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Organization Tuesday: Organizing ChangeViews: 375
Jan 20, 2009 7:45 pmOrganization Tuesday: Organizing Change#

Julie Bestry
I'd like to do something a little different with today's post.  It's kind of a think piece on organizing your business thoughts, and I hope you'll think along with me.  But first, a preamble.

With recognition that not all of the members of The Business Consortium reside in the United States, and with firm reliance on the fact that the readers of this network are not uniform in their political beliefs, it's almost an iffy proposition to even mention politics and transitions of power.  But I respect that all of you can divine the difference between mentioning the weather and taking a position on it.  And thus I hope all of you will respect that I'm just saying "look, there's a fluffy cloud".

That said, I'd like to point you in the direction of my professional blog post for today, Transferring Power...And Paper:  The First Day at a New Desk.  (No, I'm not trying to boost hits.  Consider the post as bonus organizing information.)  I'll wait.

Done?  OK, good.  Now, you may be wondering why I'd point a network made up primarily of solo-preneurs and independent professionals to a post on inheriting the papers, desk and office of the prior occupant of the job.  That post was prompted by the thought of what it's like to take over from someone else, especially someone with a completely different approach.  In politics, it's a rarity.  We may keep a president and his party around for two terms, but the last time we had a U.S. president who succeeded someone of the same party, not counting one who was filling out the term of a deceased or displaced president, was George H.W. Bush in 1988, but before him, it was Herbert Hoover succeeding Calvin Coolidge.  As a nation, we tend to switch out  the occupants of the positions in power.  We, as voters, like to mix things up and keep it fresh.

Well, when I wrote my blog post, prompted by the thought of what it must be like to deal with the change of circumstance in replacing someone else, I was transfixed by another thought.  Perhaps it's easier to accomplish great goals and aspire to stellar achievements when all is new and fresh and you're throwing off the suppositions of the last leaders or the last occupants.  

How difficult must it be to get enthusiastic and motivated to make changes at the start of a second term of office?  Because isn't that what we face every day in our businesses?  Don't we struggle to motivate ourselves?  Don't we get caught up in obligations without considering whether those tasks and responsibilities still suit our business plans?  Our life plans?

Last week, also in my professional blog, I wrote about A Different Kind of Bankruptcy, and talked about the concept of email bankruptcy and extended the notion to jettisoning other "debts" we can't reasonably repay, especially our reading debts.  Think about your backlog, or debt, of professional journals, newsletters, podcast, blogs...Do you decry any possibility of catching up?   (I've had clients tell me they sometimes wished their computers would crash so they'd have an excuse not to catch up.)

When you're new in a job, expectations of others, and the expectations you have of yourself, are not so firmly entrenched.  You can make changes and be flexible.  But the longer you stay in any position (career title-wise), the more fixed you are in every position (of opinion, attitude and policy).  But what if you DECIDED NOT TO BE?  What if you:
  • Create a zero-based budget for your business and your personal life?  No line-item expense is presumed and all can be up for debate!
  • Write a zero-based business plan--ignoring the old one, entirely, with the possibility of achieving new goals, possibly different, possibly in opposition, of the old ones)?
  • Write a fresh business plan--not only including taking advantage of new marketing options, but getting rid of the old ones that you've done forever because everyone has come to expect you to do them?
What would it mean if you could let go of "debts" that you don't really owe, if only you could choose to absolve yourself of them?

I'm not saying it wouldn't be a challenge.  Earlier this week, a woman who has had a successful newsletter for over a decade (someone some of you know from Ryze), posted a tweet on Twitter that she was ceasing publication of her ezine.  It no longer fit her marketing needs, and she decided to focus on new priorities.  She had others reply in opposition; perhaps a few had a vested interest in her newsletter, but more had a vested interest in things...all things...staying the same.  One internet marketing expert (who didn't know her, didn't know her newsletter, and didn't know that she, too, was an internet marketing expert), presumed to tell her that she shouldn't cease her newsletter because he could "fix" it.  To him, such a total change was inconceivable, and he had to believe there was something wrong with her newsletter, or her way of thinking, if she wanted to eliminate it.  To her credit, she stood her ground, took minimal umbrage, and made the decision that worked best for her company.

The same people who don't support you if you want to start a business or close a business, get married or end a relationship, may fail to support a change in revenue model or elimination of a marketing tool.  But it's your job, it's your department, it's your company.  Whether this is your second "term in office" or your twentieth, I encourage you to consider purging the thoughts, tasks, attitudes and aspects of your professional life that no longer suit you.  

Organizing isn't solely about putting things away.  You've heard me say before that everything should have a home, but not everything has to live with you.  Our world is ever-changing; our U.S. Constitution is a living document.  We  must have faith and the courage of our convictions to change things for the better.  What change would make your business, your life, your world...better?

Julie Bestry, Certified Professional OrganizerŽ
Best Results Organizing
"Don't apologize.  Organize!"
Visit http://www.juliebestry.com to sign up for Best Results For Busy People:  Organizing Your Modern World,
a newsletter to help you save time and money, reduce stress and increase your productivity

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