How to Avoid Letting Yourself be Blinded by Complacency and Hope

16 March 2009 710 views No Comment

The times when things seem most at ease are often the times when the most harm is being done.

Slow Times on the Front Porch

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image credit: Linda N.

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We often let the illusion of security and success; blind us from what we normally understand as common sense and fundamental soundness.

In our businesses there will be times when we get complacent

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. This complacency is a disease, which grows the longer we let ourselves remain stuck in the illusion.

Letting things stay the same without doing what actually makes sense

Right now I had a revelation. For months I’ve sat in my recliner writing blog posts and working. I usually have the TV remote sitting right next to me on the corner of the end table. Almost daily, I reach for the arm on the side of the chair to recline. Almost daily, I knock the remote over on the floor.

This has been going on for months.

Now, common sense would say, ‘move the chair away from the end table’. This is rational thought. So why did it take me months to move the chair?

I didn’t move the chair (or the end table) because I had accepted the current reality as eternal truth.

I got complacent.

Don’t be satisfied with the status quo if it doesn’t make any sense. If you recognize problems and things that don’t make sense, fix them and look for fundamental soundness in all areas of your hunting business.

Don’t ignore things your customers are asking for (new value-adding benefits or for the removal of non-value-adding benefits

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).

Too often we get complacent in our business lives. We ignore the crazy irrational decisions we’re making.

Are there any simple things you can think of that your business where common sense is needed?

It’s ok if it’s something so simple even makes you laugh out loud. I know I laughed when I finally realized how easily my problem with the TV remote could be fixed.

Take a new look at your business situation and make the necessary changes to get back to fundamental soundness.

New demand comes to town

Imagine, for example, a local hunting supply store is going about its normal business. You operate in a town and community of about 5,000 people. The community is surrounded by beautiful hunting woods where there are plenty of deer, bear, turkey and various small game animals. The hunting industry in the small community is large enough to support the small hunting store owner’s

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comfortable lifestyle.

Now, imagine one day a large firm with 100 new workers moves in right before hunting season in the fall. The firm is in charge of laying new roads all over the community for the next 3 months of the fall. There isn’t much to do in the town during the fall except hunt. The 100 temporary workers need something to do. They all enjoy hunting so they go to the local hunting store and stock up on supplies.

Business is booming for the hunting supply store.

This is where the hunting store owner gets complacent with his recent success. He has three of the best months at his store. He uses his savings and new profits to purchase more of the supplies he’s selling this season.

Normally, in years past he has always used his savings built up each fall to make plans to purchase next year’s anticipated big sellers. He has always worked hard to provide his current customer base with new products each season. He always provides the staple supplies, but to keep his current customer base happy he works to build savings and invest time to create new demand from his loyal base.

However, with his new (but temporary) increase in customer base with the new road workers he got complacent and avoided making his normal work to provide for his loyal base. He thought the temporary boom in the amount of customers would last forever.

He let his complacency blind him instead of paying attention to his common sense and views for fundamental soundness.

Snake oil salesman

Confidence (or con) men and women will sometimes convince us to have confidence, trust and hope in what they tell us.

Sometimes things might be going through a rough stretch. We all (especially as entrepreneurs) love to look for hope and trust in those who promise us that our dreams will come true.

It’s usually when we’re at our most desperate, our lowest point when the snake oil salesmen are most prevalent.

If you’re business is going through tough times or if you’re starting out looking for ways to gain exposure, remember that real growth and prosperity will come with hard work, capital and value creation.

Summary

In business, there are lots of ways we can get complacent and ignore our common sense and fundamental soundness.

Look for things that simply don’t make sense in your business and personal life. Try to understand the places where the status quo doesn’t suit common sense and change it.

Look at ways to understand the fundamental soundness of your business. Don’t get caught up in booms that are temporary. Recognize the booms, utilize their advantages, but prepare yourself for the ultimate bust.

Avoid the snake oil salesmen who always show up when you’re near your most desperate. They’re never selling anything but hopes and dreams. Don’t let their rhetoric fog your judgment of what actually makes common sense.

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