The Importance of Perspective

by Gillian Pritchett on March 29, 2011

Perspective is so important when you’re in business and it was the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan and their impact on the lives of thousands upon thousands of people that really got me thinking about perspective during the past week or so.
Perspective has several meanings – it can mean the way we see things – for example we can choose to see a glass that is half full or half empty but perspective can also be seeing something in a different light – getting a new angle on something. It can also means keeping things in perspective – not getting hung up about things that don’t really matter so much.
As Friedrich Nietzsche said Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. 
In business there are many situations where perspective is vital – here are just a few. I’m sure you can think of many more – please add them in the comments below.
  • when you’re starting out in business you need to be realistic about the chances of success for your business idea – is it feasible ? do people need your proposed product or service ? how much money will it take to get started and get through the first few months and can you access that amount of money ? You need to keep a perspective – dream  but also have your feet on the ground
  •  whether you’re starting or already running a business – can you really handle everything yourself ? or do you need to hire in some expertise – perhaps for your annual accounts, perhaps for computer issues, maybe to guide you with your marketing strategy. Hiring a good VA even if you’re an off-line business can free up your time to work on the parts of your business you’re passionate about, the deliver the services you offer or work on your products. Keep a perspective on what you have time to do, what you’re good at and if your outsource don’t beat yourself up for not being able to do it – rather pat yourself on the back for being smart enough to recognise that you can’t do it all and to have done something about it. 
  • if you have a lot of interest in your business remember that not every possible mandate will come to fruition or it may take a longer time than you planned for the client to want to make a start. Keep a list of bubbling opportunities, check on them from time to time but keep yur eyes on your business goal and on the ‘low hanging fruit’ – things that will go ahead and will bring in money quite quickly -. If mandates fall through – keep it all in perspective – don’t take it personally and don’t get discouraged. 
  • clients that are difficult to work with  can nonetheless enable you to learn – if only on how to set boundaries. If you can’t fire them try to keep it all in perspective. 
  • If you have a thorny problem to fix try to get a new perspective on it – maybe by brainstorming with a friend or family member. often someone outside of your business can bring a completely new perspective to things.

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.  ~Robert Green Ingersoll

What wisdom and stories on perspective do YOU have to share with us ?

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