But, I Don’t Have Time…

March 6, 2006

These are the times that try men’s souls. … Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What Thomas Paine said in reference to the conflicts that caused The American Revolution can be said about building fast growth businesses. Oh, if growth were easy. If only business would make time.

As I wrote in a previous post, every business has only three resources: time, money and energy. No business has enough of any of these. No one I know has enough time, enough money or enough energy (though my kids come awfully close on the energy thing). Building a successful business would be easy if we had enough resources – it wouldn’t even be very risky.

Building a successful growth business is tough. Accelerating growth within an established company is tough. Most who try will not succeed. Worse than failing, most business will get stuck – always feeling as though breakthrough success is just around the corner; yet never quite arriving.

There is no halfway in business. Building a business successfully requires a maniacal focus on aligning every aspect of your business behind supporting your promise to your customers consistently. Any misalignment can slow you down and get you stuck. Success occurs at the extreme. It requires an extreme value proposition, extreme focus, extreme cause, extreme effort.

It’s easy to read about Southwest Airlines, Dell, Apple, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, etc. It’s easy to dream big dreams. The question is, are you willing to put the energy into making your dreams a reality?

Are you willing to make sure EVERYTHING you do is aligned to support, deliver and drive your value proposition?

Are you willing to make sure every ad, every letter, every communication creates value and supports your message strategy?

Are you willing to make sure every employee lives and breathes your cause? Is every employee willing to step up to deliver your promise?

You may say it’s easy for Doug to say these things, but you don’t have the time. You may be right. Here’s the paradox. If you find the energy create complete alignment in your organization, time will no longer be your limiting resource. If you don’t, the life of Sisyphus awaits.

What do you think?

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