Learning by doing nothing…sort of

jeff bowmanBy Jeff Bowman

Lead, follow or get out the way is how I would characterize my approach to most things in life.  Headstrong, determined and persistent are words people might use to describe me, among others that can’t be printed here.

I know that we all need to relax, breathe it all in and discover our “happy places”, I just have a ton of those places I need to get to in a hurry.

Crutches 2The last three weeks sitting housebound with my leg plastered and elevated, has led to some interesting discoveries. I guess it took this period of imposed inactivity to make me realize that there are alternative ways to make a business work, and despite the mountain of things I can’t do, there are many things I can.

Naturally, I owe this revelation to my wife, who has taken on all the household duties lately.  I have tried to help, but mostly I have been in the way.  In frustration, I was looking for ways to be useful and the next thing I knew a basket of laundry was dumped beside me on the bed, with simple instructions “fold this!”

Eureka, I can fold laundry. I also discovered I can fill the dishwasher sitting down, iron from a chair (who knew ironing boards were adjustable?) make shopping lists from the flyers etc. I am useful!

This little life lesson, annoying as it is to everyone around me, has a business application. I have discovered my limitations; so what is it in our business lives that someone else could do better,  and allow us more time to focus on the things we can do best?

Are there other people who work with us or around us who not only could do more, but want to?

I am now taking this forced period of inactivity to look at what I do and how I do it.  What alternatives do I have? What are the pros and cons of each? Are there ways to expand my business activity based on the things I do best?

When we are busy we don’t often think about these things. I have had lots of time. Now, back to flapping sheets.

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