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!