Ending Before You Begin

Design + Process = Results

Maybe to begin something worthwhile in 2016 you first need to “end” something.   Many business leaders and sales people struggle to find the right balance by knowing when to keep trying and when to let things end in a “natural death”.

Time is a precious and limited commodity, a gift from your Creator to be used wisely.  Even if your resources are unlimited (and I doubt that), you cannot manufacture more time.  Beginning new things and growing existing things takes both time and resources.  So maybe in 2016 you first need to “end” something that is squandering time and resources but delivering less-than-stellar results. But how do you know whether to keep trying…or whether to try harder…and how long is long enough?

In Luke 13:6, Jesus told a story about a vineyard owner and his groundskeeper.
And He (Jesus) began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”

While Jesus is looking for things eternally more significant from our life and our faith, other applications from his story are easily seen for choices you may be facing in 2016.

Imagine, if your “world” suddenly changed, the business environment became hostile, you lost a key employee, or some major competitor started gaining your market-share, and you had to make some hard choices about where to put your remaining time and resources….what is the first cut that comes to mind?  Your first impulse probably just showed you where you need consider an ending in 2016.

On the farm we used so say, “If I couldn’t grow anything in this field except weeds over the last 3 years, it’ll probably grow weeds again next year”.   Einstein is quoted as saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”.  2016 is a year to take a smart look and establish priorities about what should continue…and what should end.

But let me give you a hint….it’s not always that simple or clear-cut.  We’ll talk how to weigh those decisions on the next article…or call me if you’re in the midst of a decision and can’t wait for the next Post!   Making sales work is what we help people do ….and I hope it’s what you also can do in 2016.

Jerry E. Winkley, President