Last week, friend and colleague John Jantsch wrote “What’s money got to do with it?”. In his article, he examined how deep-seated attitudes about money can hold us back. As he pointed out, “Many a wonderfully creative, self-promoting, innovative, passionate and seemingly successful entrepreneur has stumbled mightily when it comes to … making money ….”
I’d like to take a page out of John’s book and look at how a law of nature can shape our attitudes toward technology and get in the way of growing our businesses and becoming wildly profitable — the way we know we were meant to be.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “yeah, but I love technology. I get a thrill every time I get a shiny new laptop or the latest Blackberry model in a sleek color or some other exciting new gadget.”
And that’s great. But some technology lacks the instant gratification of an enticing new gadget.
Instead, we are more likely to be afflicted by a principle identified by Sir Issac Newton centuries ago — the law of inertia:
“A body in motion tends to remain in motion, a body at rest tends to remain at rest.”
Inertia is a force that can hold us back in all kinds of things and especially when it comes to technology — if we let it. If you’ve ever had thoughts like the following, chances are the law of inertia is affecting your decision making:
- We feel like slaves to email, but we just “accept” the status quo and don’t bother to investigate whether there are time saving solutions.
- We plan to get to growth initiatives, but we never seem to reach the point of automating the repetitive daily work that keeps our staff from tackling those new initiatives.
- We don’t take steps to protect our business data with backups and disaster recovery plans, because it requires a couple of extra steps.
Attitudes and behaviors like these can prevent us from growing our businesses; from becoming more profitable; and from protecting our businesses from harm.
Implementing new technology usually requires us to step a bit out of our comfort zones. It requires us to do extra things — usually not much, but it feels like something extra.
So it becomes easier to just muddle along with the status quo. Making no decision and taking no action involves less effort, than taking steps to learn about technology ourselves or to put together project teams to implement productivity solutions, or to do something that deep down inside, you really know you should be doing (like disaster recovery planning).
So, I say, confront those attitudes. Recognize that Mother Nature’s force of inertia is at work and you will need to expend a little extra energy to overcome it. Make it a goal to pursue those growth initiatives you’ve been dreaming of. Figure out how to free up your own time and your staff’s time. Commit to yourself that you will improve productivity through technology by 10% or 15% or even 25%.
Plan and be smart about it, of course — but don’t over-think. Too much thinking leads to doubt and doubt delays action.
One thing I know: if you don’t boldly take a step or two, things are not likely to change. Your dreams may never be met. Don’t allow your business to just “happen.” Run your business purposefully. Seize the day!