Imagine walking into a dark room that has a spotlight shining at the opposite end. As you get closer, you see that the spotlight is shining on a painting. You walk up, look at the painting and say to yourself that this is the most beautiful painting you have ever seen. You don’t even like art, but you think there is no better piece of art in the world. Just then, somebody flicks on the light switch and the room lights up. You quickly realize you’re in an art museum where every piece of art is more beautiful than the one before it.
Question is, what If nobody switches on your light? What are you missing?
It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re running a company. Whether it be when you’re only looking at revenue to determine your success, or you exclusively hire people you already know. It is absolutely crucial to step out and have a good look around at the big picture on a regular basis. Jim Collins (Author of Good to Great etc.) called it “Zoom out, Zoom in” in his book Great by Choice.
If you don’t know what the big picture is, there’s a very good chance that you’re in that tunnel.
When I started Envirobond, all I was concerned about was making sales so that the company could survive. I thought, “We have an innovative green product, now we need to sell it to anyone we could to build revenue and feed the company.” The processes and procedures that I was going through were being built on the fly without much thought for the future other than, “make sales, feed company.” Mistakes that were made could sometimes be repeated in similar circumstances down the road and success was measured against the single goal of growing revenue at any cost.
It wasn’t until later on that I realized the importance of the big picture. The “big picture”, brings with it overall perspective. It isn’t until you have this perspective that you can build a priority schedule of your tasks to ensure you are following a plan.
Zooming out and looking at the big picture, I learned that making sales is not the end of the deal, but it’s actually the beginning of the relationship. I learned that building a solid relationship with your customer is the best way to create a strong, long lasting revenue stream. I’ve found that a consistent revenue stream firmly beats a quick sale if you’re interested in growing a great company.
Building relationships with the strongest companies and building mutually respectful relationships with the best people in those companies, generates a winning formula for structured growth. This type of sales model becomes much easier to support and becomes a scalable blueprint that can be repeated into any market.
My “painting on the wall” was the quick sale. My “lights going on” was when I realized that a strong scalable model was the actual goal and the sale was only a small part of the big picture.