people are buzzing around on cell phones and pieces of paper in their hands.
Many great entrepreneurs run their businesses effectively only stepping in the office every once in a while to make sure that they keep a finger on the pulse. What is the difference, well technically enhancements have definitely allowed this to happen easier, however it was occurring long before the invention of the Smartphone.
Being present is simply being in tune with the needs of the market, your client base, changing trends in the way business is done and simply being present to what is going on around you. IT Professionals need to have an ear to the ground and an eye in the sky at all times to fully be present.
When we are present in our business, we instantly have the competitive advantage over those who are asleep at the switch. This is especially true in the technology industry where change is a daily occurrence. The professional who is in the loop and fully aware will win in the end over those who are not present and resist to change old behaviours. How can this be accomplished easily? Here are some basic ways to take the first step to being present to win:
Industry news – tune into what is going on in the industry, subscribe to the newsletters and magazines that the winners subscribe to. If you are not sure what they are, source out someone in the industry that you look up to and ask them. The art of asking can save you an enormous amount of time spinning your wheels.
Blogs – Follow blogs of those who are in the know, my personal blog talks daily on challenges in the IT industry and you can find this at http://www.stuartcrawford.com, or tune into Arlin Sorensen’s blog at http://peerpower.blogspot.com, from these two blogs you can get to other industry blogs on managed services, technical resources and other more in depth topics.
Books – Find out what the leaders in the industry read, you may be shocked here, many of us read business books and more in depth subjects. We study other successful people who have shown up to win in their business. Successful leaders in our industry are continuous learners.
Industry Events – Cut the cord from the office and get out to industry events. This is a must for anyone wanting to get to the next level in their business. This is where you will find the executives of many vendors and partners; they are present at these events, because they know what it takes to win. At the industry events, the leaders show up looking for new ways to grow their own businesses through more learning and networking.
The next critical component to be being present is taking action. The major thing that separates those who win in the IT industry over the ones that struggle is action and execution. Winners take action almost immediately while those in the struggle category think about reasons why they should not do something, again they wake up several years later wondering what happened to their business.
Stuart Crawford provides mentoring services to Microsoft Small Business Specialists across the world. Stuart engages with Microsoft Small Business partners to ensure that their business has the tools required to succeed in the marketplace. His third book on Goal Setting is now released at http://www.goalsettingforitprofessionals.com. Join his free monthly IT Professional conference calls at http://www.freeitmarketingseminar.com.
I really enjoyed this post -- it's valid advice for life, not just for business! Be present in your relationships, in your home, with your children; be present to new ideas and opportunities; be present to the different and the unfamiliar.
If you are present to your own life unfolding around you, you may not live a life devoid of problems, but you will have no cause for regret.
That is so true, Kaila!