A Zen Business Development Process

I’m in San Mateo, California attending the Action Plan Marketing InfoGuru Summit. Robert Middleton, my friend and mentor, is a hub for authors, consultants, and coaches and organized a powerful event. He publishes one of the best weekly publications for solo-preneurs that reaches over 55,000 readers.  Now he is taking his network to a whole new level — by bringing together the experts that he recommends to his clients. I am also thrilled to reunite with my good friend and colleague Samantha Hartley.  She inspires me with her commitment to everything related to strategic marketing.   I am honored to be among these Zen Marketing Masters!

Twenty of us from Canada and the USA are enjoying the art of collaboration. Many of us will forge new business alliances and marketing plan strategies as a result of this conference.

Tonight, Robert shared a koan that I hope you will ponder. Koans are Zen “puzzles” that really offer no solution. Their purpose is to ask questions that are intentionally beyond the power of our minds to solve. Permit me to apply just a modicum of rationale to this koan. Then I will get out of the way and let you take your own intuitive leap about how it applies to your 2010 business plan and marketing plan strategies:

“When you believe what you think, you suffer.
When you believe your commitments, you thrive.”

I continue to interact with business owners and CEOs who simply cannot honor or fulfill their commitments.  These can be commitments to their families, their health and wellness, and their investors.  They continuously run late for meetings. They double book their appointments.  They revel in being too busy to exercise.  Sleep becomes a luxury, not the norm.  Sadly, they are blaming their commitment phobia to the frenetic pace of the economy. One prospective client, a partner in an $18M professional services firm in Portland, missed four out of the past five phone appointments we scheduled.  (Shame on me for tolerating this disrespective behavior for too long–giving him the benefit of the doubt because he is a member of an esteemed group of business leaders! I am glad his firm did not become a client).

If that describes you, let me ask you a couple of questions.

1.  If you made just a few subtle changes in your schedule and priorities this year, how would your business look?

2.  Who you are being in the world reflects what you are truly committed to.  How will you be remembered?

Now I will leave this koan to your intuitive genius.

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