I'm sure you've heard the common expression, "there's more than one way to skin a cat." But is there? Is there more than one way to skin a cat, or is there only one right way to do it?
If you're in the more-than-one-way camp, you have a lot of company. Even philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche would agree. He said, "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."
I, however, would contend just the opposite. That there is, in fact, only one exactly right way to do everything.
Absurd on the face of it, yes? That there's only one exactly right way to do everything?
Well, think about it.
Once you've reached the top of Mount Everest, that's it, isn't it? There is no other Mount Everest on the face of this planet. There's only one.
On the other hand, one could complicate the issue by saying, "I'm going to climb every single one of the highest peaks on the planet," thereby seemingly reducing Mt Everest to just one of the many.
But, still, there's only one. One Mt Everest. One of each of the others. One moment in which it's done. One instant in time in which the reality of it is realized. One and only one. One of you. One of them. One time. Only one.
Translate this to your business. To make many sales, you have to make one sale. To stock the shelves with your product, you have to produce one product. To deliver your service to many customers, you have to deliver it to one customer. To hire a company full of employees, you have to hire one employee. And on and on, for every activity in your company.
Do you want to take the leadership position that there are many different ways to do all these things--to make a sale, to produce your product or service, to hire your employees? Or will you take the position that there is only one exactly right way to do each of these things?
If you're not clear on the end result you want out of each of these activities, then there could be any number of ways to accomplish those undefined results. But is this the way you want to run your business? People doing "whatever" to accomplish some nebulous objective, with no standards to tell them if they've been successful?
But imagine the difference in your company and in your people if they did, in fact, know exactly the right way to produce those results that each one of them is accountable for. Clear procedures, clear guidelines, clear path to successful performance. That's the recipe for success.
Not many different possible ways. One exactly right way. Or as businessman Arnold Glasow said, "Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time."
I believe we're all consumed, not only unnecessarily, but almost compulsively, with numbers. The number of ways to run a marathon or to write a great article. The number of secrets behind being a good partner, of being a worthy friend, of being a responsible parent, of building a remarkably effective website. The number of insights into this and that.
But, when it's all said and done, there's only one.
An entrepreneur with a specific Great Result in mind, who has a crystal clear picture of the stunning result he or she wants to achieve, will always be in search of the one and only one exactly right way to achieve it.
And that's the kicker isn't it? Which one? Which is the one thing I'm here to do, this once?
It may take two, or ten, or many more attempts to find the right way to achieve that result. Each time, you may think you've got it, only to discover a new and better way, and then another better way.
But this is at the very essence of entrepreneurship, isn't it. The quest for the best.
Happy New Year to you all.
And needless to say, but I'll say it anyway: there's only this one.