Focus on Improving Yourself and Your Business

Change in your personal and professional life is not only inevitable, but necessary to move forward on the road to success.

In our personal lives, we often encounter people who would rather do anything but change. They stay in a bad relationship, even though it makes them unhappy. They stay at a bad job, because it’s easier than trying to improve their circumstances. These kinds of people rarely focus on improving themselves and their situation. They’re resistant to change of any kind, no matter how bad things might be for them at the present time. It is extremely important that you concentrate on improving yourself on a constant basis.

A psychological study was conducted at a racetrack that makes an interesting observation about the decision-making process. In the study, bettors were asked to measure their level of confidence on the way to the betting window.

Researchers found that gamblers were moderately confident in their bet on the way to the window. After they had placed their bet, however, the bettors expressed a higher level of confidence in their choices.

The study concluded that there reaches a certain point when we all become psychologically attached to the decision that we’ve made. Once we’ve made our decision, our mind wants to believe it’s correct.

In business and life, change should be embraced especially when the status quo isn’t working. However, this is often hard to do after you become attached to your decision.

The theory of cognitive dissonance suggests that we rely on data that supports our reasoning and defends our position, while we choose to ignore facts that disagree with our beliefs and might cause us to have to rethink or change.

In his book The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell, Oren Harari noted that Powell’s career has been all about change and that changing things ruffles feathers. Good leaders are constantly asking, “What if?” and “Why not?” They create a culture that demands initiative and experimentation.

Small business experts Paul and Sarah Edwards offered three suggestions for expanding your business. First, you must determine what your target is. You need to know what you want to accomplish, and when you want to get there. Unless you know what your target is, you can’t develop a growth strategy.

The second step is making sure you’re ready for growth. Lastly, the Edwards recommend that you figure out what’s your edge.  Warren Buffett, perhaps the greatest stock picker of all time, calls this a company’s sustainable competitive advantage.  What is it that sets your business apart from everyone else’s? What assets do you have that the competition doesn’t? By constantly focusing on improving yourself and your business every day, you will set a true north course for success.

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