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Optimistic Blind Spots

Optimism is a wonderful trait for entrepreneurs. It’s the high road at the problem forks in your life. Its the fuel necessary to go the extra mile. It’s in the DNA of successful, happy people.

For all its wonderful attributes, optimism has its risks. Whether its running a business or a 10k, you need more than just fuel to succeed. This idea surfaced in my entrepreneurship course in a discussion of business success and failure and networking. We talked about the power of word of mouth referrals creating lifetime customers if you present your business remarkably.

We also talked about the dark side of referrals. Fail to deliver on your customer expectation and a dissatisfied customer will tell 10 friends of their negative experience. Think dining out or digital customer service banks. As Proverbs summarizes, “The power of life and death is in the tongue.”

Since I am both optimistic and prone to miss details, I have optimistic blind spots. So just like a car, I need a plan to make sure my blind spots don’t wreck my business.

The key is to first access your strengths and weaknesses and identify your blind spots. I use my DISC assessment product on myself and clients as a starter.

As I develop plans I lay out the components on a grid of my strengths and weaknesses. I put a check in the traits necessary for the components to succeed consistently. Consistency is my driver for business plans.

When the check marks required match my weaknesses, I immediately think who can I recruit to cover that weakness, or what options do I have to avoid expecting me to consistently cover my blind spot. (I then ask if this is a trait, I need to change.)

Once I have solved the blind spot dilemma, I can ease my plan out into the traffic of life and remain optimistic I will arrive at my destination. And remember objects that appear in your side mirrors may appear closer than they actually are:).

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