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Are you Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Have you said this to yourself: I have a great product so I need to get busy with the marketing; without fully doing market research or product research, or creating a business plan first? I call this putting the cart before the horse. Can a cart actually pull a horse? A horse can ride in a cart, but what’s going to pull the cart? What I’m asking is: What is the engine that is going to run your business?

Have you ever actually spent money before you had it in hand…knowing it’s coming soon? You may tell yourself: I’ll get that settlement check any day now, so it’s okay to take the vacation or purchase that new car. After all, cars are so reasonable today. We humans can justify anything, and I mean anything. I once bought a new laptop because I had a big training check coming…any day now. Surprise, it seems this particular company didn’t pay on time — oops — cart before horse.

Have you ever applied for a new job, being unhappy with the present one, only to find that the new job doesn’t offer any better opportunities than the present one? Or the people are still hard to work with? Would it surprise you to know that wherever you go, there you are. You take yourself with you from job to job, business to business, product to product, relationship to relationship. Where is the change needed?

Perhaps it begins with you my friend. Do you need to prioritize your thinking? Do you need to ask what am I doing that’s working and not working? Maybe you’re asking the wrong questions. You might ask what is the first step rather than the next step. Has the first step been addressed? You know the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result. Where will my actions take me? Where have these actions taken me in the past? What is the reason I expect this time to be different?

For generations people have thought the grass was greener on the other side. Is it? Is this an assumption or an assessment? Is you thinking realistic and have you done your research so you can say that it is definitely an assessment or is it an assumption clouded by filters and beliefs? Try talking to a few people already on that greener side (whatever and wherever that is, you definitely must decide this detail first). Try asking them how they got there. What were the steps? Then clarifying what YOU need to do. Is it resources, is it skills, is a shift in attitude, a coach or consultant, or perhaps more education? The answer may be different for everyone.

People don’t do business with a person until they learn to trust them. In order to be considered trustworthy, your reputation (or resume) must demonstrate this trustworthiness. People also need to like you in order to do business with you, unless your product or qualifications are so stellar that your un-like-ability can be overlooked (unlikely). The foundation for business is trust and personal relationships. I see people all the time getting hired for their qualifications and fired for their personalities. I also see people who so believe in their product that they don’t realize that others have a different priority as far as what they value, what they spend their dollars on, and what is called for in the era in which we're now living. Do you have a good feel for what Americans want today? Are you qualified to offer whatever this is?

Being successful in this world is not only thinking outside the box, and believing passionately in what you have to offer; it’s also building those critical relationships. Marketing is actually telling others about your passion in a respectful way and more importantly, it’s showing a genuine interest in them. I suggest you define what is the horse, what is the cart, and what is in the cart for your business. Are they in the proper order? How do you know?


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