The sun had just come up when I noticed that a particularly impish bird landed on the ledge of our deck. The same ledge where I have all my beach finds on display. We are living and working in Costa Rica right now and because I had a full suitcase when I arrived (I mean packed-to-the-hilt-stuffed suitcase) there is no room for any shells, cool rocks or beach glass for the trip home. Well, maybe some beach glass will fit.
So why even collect these treasures? To enjoy them while I'm here, of course. So there they all are, on the ledge, on display, being enjoyed.
So, this particular morning, as I watched with delight while this plucky little bird poked at some of the smaller shells, my jaw dropped in horror when I saw what he was really after. WILSON!
I found little Wilson on the beach the day before. He reminded me of Wilson, you know, the soccer ball from the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway - Wilson, his best and only friend on the deserted island.
My Wilson is much smaller. Probably some sort of a golf-ball-sized nut that got tossed around in the wild surf of the southern pacific. (I know how it feels, I've been tossed around quite a bit by the same crazy waves) But when I saw my Wilson on the beach, I immediately thought of the Castaway Wilson.
Back to that damn bird. So when that mischievous little varmint started to poke around at my prized beach find, I swear, I yelled, "Wilson"! (ask my husband - this really happened) My outburst scared the bird off the ledge and I managed to rescue Wilson before he was stolen by that crazy bird. I'd become really attached to this rotting, ridiculous looking nut.
But that whole experience got me thinking.
We get attached to things. And in business, we get attached not only to things but to the way things are done.
If you are attached, say, to what you think of as a tried and true way to do your books (don't tell me it's an excel spreadsheet), and you are avoiding a move to something like Quickbooks, you may be attached to a very sad, worn out version of Wilson!
Or maybe you are used to slogging away on Quickbooks every month when it's really time to outsource this painful and time-consuming task. (sound familiar?) You may be looking to expand your social media reach but are attached to certain platforms because you are familiar with them - regardless of whether they are the right channels for your message. Yep, you're attached.
We get set in our ways while running a business and get attached to the way things have always been done. We don't always want to change but often we do want the business to grow. That's when you need to step back, examine why you are attached, and explore the new, and often, more efficient approaches to running and growing your business.
It can be painful - like watching your beloved Wilson get stolen by an impetuous bird - but if you keep an open mind and are willing to move forward with new tools and new approaches in your business, it may just help your business thrive!
I'm dealing with my attachment issues one waterlogged nut at a time. What are YOU doing?
The Small Business Guide
Kim Houlahan is a marketing consultant who loves helping small businesses connect with their customers online.