Conventional wisdom promotes step-by-step growth, so generating change in anything other than incremental growth is not the norm. Nevertheless, more and more people are improving performance in explosive bursts that accelerate results exponentially. Unprecedented breakthroughs are occurring in business, sports, parenting, medicine and so much more. What does this mean? For starters, you don’t have to settle for the idea that growth occurs one step at a time. This means thinking differently.
We don’t have to be content with incremental, gradual change through the application of hard work.
Sonia’s new business plan promised significant growth over the next three years. She would expand her already successful business into several new areas with her hyper-local product. She knew she’d have to pour more hours into her business over the next 12 to 18 months, but she believed it would pay off in the long run. She stepped up her activity and followed her plan. Soon she felt she was spreading herself too thin, but she stayed the course. Even as she expanded into new territories, she missed her first milestone and her second. She began to wonder what she was doing wrong. She worked harder, but she began to lose steam.
I challenged her to think differently rather than try harder, and I helped her reconnect with her natural ability to foster humor and her gift of building relationships with her clients. I asked how she could apply this to her business, and she began having more fun. Inspired, one evening as she was driving home, she wondered if she could expand her product offerings in her local area and increase her profitability. She put pen to paper and the numbers told the rest of the story. She redirected her efforts into the part of her business she enjoyed most and spent more time in front of customers and less time driving. She realized an immediate jump in sales. Her success leapt forward - but not as a result of conventional thinking.
How is Sonia’s story your story? Are you following a plan designed to create a particular outcome, but it’s not? Or perhaps you’re working harder and harder, and you find yourself losing steam? Perhaps you’re making progress in small increments, and you believe that’s the nature of change. You simply haven’t looked at other options.
Research in neuroscience and positive psychology reveal strategies we can use to move from incremental change to leaping forward and building rapid momentum. Sonia’s story has something to teach here as well. To generate different results, you and I take different actions, and these actions are preceded by thought. When we’re stressed, our brain releases chemicals that reinforce safety. We’re less creative. When Sonia reconnected to her natural gifts and started having more fun in her business, her brain chemistry actually changed. She connected to her creativity. She opened to a new perspective and generated an idea that caused her business to leap forward – with less – rather than more work.
Perhaps you remember one of my previous blogs where I wrote that the quality of your questions determines the quality of your results. This makes sense. If Sonia kept asking, “How can I get more done today and how can I be even more efficient?” she wouldn’t have asked, “How can I do more of what I enjoy, make running my business easier and increase my revenues?” If you’re seeking to build momentum in your business or in your life, it may be time to ask unconventional questions – questions that stop rehashing the current situation and open to creativity.
You have an amazing mind. When you tap your inner genius to think differently, you’re likely to astound yourself. You may discover that stepping outside of the conventional wisdom of incremental change will lead to an unprecedented breakthrough for you, your business or your family.
Do you have a story of unconventional wisdom to share? I’d love to hear from you! Simply let me know by filling out a contact me form.