A Gift, From You, To Your Business This Year

Tis the season… What gift will you give your business this year? I asked some friends that on Twitter.com yesterday – following are some of the great responses:

  • @misscmac Give your business the gift of TIME – what you put into it is what you get out of it!!
  • @barefoot_exec gift to my biz would be effective exposure
  • @valeriesteinier I will give my company positive energy to make my time productive in giving a customer 100 percent satisfaction strategy.
  • @quietrevolution A list of all the ways I have mismanaged it, and my action plan to correct said mis-steps in the New Year
  • @boutiquegirl Ahh that is easy. A new organized office space!
  • @indiesmiles : New business cards, new graphics, new advertising campaign!
  • @blukentucky give your business a gift… yes.. time away from to refresh..gain an attitude
  • @SlowDownFAST How about the gift of self-reflection? Personal development for all parties.

…and my favorite:

  • @CreativeTutors give ur biz ur undivided presence – Thanks to Sheila Sifferman for that one.

What does it mean to give your business your undivided “presence”? A few quick thoughts off the top of my head:

  1. Balance – My undivided presence does not mean my undivided attention, time, or devoted mental and emotional energy. In fact, the only way my business can have my undivided presence is to gain some balance. Get a life, take time off, not to re-energize (that is recovery time, not time off), but to smell the roses, grow personally, and live out the values and passion that brought you into business in the first place. As my Irish friend, John Heenan has reminded me many times: (said with magical Irish accent) – “Give from your fruit, Chuck, not from your root.”
  2. ON vs. IN – My undivided presence means I spend time away from the daily grind, away from “production”, and devoted to strategic planning, review of the past, and preparing for the future. Joseph Kennedy tried to build a national construction company for years until he semi-retired and went fishing a few days a week. Very shortly after, his business went national because the time spent fishing got him far enough away from the “bark” to see the trees and the forest in his business. Give your business the gift of working ON your business, not just IN it. Regularly, weekly.
  3. Honest input from others – A friend of mine did a study on leadership and found the single most common factor among great leaders was the willingness to be transparent and submit themselves to peers who had the altitude to call “B/S” on them when they needed it. And conversely, those that failed insulated themselves from honest feedback. Give your business the gift of peers, a mentor, and a peer advisory group.
  4. Cover your weaknesses – We’re only good at a few things. Give your business the gift of involving others in your business who can do the things you aren’t good at. You can’t give your business your undivided presence if you are buried in the details.
  5. Know where you’re going – Have a business strategy (not a traditional business plan, they are nearly worthless) and invest every day in accomplishing the strategy. Give your business the gift of clarity of purpose.

The above is just a quick thought-stream prompted by Sheila’s gift of “presence”. I’ve likely missed some great ways you could give your business your undivided presence.

What gift would you give your business in the coming year, and how will it help you give your business your undivided presence in 2009?