When Sheila and I moved to Sarasota almost seven years ago, we drove both cars down. During the drive, my car was filled literally to the top. It wasn’t what I planned, but at the last minute, I discovered a bunch of framed prints that hadn’t been packed. The only way to take them was to load them on top of everything in the back seat. I was left without a rear view mirror and had to rely on my side view mirrors for the entire drive from Ohio.
Trust me there’s a point here!
Because I was relying entirely on my side mirrors, I found myself using them differently. You usually use your side mirrors when changing lanes, relying on your rearview mirror most of the time. Instead, I found myself using the side views to see who or what was coming up behind me or who/what was on either side of me throughout the trip.
Here’s the link to what got me thinking about business. There are times when we focus too much on what’s immediately behind us. We don’t look to the side to see what’s coming up next but spend our time more in a “wish-I-hadn’t-done-that” mode. We look back too often wishing we could change something, but we’d be so much stronger focusing on what’s in front of us while keeping an eye on what’s coming up behind us next.
Here’s an example: We're coming up on the fourth quarter and it doesn’t matter what you didn’t get done in the last few months. Using your "side view mirror", you can see your competitors, other programs coming up. Looking forward you know what’s coming up for business in the last quarter. You know which conventions and workshops you need to attend next year. You know what equipment** you need and what you need to do to strengthen your skill set.
You can’t do anything to change the path you chose in the past, but you can make a difference in where you go next and in what direction.
I’m a huge fan of diversity in your skill set. So let’s assume the path you need to take is to develop at least one more skill set to help your business be stronger in 2019. That’s the view of where you need to go. Your side view mirrors will help you see what your competitors might be doing and what’s going on in your market.
The bottom line goes right back to the control you have for your future. Stop worrying about things you can’t change and focus on the incredible potential in whatever path you choose going forward.
One of my favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar and it's entirely based on moving forward - not looking back.
“If you wait until all the lights are "green" before you leave home,
you'll never get started on your trip to the top.”
**Note: If you're looking to buy new gear, don't forget Photokina is at the end of September. That means there are going to be announcements from many of the manufacturers about new products, which, depending on what you need, might make this fall a great time to buy.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.