Have you played Angry Birds? Do you realise what a great lesson it teaches you about business? (Are you now beginning to think I’ve lost the plot?!)
Angry Birds, for those of you who haven’t come across it, is a game where you fire birds with different powers out of a catapult at green pig creatures that are seeking shelter in a variety of structures. Quite what the back story is to explain why the birds are so angry and why the pig creatures must be destroyed eludes me. The game started on the iphone, spread to other touch screen phones and is now playable on Facebook. If you want an in-depth description pop over to this wikipedia article
Now what can it teach you about business? No, it’s not that you can waste a lot of time playing it. True, but not the point I want to make. There are two things you can learn.
In Angry Birds you have a limited number of birds and you can’t change the order the birds are fired. This can be frustrating if you want a bomber bird and all you have is the ones that split into three. So lesson one is that sometimes you just have to work with you what with you’ve got. No good saying “if only…” If only isn’t going to happen.
Lesson two is that plans sometimes need to be changed.
When you start a new level in Angry Birds, you quickly form a plan of how you are going to attack the structure. I was playing yesterday and I was convinced that I knew how to do it. As I failed on the first time I thought, oh maybe I just need to aim a smidge higher. Or maybe I need to zap the speed on a bit sooner. So I keep on trying, doing pretty much the same thing and not really accomplishing anything. Then I remembered what Einstein said.
Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.
So so true, and I wonder why I forgot this. As soon as I took a different approach, my results improved DRAMATICALLY.
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is something that I sadly see too many people repeating in business. It can be hard to get out of rut – if you’ve been doing something that used to work and no longer does it can be hard to accept that you need to change tact. Taking that leap can be scary. After all, it’s not attacking computer generated green pigs we’re tallking here, it could be the survival of your business that’s at stake.
But if what you’re doing isn’t working then you need to do something else. Ask an expert for advice. Try in small scale. If you have our Premier Pack, use the Focus and Feedback slot to test your idea so you get get confidential feedback. Sealed box that everyone is able to place their feedback in & only you get to see it (not even the events organiser if you wish!) (See BPP for more details)
Don’t be afraid of change
As Isaac Asimov said (though he himself took part of the quote from Heraclitus a 500BC, Greek philosopher.)
The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.
So that’s Angry Bird, Eistein, Isaac Asimov and Greek Philospher Heraclitus teaching us about business. Talk about a stellar line up.
What lessons do you have to share?
The other night, as I was taking my medicine, I reflected on how easy it was to do compare to when I first started.
The medicine in question is an immunosuppressant drug called Cyclosporin. I had a lung transplant back in 2008 (rare lung disease called Lymphangioleiomyomatosis as you’re asking – see LAM Action for more on it) and I take cyclosporin to stop my body from rejecting the lung. It’s something I’ll have to take for ever.
Anyway, when I first started taking it, it was horrible. It smells just terrible. My stomach would do cartwheels as soon as I opened the package and the only way I could take it was by holding my nose. Yes it was that bad (and remember I’ve got children so I’ve done the nappy thing!) Several times my stomach flipped so much I was actually sick and so would have to take another dose of it. (The drug was originally isolated from a fungus found in a soil sample in Norway. That might explain the smell. See Wikipedia for more if you have an interest in such things)
But as time went on, I got more and more use to taking it and now it doesn’t bother me at all. If you’re at a networking event with me then you might notice me opening my pill box and quickly taking some of the cocktail of meds that keeps me alive, but it’s no big drama. I’ve got use to it and I am quite accomplished at it now.
And yes, there’s a business lesson here (why else would I be sharing this with you?!)
Think about something you have to do in business that you really don’t like and/or feel uncomfortable doing. Well, as I dish out a bit of tough love, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do it.
Yes, you can out-source things. But there’s a cost to that and if you are just starting out then maybe you don’t yet have the resources. Or maybe you haven’t found the right company to outsource it to. Trusting someone else can be difficult.
Or maybe it’s something that you can’t outsource and you have to do it yourself. There was no-one I could out-source taking my medicine to! I just had to learn to do it.
And now I can do it and it doesn’t bother me at all.
So what tasks in your business do you dread?
Can you outsource them? If you can and the cost of doing it makes sense then outsource.
If you can’t outsource then put on your big girl (or boy) pants and just do it. Ask for help from people who can do it and learn.
You might find that the more you do it, the easy it will become and you may even learn to love it. I used to hate public speaking but I love it now. Why else would I have stood on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square
I’ll tell you another time how I got over my public speaking fear, but in the meanwhile share with us what you want to get better at and we’ll look to running a session on it. The BWN is all about supporting your business growth.
(For another dose of tough love, read Steve Clarke’s blog called Can you please stop complaining!)
There seems to be this new breed of people – the procrastinators (sounds like something out of Star Trek doesn’t it?) A lot of business women describe themselves as procrastinators and search for ideas and ways to deal with what they procrastinate about because of the impact it can have on their business success.
If you find yourself exploring the realms of “procrastinator” what can you do to ensure it doesn’t get in the way of what you wish to achieve?
Firstly even procrastinators do not procrastinate about everything. They successfully get up and get dressed and drive a car to arrive at meetings, shops etc. This proves that they do not procrastinate about everything, just certain areas of their life.
What areas of your life do you procrastinate about?
What areas of your life do you always get on and achieve what you wish to?
If you can become aware of this you can start to address the obstacles that are there.
Be aware of the way you think. When we procrastinate we constantly reinforce what our mind has already said to us. “That job is going to take ages and is going to be a real headache” our mind tells us, and we allow it to increase these feelings by reinforcing them. So be aware of this and stop them in their tracks.
Do you even want it? Another reason that we put things off is because in actual fact it’s something that we do not even want. There are many external influences on our lives, from friends and family to media and the internet, it can be hard to listen to our internal voice. How many times have you thought something would be great and you have been shot down by someone and then gone on to dismiss it all together? Before you ask other people what they think debate the pros and cons with yourself and find out what you really want.
Are you procrastinating or are you subconsciously listening to your gut instinct?
Remember the sticker charts you gave your kids, or were given yourself? Ever thought about why they are so successful and popular? They work!
Visual stimulation works a treat with procrastination. If you know the area that you procrastinate in create your own sticker chart. (You don’t need to show anyone. You can stick it to the inside of your wardrobe.) Make it fun, if it makes you laugh when you stick a smiley face sticker (or our personal favourite the all hallowed Gold Star) on your chart when you actually do it, you are more likely to do it again. You are creating a subconscious link to being happy with getting the job done, and every sticker reinforces that.
Lastly when you succeed over the procrastinator in you, however small the accomplishment acknowledge it. Revel in your successes. These will reinforce that you can beat procrastination and achieve what you wish to.
Let us know how you get on and if you wish to discuss more ways to help you beat the procrastinators get in touch.