I’m In with the ARCC

Wendy Waldron was interviewed on the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce’s I’m In With the ARCC radio show in October 2020, with host Amanda Blanton.

Here is a partial transcript, and scroll down to give a listen.

Amanda asked, “A lot of business owners are so busy with the day to day things that they don’t have time to think about the big picture, right?”

Wendy’s reply:

Yeah, they’re working IN their business all the time, because there’s 187 things that need their attention at any given moment — you’ve got a client walking through the door and now you’ve got PPP loans and labor issues and technology, all kinds of things always happening! There is always something. 

But it is those businesses that value working ON their businesses, the leaders that know the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business — that are able to rock. Those are the leaders that are able to have companies that GROW. You could have a very successful business day-to-day but if you’re doing the same things every day then you’ll have the same business, at the end of the day.

So it’s taking the time to invest in internal growth before you invest in external growth, to really think about:

  • What IS our business?
  • What ARE we accomplishing?
  • Who is accomplishing what?
  • How do we expect that to happen?
  • What resources do we need to garner and appoint in a particular direction?
  • How do we need to support this person at this time so that our company can vault forward next year?

It’s that sort of strategy and tying that down to your day-to-day work that’s important. It’s not the strategic plan — we’re not making those any more, the strategic plan with 26 tabs in a huge binder that sits on a shelf and costs a million dollars, that’s just not helpful. Heck, even a five-year-plan is a little ambitious these days! 

When I work with companies, we talk about a big dream, the ten-years-out, the very audacious goal, but what we really bring it down to is to get a collective picture in our minds, let’s discuss what our company looks like in three years. 

  • What does it feel like to be in this company in this environment, in this culture?
  • How many customers do we have?
  • What sort of business are we running?
  • Are we located in the same place?
  • How many employees are there?
  • What’s the tenor of the office, really, what’s it feel like?
  • What are we DOING three years from now”

Then we step it back to what are we going to do next year, what’s the one year plan, further even back from that, what has to happen in the next 90 days to set us up to get there — and it becomes more and more real so that you then work it down to what are you doing every week to get where you need to go.

Because it really is about working ON your business.

It can’t be all the time, but it HAS to be at least sometimes on a regular basis for your business to grow.

The saddest thing is to find someone who has all the success they ever wanted except they’re really struggling, they’re working 60, 80 hours a week, and they’re really clocking that, not just talking about it, and they don’t see a way out, and they don’t see a way out from all of these people who now rely on them, all of these families and it’s a terribly sad thing because you can drown in that you feel like you are not ever able to catch up, not ever able to quite stand up or get in front of that ball.

So it is those leaders that I want to talk to and say:

I can show you a different way, and you’ll see if it’s useful to you or not.