Find Hidden Opportunities In Your Business
There is a true story about a barber in a small community in the mid-west United States who owned a shop handed down from his grandfather.
One day a new national hair cutting chain came to town. This chain had been moving across the country bringing cheap hair salons into all of the different communities and driving everyone out of business.
Soon everyone went there because of the price. It offered five dollar haircuts.
The barber had only one of two very unpleasant options. Shut up shop or hang on and go broke.
One day he shared this with his college going son. After brainstorming many options the son came up with a simple idea that seemed to leap off the page. He shared this idea with his father who implemented it immediately.
Within 6 weeks, not only had his drop in clientele completely reversed, but the number of customers was now 11% higher than ever in the history of the shop.
The idea was simple, “Place a BIG sign on top of the shop that read,
“WE FIX FIVE DOLLAR HAIRCUTS FOR JUST TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS!!”
Pretty simple indeed! But truly transformational.
The White Salmon Saga
Almost one hundred years ago Americans had become accustomed to tins of pink salmon- the only salmon available on the market. One day two entrepreneurial young fishermen introduced a new variety of white salmon in the stores. Unfortunately it was a major flop.
For over 60 years Americans were conditioned to having pink salmon and there was no way they were going to change their preferences.
The two young entrepreneurs were faced with the prospect of going bankrupt. One day they hit upon an idea. They decided to refashion the attitudes of consumers of salmon. So they promoted their product as “The only salmon that doesn’t turn pink in the can“. Their ad was an immediate hit and the rest they say is history!
Are you looking for an opportunity to take your business to the next level and cannot find one? Well the answer may lie in the situations you consider as your biggest problems. Often apparent problems hold the key to the biggest breakthroughs.
The ancient Greeks believed that there were seven universal laws that governed natural interaction. One of these was what they called the Law of Polarity which stated that everything is dual and has its pair of opposites. If something is very bad it must simultaneously also be very good. The difference is how you perceive it.
Hence from this law it follows that if something is a problem – particularly a big one – then it may hold the answer to what you need most for your business at this very moment.
It is all a question of repositioning the problem and looking for the opportunity in it. However this is not easy. Our perceptions are normally on autopilot. We perceive something to be a problem when it is inconsistent with the conditioning we have had over time- very much like the consumers of the pink salmon were conditioned for over 60 years.
So how does one break this pattern of perception in order to see the duality of the problem? According to the great Peak Performance guru Anthony Robbins, the answer lies in asking a series of powerful questions and looking for answers through them. Most people when confronted with a perceived problem ask weak and ineffectual questions that do not really inspire them to look for a transformational solution.
Weak questions produce weak answers and result in a low quality of life. According to Anthony Robbins the quality of your life is based on the quality of questions you ask yourself on a continuous basis.
So for example if you ask a question like “Why did this have to happen?” then you will get a weak answer that creates more problems for you. However if you were to ask ” How can I use this to grow my business” or “What is great about this” then you will think along a line that comes up with an answer that has the potential to transform your business. And you must ask with the expectation of being revealed an answer. Ask and you shall receive!
The next time you are faced with what looks to be a major problem remember that it may be just the very key to the major breakthrough in your business you have been waiting for. Sit down with a pen and a sheet of paper and write down the most powerful question concerning the “problem” you can think off at the top of the page and force yourself to come up with at least 20 unique answers.
The first few will be easy and obvious but the later ones will simply amaze you. You will absolutely blow yourself away with the things you come up with when you stretch yourself through a powerful question. Then go ahead and implement just one of them.
Remember the key to change ultimately lies not in the answers but in decisive and consistent action to implement them. Even the greatest ideas have little value if they are left dormant. But great ideas are the start. And often the best place to look for great ideas is right where you are – in the biggest challenges you are currently facing. Hidden opportunities in your business are easy to find, if you dig deeper.