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Thursday, November 06, 2008

The easy decisions

We're producing a substantial consumer magazine for the renovation market -- a project that defies the boundaries of our long-established business practices and focus. How would you handle a new opportunity that seems to go beyond your experience or expectations?

Have you ever noticed that some of your best life and business decisions and choices are the easiest to make? You simply know what to do, and then, with what seems to be a flick of a switch, turn things in new directions.

I've seen this a few times in my life, the most recent, the decision to 'go' for the development of a new product -- a retail-focused Renovation Guide -- and then the decision about how to go about it.

Our business has always focused on the business-to-business market -- we've never published anything directed directly at consumers.

I could have simply declined the opportunity, but my sixth sense said 'yes', lets proceed. But I didn't struggle about the best way to organize this project.

The answer: We would run this business as a joint venture with others with expertise and knowledge of the business-to-consumer marketplace; who can be trusted, and without diverting investment capital or significant human resources to the project. And I knew who to call to get things rolling.

It is still early going, but the project has legs, substance, and potential for growth.

Here is a suggestion. Take a look at your own business; and recall the simple, fast, and effective decisions you made; where things just naturally seemed to fit together in (to use a rather overworked expression) perfect harmony.

Usually, you can trace the roots to some experience, success, or accomplishment in your past. Many times your brand and your reputation will guide opportunities to you, and your responses to the opportunities.

If you are stuck, read through this blog: You'll see the names of a few consultants repeated and linked -- how much will it cost to invite them to help?

Where are you truly talented; truly passionate; where do you feel your greatest moments of strength, achievement, and effectiveness? And which people do you know (or you can find) who can enhance the process?

When you answer these questions, you will find your solutions are surprisingly simple; and the seemingly hidden opportunities appear in flashes of insight and seemingly good luck.

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