October is often the month known for all things scary, although for those who are true horror film or paranormal buffs, there’s never a bad time to check out a new scary movie or location. Whether you enjoy watching those types of movies and shows or visiting those types of locations, and whether or not you believe in the paranormal, just about everyone has fears about something during their lives. Sometimes these are fears like something/someone being under the bed or in the closet that are 99.9% of the time not based in reality, but they did come from somewhere, regardless of however rare the reality of them occurring is.
Sometimes we get over our fears in large part, but some of us are never able to break free. And to an extent it is healthy to have fears, or at least have a healthy respect for things that can harm us like heights and cliff edges and deep water and violent people. Our fears become an issue when they prevent us from living life as fully as we would like.
As adults we have to find a between balance being honest with the next generation about some of the not so awesome things and people in the world, and helping them have a healthy attitude towards life and the fun that can be had, including with all things scary. We shouldn’t judge them for their fears or being asked to check for monsters, instead we should help them learn the many different faces of fear; from reality to potential to imagined to fun and make believe.
So go ahead and have a little spooky fun with your kids this month, but make sure you know if their definition of spooky is visiting a haunted attraction, watching a slightly scary movie or carving a scary face on a pumpkin.
There are lots of things that we should focus on in our businesses, but at the center of that focus should be one thing: customers. By saying the customer is your focus that doesn’t mean you do everything possible to please every customer or that the customer is always right. Rather it means that you’re always working on and in your business so that you can better serve your customers. Sometimes that will mean saying no to some customers, especially those who have unreasonable requests or are disrespectful. Why? Because if you’re busy trying to deal with those issues you won’t be able to give your best service to your best customers.
So how do you really focus on caring for a customer? You do consistent marketing so people know how you can help them or make their lives more interesting or better. You consistently review and improve your customer service as well as the service any team provides. You consistently check if you can update your product offerings so that you’re offering the best possible product to them. You consistently educate yourself and any team so that you’re offering the best possible service to them. If you’ve got a physical location for your business that customers shop at, you consistently keep it neat, tidy, organized, clean and welcoming. You consistently support and empower your employees and give them feedback and praise.
You do all this so that you can be a 5-star business and have happy customers. Having a focus on the customers can be the motivation and inspiration you need to do all those other things, things that aren’t always enjoyable or easy. This focus also can help you prioritize your to-do list, and be more proactive about addressing questions, challenges, issues, requests or complaints, even if it means you have to delegate more. What will you focus on today to best support your customers?
This month is the beginning of many things. It’s the beginning of the holiday season for 2018 and it’s often where people begin the countdown to the end of 2018. You can also call it the beginning of a new month, and it’s the beginning of a new theme for us on the blog and social media too. All of this speaks to the fact that our lives are filled with many things, and are influenced by even more things, things that we’re not even always aware of or prepared for. And your head may be spinning like mine thinking about all that is going on and you want to do before the end of the year.
Which brings us to this month’s topic which is focus. I know I just listed all the things we’re focused on for these last 3 months, which almost sounds like we’re not really focused at all. And that’s OK, because we need to focus on both the big picture as well as the details of our lives.
But as I was thinking about focus today I was considering how I wanted to start this month out, where focus really starts, and how we can focus better and what I came up with was that we start with one thing. So maybe that means that you’re going to make a list of all you want to clean in the house, or maybe it means cleaning just one of those things on the list (your bedroom), or even part of one of those things on the list (your bedroom closet).
Taking the focus off of the entire, potentially overwhelming, list of things going on in your life and focusing on just one thing at a time isn’t about ignoring the other things or saying that you don’t care about them, it’s giving you the opportunity to dedicate your resources, time and energy to that one thing and to do it well and get it done. Slowly but surely you’ll see that list of to-do’s go down and you’ll start to see the progress in your life. What one thing will you do today?