Setting the Stage

30 09 2010

I recently attended an event at which two very prominent and successful executives had the opportunity to speak with a group of young adventure seeking and career aspiring individuals – I am just that individual. The tough part about developing a career is that it often times can’t be planned. I was once told that a “career” is something you look back upon in hindsight. That perspective makes sense, but knowing that tangential circumstances are what presented the open doors for many successful people to walk through doesn’t give me the confidence to charge forward. What does make sense is that everything I do sets the stage for what’s next to come. And with that frame of mind, I have a lot of props at my fingertips, and I have a lot more to go out and build.

I also realized that I am on the stage. I am, and have been, acting out my song and dance – I might as well make each and every act fun right? (Enter the cast of Glee here.) I have been perceiving my life in the future for as long as I can remember, forgoing the value of what was happening in the present moment; the crowd will never give an applause if there wasn’t a show to begin with. It’s time to bring out the jazz hands and enjoy the spotlight!

What does this all mean for business? As a business owner, you have fans, you have an audience, you have customers who are watching your song and dance right now. You wouldn’t have started your business unless you had the props to do so, and in doing so, you’ve likely developed a few more to further your story line and enhance your performance.

Strategic planning is a fantastic exercise, but it’s only worthwhile if you are capable of acting out the day-to-day successfully. Take the time to cultivate your identity and camaraderie, and the magnetic qualities that excite your employees and attract your customers. Your passion, creativity, and tenacity brought you to your entrepreneurial success. But it’s your existing operations that provide a daily report card for you to constantly tweak so that you can continually engage your customers. Do a S.W.O.T. analysis, set S.M.A.R.T. goals, but use them as a guide. You’ll never achieve the end result if you don’t take that first step and nurture the process.

Be the lead in your own life, draw a crowd to your business, and bask in the limelight on your own stage. You’ve got gumption and the cameras are rolling, make it a great scene.

Photo courtesy of Un-Cabaret.