It’s our first decent snow up here in northern Massachusetts, and I have my kids with me, lots to do, and I need to get them to school. My car isn’t all that effective in the snow (Camaro: all power, no traction). But for some reason, what washes over me is the realization that I have some choices I can make.
Choices Come Thousands of Times a Day
In all areas of our lives, including business, we have to remember to build in the time to choose. What does it take to succeed? A commitment to making better choices is a core element. Where we tend to go wrong is when we feel we have no choice, or when we make an easy choice, or when we push hard for a bad choice. True? Do you feel that?
There’s a local Subway restaurant nearby and the owners are apparently stressed about their finances. As I was buying my kids lunch there, I heard one owner yell at the staff for turning on the heat. They said, “But the customers were complaining that they were cold.” More yelling from the owners. Standing there, I wondered, “Which will cost this owner more?” Moments later, I went to get a refill for my soda pop while my kids finished devouring their meals. The same owner gave me the stink eye, evidently for getting the refill (no signs said I shouldn’t do this, and it’s fairly common practice). So what impression did she leave in me? What choice did she make?
Bravery Is a Choice
I talk to Rob Hatch often about business decisions, and he likes to tell me about a concept called “choice architecture.” It’s some kind of psychology-based thinking that shows how people can be influenced to make certain buying choices. There’s a lot of that at play in what we’ve been calling “business design,” which means the end-to-end crafting of a business to take the guest/customer/client’s experience to heart all the way through their lifecycle with your organization. There’s a lot of bravery required in those choices.
I choose to not offer a search function at [chrisbrogan.com]. Some of you ask about this every week. Why? Because I’m curating. My goal is to give you the posts I feel will best serve your experience now. Museums curate their possessions such that only about 18% of what they have is on display at any one time. And not that my work is art, but I want you to have at hand what is helpful, not just the abundance of my years of writing.
This Extends Further
How we conduct ourselves is a choice. I’m frustrated by all the judgmental and righteous people who believe they can tell others what is right and wrong in using social networks and social media. Last night, I chose to argue about it a little. But then I stopped. Why? Because my choice is to use my time for better matters, and to dedicate it to you. The person who wanted to complain about how I tweet or don’t tweet has his or her opinion. That’s not my concern. You are. That’s my choice.
Choosing to do the work to eat healthier and exercise so I can regain my health and fitness is brave. Choosing to work harder and make my business succeed requires bravery. Sometimes, even making a bad choice is making a choice and is also a matter of personal bravery. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that only good choices are brave.
So the question, to you, is this: what choices will you be brave enough to make today?
We talk a lot about bravery and choice in Brave New Year. If you want to join a group of supportive peers in planning a huge and successful 2013, here’s your chance to make one more choice that counts.