10 December 2007

The business owners sixth sense. We all need to listen it.

If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t – this is the business owners sixth sense.

So what is this business owners “sixth sense” I’m talking about? In simple terms it is the ability to be able to tell instinctively that something is not right in your business, it is the ability to be able to sense that something is wrong with a proposed deal or the person sitting across the desk from you is saying something that just doesn’t ring true.
From my experience if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t – this is the business owner’s sixth sense and whilst I can’t fully explain how it works I have no doubt that it does. I have spoken about this concept with many business owners and entrepreneurs around the globe and most are acutely aware of their own “sixth sense” and the smartest ones have learnt how to use it to their advantage.
For example, I had a friend who owned a transport company. He walked around his yard every morning and he could get a feeling on how busy the business was. He did this every morning and he could accurately predict how the business was trading, simply based on what was happening in his yard. Of course if the yard was empty it was fair to assume that the business was busy, but what impressed me the most was how this man could tell when the trading figures put in front of him by his financial controller were wrong, simply by his gut feeling. And the vast majority of times he was right.
I see many examples of this business owner’s sixth sense every day. I also perceive it as yet another tool that business owners can use to grow their business and because of this I tend to call it a marketing tool. If we listen to our sixth sense it can help us to identify problems in our day to day operation such as customer service issues, marketing shortfalls and other internal business challenges that ultimately have a significant impact on a businesses success.
This business owner’s sixth sense is something that develops over time and it is just as relevant in our private life as it is in business. We need to learn to listen to this little voice at the back of our mind, to train it and to encourage it to come out when we need it. Any time I have ignored it, it has either cost me money or caused me grief, or both.
Have you ever been in a situation in your business that just doesn’t feel right but you ignore the nagging feeling and go ahead anyway only to find out that it was a bad decision? Well that tingling wasn’t your spider sense, it was your business sixth sense trying to get out and to be heard. It is a priceless tool that will help your life as an entrepreneur to be far more successful and enjoyable if you let it.
So whilst this may sound less than a scientific marketing concept, please believe me that it is just as valid as any of the most accepted marketing procedures.
I have been in business in one shape or form for well over 20 years and I know that in this time I have developed my business sixth sense and it has helped me to become a much better and more successful entrepreneur. As I get older I put far more credence on my sixth sense then ever before and I always try to make time when pondering a significant issue, to just think and listen to that voice inside. It is always time well spent.

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