Yes I was very lucky being away. It reminded me how getting away from the office is often the best thing you can do to make improvements in your own business and to get inspiration. I attended an interesting business conference (Two12), connected with a lot of great North American business people and set up some potential interesting partnerships for my own businesses and some clients. So what were my main takeaways of being away from my day-to-day business?
- There are so many people outside of NZ. Whilst it is easier said than done, we often set our sights too low as Kiwis. I believe it is usually the right thing to do in becoming a local success first (in NZ) but man, it was amazing being reminded of how big the global marketplace can be if you can crack it. Are you at the top of your game in NZ? If you are, how hard have you tried to be successful overseas? Often it is just connecting with the right people in an overseas market and then who knows what will happen.
- You can learn from so many people. At this conference I was at, I learnt from 20-something years olds with hardly any business experience and I learnt from people advanced in their years with a lot of experience. It reminded me of the power of combining both youthful vigour and enthusiasm with wisdom. To learn new ideas or to have your own ideas and approach challenges differently you need to grow your network. Do you know enough people who can add to your intellectual business capabilities? Do you know enough people who will push you to think beyond where you are at currently?
- Overseas is a massive hive of ideas waiting to be learnt from. My Food Bag was an idea that had been well proven in Sweden. Whilst having a greater population overseas can make some ideas not relevant or economically possible in NZ, you are bound to come across something that will either make your business better or identify something that could be a profitable adjunct to your current business.
- Yes I have said it before (and it was the reason for setting up Nurture Change, our business retreats in Fiji) but when you get out of the office and your day to day normal routine, your mind will work way better than usual. Of course new ideas crop up but even better is the clarity you get on what your priorities should be and what you are doing wrong or not making the most of. I have decided I want to try and get 1 week every 2 months ‘away from the office’ to ensure I can have regular time thinking creatively on my businesses and for my clients. Bring it on – this super excites me! Do you get out of your day-to-day business enough? How could you get away for a week every 2 months to spend time just ‘thinking’ (with a little bit of chilling thrown in for good measure)? What is stopping you and what can you do about this so you could make it a reality? Put such time in the calendar and you will have something to look forward to, knowing you have upcoming valuable “think and focus” time on how you and your business can dominate NZ and then the world!
- And perhaps most importantly, what were the real nuggets I either learnt or got reminded of? I wrote a whole notebook of notes so this is pretty brief and each point could be a whole story! In no particular order…
- Make sure you know what you are really (really) great at and do more of that (and less of the stuff you suck at).
- Think more about how to 10x your business and performance – while growing at 20% or 50% is fine, how could you grow exponentially?
- Know what truly resonates with your customers and do it to an A+ level…
- The world of digital is relevant to pretty much every business today – you need to have the best experts helping you here otherwise you will be leaving a heap of opportunity on the table.
- Do you truly know why your business is successful (or not) and what can you do with this knowledge to be more successful?
- Most companies do a poor job of getting potential customers excited about doing business with them.
- I loved a question I learnt from Evernote CEO, Chris O’Neil. He asks staff, “How proud are you of the work you are doing?”
- We need to be sharing more regularly how a business is truly going compared to its stated goals. All staff should be in the know here…
- Everybody needs someone who will say it like it is… Nathan Harris, CEO of Convert Kit, shared how a legend (who I think is amazing) called Hiten Shah once said to him, “You need to shut down your business!”. The impact of that statement made Nathan think about how to win in his industry and he went from a business doing $12K a year to $NZD12 million+ per annum over 4.5 years.
- To win in business it is usually not the one, bright shiny thing that will make a difference – it is doing many small incremental things well that add up to being successful.
- Podcasts are really big in America. Every man and his dog has one and similarly it seems to be the most popular pastime these days. Something I think I personally need to listen to more of…
The truth is I could share lots more but I will save them for another time. Meanwhile, I look forward to using new knowledge and rekindled forgotten knowledge with my clients and my other businesses. Here is to everyone going to the next level of success… Moral of the story: get away and talk to others!
Brent Callaghan says
Great Post – I’m constantly amazed at how much work/referrals/opportunities seem to come my way when I get “away from the office”. I know this work comes through consistently, but the impact and exitement I get from it is amplified when I’m away from the “noise” of simply getting things done.
Zac de Silva says
Hey Brent. Yeah it is crazy isn’t it how well things go when you get away from the office! I really look forward to more time away from the office and know that great business stuff will ensue from it. Good to hear that you do it too!
Colin Dick says
Awesome ‘Tips’ as always Zac. Must have been a great experience.
keep up the great work
Zac de Silva says
Hi Colin – thanks for that. Yeah this was the 2nd year I went in a row to conference and I had a “better attitude” this year meaning I got so much more out of it especially with the meeting of interesting new people who you can learn a thing or 3 from…
John Owen says
Today I am working from home and I have a short list of must do tasks and several hours to think about how to make Cyma so much more that it currently is. Your post is well timed and I found some of the points on the list particularly useful. Thanks for posting.
Zac de Silva says
Hi John – great that the post from my learnings was helpful for you, appreciate you commenting 🙂 and I look forward to meeting you one day soon. Go Cyma!
Dan Mackay says
Hey Zac, great article! Love the “How proud are you of the work you are doing?” quote. Talk about laying down a challenge, and being ready to be challenged by the answer.
Re: Podcasts, there are so many good ones out there. So many in fact I’ve become a bit ambivalent about them in that there is almost too much noise and opinion and I found it was getting a bit much to follow with so many different ideas competing for each other. Instead I’ve signed up with Audible and have opted to go down the route of selected business and self development audio books (although I usually end up buying the hard copy to write notes and highlight in). I guess I like spending time with and developing an idea spread over a book rather than ‘skimmed’ over in a 60 minute podcast…
Zac de Silva says
Hey Dan, thanks for that. Yes so much noise out there eh! Need to be very discerning. So many thought leaders too. Wonder how many of them are really great and how many might be “on the other side of great”? I look at Audible, but must look at it more. Thanks for the tip 🙂
Rich Poole says
Hey Zac – as always so great to read your thoughts and without exception, there is always a nugget or two in what you say. Thanks so much. Good to get a it of inspiration whilst I’m buried in answering the countless emails of the day…at this late night part of the day…something is a little wrong there!
Zac de Silva says
Hey Rich – the eternal issue of email overload eh! I have started using “Inbox By Google” which has actually been really helpful to taking away my email stress (meaning you can more easier see what is urgent and have less “crap” littering your inbox). Catch you sometime 🙂