The first time I heard the song Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin, it was from a Sony reel to reel tape deck near the bank of a high lake near the Mt Jefferson Wilderness Area. I was mesmerized by the haunting guitar intro and the heartfelt cry of Robert Plant’s voice as it echoed from shore to shore around the small lake. I could almost see the ripples in the water moving in sync with the music itself. It was one of those OMG moments in time, the kind that you never forget. It left a permanent etching in my memory like what 911, the moon landing, and the Kennedy assassination also did to me.
After fifty years, I have just returned from visiting that same lake where I had been introduced to that Zeppelin song. And now, like many after a vacation, I’m not back at work mentally yet. I find myself just watching and listening to our little river meander its way past my office deck thinking about that wilderness lake, “Dazed and Confused,” and my clients – simultaneously. It occurred to me that so often I’m called by clients when they are in trouble, when they are dazed and confused about what to do with their business or organization.
Suddenly, this “what if” moment went through my head. I thought what if I changed the word “woman” to “business” in Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” lyrics. I know – weird, but here’s what I got:
Dazed and confused for so long it’s not true
Wanted a business, never bargained for you
Sweet little business, say what you will
Tongue wag so much when I send you the bill
You hurt and abused, tellin’ all of your lies
Run ’round sweet business, Lord, how you hypnotize
Tryin’ to love you,
baby, but you go on hurtin’ so
Soul of a business, was created below
Every day I work so hard, bringin’ home my hard-earned pay
Sweet little business, then you take it away
I wanna love you
baby, but you do me so bad
The worst little business I once ever had, I’ve got to quit you
It’s a curious take on what a business, whether small, medium, or even large can do to the people who love their business and try so hard to implement strategies they hope will be successful. Sometimes the things they try just don’t work leaving them dazed, confused, failing, and hopeless. And after a period of denial, they realize that they must do something different. Often it is to quit.
But it is not hopeless. You can identify new strategies that have a higher probability of turning your “business from hell” into a successful, growing, and sustainable organization. It requires doing something different for sure, but not necessarily “quitting.” What you do differently specifically requires you to do these basic things:
- identify your current situation including your current strategy.
- explore what market opportunities exist that you can be the best in.
- identify several strategy alternatives for being the best in your target market area.
- select the most viable strategy alternative.
- develop and implement tactics that make the strategy happen and move you toward that target market efficiently, effectively, and profitably.
- monitor and adjust your strategy as needed.
Is there a guarantee you’ll be successful? Nope. But there is a good probability that if your analysis and chosen strategy is coherent, viable, and doable, you will be successful. Sometimes our results are a function of indecision and continuation of doing the same old thing – decision by indecision. Selecting and employing your new strategy at minimum gives you a shot of turning your business around and of making money in a sustainable fashion.
Misty River Consulting can help you develop a viable strategy for your business and develop a plan that puts into place that strategy. Our mission is your success and growth. Contact us for a free complimentary consultation.