Last week, I was privileged to speak at the 2nd Annual Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Conference, in Atlanta, Georgia, on the campus of Morehouse College. I enjoyed hearing from dozens of other successful business leaders from around the nation. Among them was William H. Smith (pictured with me here), owner and president of Business Traveler Services, Inc. One of the things William shared as part of the panel discussion entitled "The ABC's of Starting a Business" was the importance of "practicing anticipation."
Since a business cannot be successful unless its leadership anticipates and responds appropriately to what is going to happen next, the art of practicing anticipation is crucial, he says. One of the ways William practices anticipation is by reading mystery novels. He says that mystery novels force him to think through facts and clues that point to how the mystery will be solved.
As Indie Business owners, we must do the same thing. We must look at the facts and circumstances that presently exist and build upon (and perhaps change) them in order to create a living platform upon which our businesses can grow and expand.
If you want to be successful in business, you can't plan for the present. Instead, you must live and work in the present, as you anticipate and plan for the future. In addition to enjoying mystery novels to keep your "anticipatory radar" sharp, you will also benefit from connecting with other like-minded people who are also running Indie Businesses. Do this by joining groups, clubs, guilds and/or trade organizations that serve people with businesses like yours. These kinds of connections allow you to stay in touch with the people and issues that affect your business. Being connected also facilitates connections that promote the sharing of information that can help you anticipate, plan for and participate in the future of your business.
Question: How do you practice anticipation in your business?