It hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. A prospect for my business growth consulting group decided to go with a competitor. Egads! I mean how could they pick someone else? This is when I started analyzing the situation, and came up with all the possible ways I could have prevented this.
If only I had called them more frequently. If only they had heard about my company first. If only our pricing was different. If only they knew the amazing work we do, and how we can radically help them.
If only. . . That’s it! If only is the biggest excuse we tell ourselves.
The Realization of The Excuse We Tell Ourselves
If only is one monster of an excuse. It justifies a problem by saying there is one simple fix. It makes you feel good, since the next time I will have fixed this one issue and everything will be just rosey. But the reality is my failure to land this client could be due to a million reasons. The customer may have decided to work with a friend, or maybe my price was in fact too high (or too low – yes coming in too low can cost you work too), or maybe it was a mix of things.
Every customer, and every experience is different. It is rarely one specific minute thing you need to address. More often it is a big picture problem: if I had a strong culture of communication – if we demonstrated why our prices represent huge value – if we made our company’s presence more prominent – those things may have put me on top in this case, and surely in the future.
The next time you catch yourself saying if only realize you may be putting all your attention on a problem that no one cares about. You are likely pin pointing one small cause, when there is in fact one big all encompassing cause. The only part of if only is a trap.
Start thinking bigger and asking bigger questions. What can you do to make your company profoundly better. It surely isn’t “only” one small thing.