Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity.  Are you insane?  Is your business enabling you to live out your passions?  Or is it draining the life out of you?

I really believe in taking small steps.  Making small changes daily to improve your business and your life.  Sometimes these changes are outside of your comfort zone.  I know some of the things we have talked about over the last couple weeks have taking you outside your comfort zone.  To continue doing the same thing over and over again is just insanity.  Sometimes we need a kick in the pants and to take a giant leap into the unknown.  Have you ever done that?  Take a giant leap of faith?  Stephen Covey says that to make incremental changes in our business, focus on behaviors.  If you want to make life changes; course altering changes, focus on paradigms. 

Do you know what a paradigm is?

Let me tell you another story to illustrate what a paradigm shift really looks like. Author Stephen Covey has a wonderful book called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. He tells a great story that really gets you on a gut level of what a paradigm shift is. Covey tells this story of a battleship coming back from maneuvers….

It was a dark and stormy night and it was rough going.   The captain of the battleship stayed up on the bridge.   To give you a sense of the size of a battleship: if were to take a fourty story building and lay it on its side that’s a battleship. It’s tremendously complex, huge, with thousands of people running all over it.  This is what this captain is in charge of.  

HMS Ark Royal (Night)

All of a sudden, the signal man says to the captain: “Captain, there’s a light off the starboard bow.” The captain has only one question that’s important, “Is she steady or moving astern?”  Moving astern is not a problem, two ships passing in the night. Steady is a whole lot worse than that. It means they are on a collision course.

The signal man says: “Captain, it’s steady.”   Captain says, “Signal this: We are on a collision course. I suggest you change course twenty degrees.” The signal comes back, “Suggest YOU change course twenty degrees.”

Well, you just don’t talk like that to captains of battleships.

The captain barks back, “Send this: I am a captain. Change course twenty degrees!” The signal returns: “I am a sea man second class. YOU change course twenty degrees!”   It’s getting warm up on the bridge all of a sudden.

“Signal this,” shouts the captain, “I am a battleship. Change course twenty degrees.” Signal comes back, “I am a lighthouse.”

That is a paradigm shift. 

Do you need to make a shift in your business?  

StopAre there signals you are missing that are warnings or calls toward opportunities?   On the surface social media tools are just tools.   They should be implemented to achieve a specific goal.  But on a micro level, social media is about engaging in conversations; creating compelling word of mouth marketing.  We all word of mouth is powerful.  But are you investing in it?

I recently did a presentation with a networking group.  I started the conversation by asking, “What is working for you in marketing right now?”  After they told me all of the things that were not working, they all shared one common thing that was working for them – word of mouth.  People come to our store, or purchase our services, because of a recommendation from someone else. 

Social media is about harnessing the power of word of mouth.  When people talk about you, it is no longer about your marketing.  In the end, the message you try to put out there will not succeed.  The only message that matters is what your customers, potential customers, and others say about you.  That is the paradigm shift.

Lets make a shift today

ONE ACTION ITEM:  Take a few minutes to re-connect with someone this week.  A business partner, client, or another business owner that you respect.  Take them out for coffeeor for lunch at your favorite cafe.  Ask them what is working for them in thier marketing and if they are using any social media tools.  You might be surprised what you hear.

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