Have you ever driven somewhere, lost in thought, and suddenly wondered how you got there? Did you actually stop at all the stop streets? Were you conscious of all the potential hazards you passed along the way? Did you arrive at your destination despite your lack of concentration?
It’s easy to fall into the same trap in business. You get into the daily routine of going to work, being busy getting things done and “keeping your head above water”. The next thing you know, you’ve lost touch with the industry, your customers, your team and you are not sure how you got into the rut you find yourself in.
Being unconscious is one’s lack of ability to see and be aware of things around you. And it is one of the major pitfalls of business success.
It could relate to the lack of tracking the key numbers in your business, not knowing where the monthly breakeven point is, not knowing how many sales are needed to break even, etc.
It means you don’t know what your competitors are up to, how your behaviour or leadership is impacting your team, how your customers feel about you.
Being “unconsciously incompetent” is the worst type of unconsciousness! In this state, you don’t know what you don’t know. Unless you move from this space to a place of being consciously incompetent – where you are aware of what you don’t know – you will live your life and run your business oblivious to what is going on around you, and your growth will be stunted.
On the converse, you could also be “unconsciously competent”. Like in the example of driving your car, you’ve done it so often and are so competent at it that you don’t have to think about it much anymore. This is equally dangerous. It makes you complacent. So when you encounter the hazards and curveballs, you are not ready to react appropriately.
So how conscious are you?
Are you blissfully ignorant about your market, industry trends and how your customers feel?
When last did you get quantitative and qualitative information on your clients, your product offering, your competitors, and pricing?
Have you looked at industry trends and prepared for scenarios for mitigating risk?
Become conscious. A focus on consciousness will help you understand your market, your customers and your team, make good decisions about where to push company resources and efforts, and drive the business forward in its plateau stage.
Start today by identifying something you don’t know… that already makes you conscious of your incompetence, which is the trigger to get you learning, growing and successful.