3 Simple Questions for a successful Media Business… and Work & Life
We all know it: the TV industry is an extremely volatile and fast-paced world. The everyday hustle and bustle leaves only little room for reflecting on strategic questions. But reasserting your strategy and checking whether you are on the right path is ever more important. It is crucial to do so on a daily base: you must check where you stand personally and as a business to successfully plan and execute your next steps.
In my work with industry leaders and in my own personal experience I learned that applying some simple mechanism is often the best way of handling strategy. Making matters too academic and complicated looks nice in science books, powerpoint presentation and zealous consultancy lingo; but it does not help those people that have to engage in operational strategy and execution every day.
Hence, I have three basic questions that are simple, powerful and key to find your path. The questions are typically part of my work with businesses and managers. They originate in coaching and they have proved to work in business settings as well. The questions are so straight-forward and you will be surprised how effective they are. Try them immediately and use them again and again throughout the day.
What do I want?
Could a question be more basic than that? But the answer might not come easy. What do you really want for yourself, for your business, for your life, for the world… It is a simple, and yet powerful question, that should become the mainstay for checking every move in your life.
We go about our life and work without checking in with our own wants and what we actually want to achieve with our business. Where do we want it to grow into? What should it stand for? Where do I personally fit in? How do I define success – both on a personal and corporate level? All these questions and many more are distilled in these four basic words: What do I want?
The answer is often not there right away when we ask the question. It takes soul searching and on a business level maybe some research, assessment, business planning etc. But asking this question gives you a powerful tool to check where you stand. Just asking the question is often already the answer to a problem you are facing. Does the problem trigger some feelings, thoughts or instinct? Then follow that inner compass and you know in that very moment, what you want.
What value to I provide?
As a TV business and as a manager you ultimately provide service. You serve your audience, you serve your colleagues and team members, you serve your business and stakeholders. But instead of just going about your day, you should ask every time do you really contribute valuable service.
This is also a very useful exercise when you assess a new business idea or strategy. Do I address a market segment that really appreciates the service that I provide? As a business you typically generate revenue when you solve someone’s problem, when you ease their pain and add value to their life. You satisfy a need. If your strategy does that you should be successful.
Ask this question often on a personal level, too. It is making yourself proud and happy to really contribute and seeing that your work is appreciated. Ask people around you: your team member, boss, your family, friends, your clients much more often how you can best help them. You will be surprised how enlightening this exercise is. People will in most cases open up and tell you where they feel need for service and extra help. Do customer journey, do really listen, do use concept such as design thinking to create new ways of approaching a problem and discover where your consumers need services.
In my work with business leaders, founders, and individuals, I find this an extremely helpful question. Too often we miss the real value in our work. We loose focus on what we really provide and what makes our business, our personality and work stand out. Hence, do ask this question often and act on the answer. It ensures you success.
What is holding you back?
This is a question that has changed some people’s life dramatically and has helped numerous businesses to focus its strategy. The work can often become overwhelming and the business outlook sometimes dismal. But when you look at the obstacles as an enemy you will only invest negative energy.
Train you brain to look at opportunities instead. Look at solutions to obstacles. Check if these obstacles are real or just your inner pessimist talking to you. Focus your resources on both getting easy obstacles out of the way and on tackling the bigger ones.
Check often on your inner hurdles and restraints. What is holding you back personally? What speaks against trying something right now – right now in this moment in your life or business cycle? We tend to give in to angst, fear of rejection and failure instead of just trying.
Today’s media world does only grow if we let go of fear: we need to engage much more often in trial and error. Defining a strategy in this environment is more an iterative process than a carefully executed science project. To achieve success in all aspects of your life, you must be more daring and really honestly ask: why not now? Why is this obstacle there and is it really a road block, etc?
When I work with successful businesses I see wonders happen, when they do a reality check on obstacles and when they open up their inner energy – as an individual and on a group level. Overcoming the inner critic and showing courage is a powerful tool in establishing success.
You will have already asked these three questions by now. Your brain cannot “unthink” them while you were reading this article. If you are honest with yourself, you have also felt the power of these questions. And if you are lucky, you might have gotten some very encouraging, exciting answers.
Let me know if you have had an enlightening moment – and if not yet, maybe some day soon. Let me know if I can personally help you to create value by asking more questions and working on answers.