is the 5th of my 2021 series of Winter Warmers. The musings are a blend of my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.
Are you self-employed, an entrepreneur, an internet marketer or running your own business of any kind? Or are you simply an 'ordinary Joe' intent on leading a happy life? Whatever the case, I have a couple of questions for you. Here goes -
* Do you think that you will perform better or worse at what you do by being self-critical?
* Do you think you will perform better or worse by knowing what other like-minded individuals are doing and how they operate?
* Do you think you will perform better or worse by engaging with others who have different views and aspirations from your own?
Okay, that's three questions … but … as you no doubt realise, all three are closely connected. Each relates to questioning how you and others are going about your business. The questions highlight the importance of acquiring regular market intelligence, questioning what is going on and why, and developing strategies based on both your own and others' ideas, opinions and practices. In short you need to constantly self-evaluate and you must communicate with the marketplace, or society at large, in order to prosper. There is no other way to properly maintain the vigour and health of your life or commercial operation.
Some sectors of society do not set a good example in this respect. There are those who show no interest in engaging with anyone expressing different views. They stick to entrenched positions with no evidence base other than the belief that 'they are right'. There is no listening to (let alone understanding of) counter views, no willingness to consider or engage with empirical evidence that challenges their position.
There is an arrogance - the arrogance of ignorance - to this inherent belief that one is so obviously right that no opposition is tolerated. Don't let this be you. Keep an open mind, form your opinions and plan your strategies accordingly. Base your future on well researched and broad based knowledge. Then by all means zero in on a specific approach.
Beware too - the arrogance of intellect. In this state you may be well informed, but you seek out and consider only evidence that supports your point of view and are dismissive of any counter-indications. Be self-confident but never have such belief in the rightness of your views as to leave no room for doubt. Proceed on the basis of self-awareness and justification, rather than assertion. Consider all relevant angles.
This, for good example, is what lawyers do, also academics and politicians worth their salt. They understand that they have a common interest in knowing all sides of an issue. Even when advocating the case for one side, derived from a particular philosophy or brief, they need to be aware of the counter-arguments.
So be it for you. Cultivate understanding of the views and abilities of others and be aware of the limitations of your own position. You can then reflect in order to overcome any weaknesses or adapt your position. Remember that success in business or life generally is dependent on having - A definitive long term goal but with short term analytics and flexibility. This approach empowers you, makes you a more formidable adversary. It is a sign of strength.
I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal.
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A SIGN OF STRENGTH is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this Winter Warmer and found it to be of value.
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See you there! Regards, Tom.