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Saturday Musings - Thinking Outside the Box

Saturday Musings - Thinking Outside the Box

I hear too many people moan and groan about their job, their family or their life. They often feel disempowered to make positive changes over their life. Let me whisper a little secret in your ear….you can change your circumstances for the better! You just need to think a little differently.

For example, let’s imagine that you love your job but can’t stand your boss. Each day you find yourself in two minds of whether to persevere or quit. Solution! Get your boss’s resume and hand it onto a head-hunter. Your boss will get a better job and with any luck you’ll get promoted! It’s only a matter of thinking a little differently.

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If you run a company then when was the last time you fired a painful customer? I remember I ran an Internet Service Providing business a number of years ago and our help desk was being driven insane but a painful customer. I got on the phone and politely told them that we couldn’t meet their level of service expectation and provided a list of three competitors.

They responded by saying, “You know your competitors don’t help customers the way you do!”

I then said, “Well here are the ground rules….”

We kept the customer, managed them appropriately and the support desk was happy once again.

I was speaking to a domain owner who was complaining that they were being harassed thirty to forty times per day by inbound buyers wanting to buy their domain. They have a super-premium domain and have no intention of selling at any price (well....almost). I suggested that they get a premium dial-in number and put a charge of about $10 per minute on it. Suddenly the hassle became worth it and a good source of revenue.

A couple of decades ago I overheard my sales team complaining that they were getting the run around by a potential customer. No matter how many times they called and left messages they couldn’t get the person to reply. I asked for the phone number that ended in 55 and dialled 54.

While the phone was ringing at the other end one of the sales team pointed out that I had dialled the wrong number. I replied, “I know.”

Sure enough the person who answered the call worked for the company that we were after and after a brief conversation that involved, “whoops, I dialled the wrong number”, I was speaking to the person my team had long sought. It’s just thinking a little out of the box that makes the difference.

So you want a better life? Here’s a few simple suggestions.

Get eight hours sleep….you’ll become more potent during the work day and life will look a lot better. Trust me when I say that I used to work to 3am each morning and I was not nearly as focused during the work day.

Think of someone that you love and do something special for them. There’s nothing like seeing their smile…it ignites something on the inside of yourself and them.

Pay the grocery bills of the person behind you in the check-out line at the local supermarket. I’ve done this quite a lot and I can reassure you that I’ve received more out of doing that then the person receiving my cash. You can also do this at the drive-through takeaway…it’s awesome fun!

Do you want to make your family life better? I wrote about fifty little messages on how I thought my daughter was wonderful for her to find scattered around the house. Learn to drink the beverage that your wife/husband likes. For me, it was tea and coffee. What I didn’t realise was that the activity had nothing to do with the drink and more to do with spending time with my wife.

Do something special just for yourself….and then don’t tell anyone. A few years ago I gained my private pilot’s license and didn’t tell any of my wider family. My dad discovered that I could fly when I had him sitting next to me in the cockpit. It was an incredible experience keeping the secret and then going “taaadaaa!”

Life isn’t a chore it’s more the way we are viewing it. Thinking out of the box is taking a look at the challenges that we all face and trying to view them differently. Sometimes we can be so bogged down in the swamp of problems that we don’t realise that the sun is shining overhead.

Have a great weekend!

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Comments

Guest - Trusted. on 22 August 2015
Don't forget to listen to the singing birds!

"Pay the grocery bills of the person behind you in the check-out line at the local supermarket."
This is arrogant! I would tell you to get on one! " There are better ways of 'charity'. Sorry no gold stars for you today.

And the title "Thinking Outside the Box" is out dated.

"Pay the grocery bills of the person behind you in the check-out line at the local supermarket." This is arrogant! I would tell you to get on one! " There are better ways of 'charity'. Sorry no gold stars for you today. And the title "Thinking Outside the Box" is out dated.
mgilmour on 25 August 2015
RE:Don't forget to listen to the singing birds!

The most important thing that I've found is to be humble when posing the question about the groceries. I've never had anyone get upset with me. I've had people really surprised but never chastise me for trying to do something nice.
BTW....it's actually not charity. One of the things I notice is that the average person gets slammed by taxes and high bills. They rarely if ever qualify for any government handouts but manage their finances really carefully. Paying for these type of people's grocery bills can have a surprising impact on their week....allowing them to "pass it on" to others. It's my attempt to bring a bit of joy into the world.
I agree with you....the title is a little outdated but I wrote the article just before heading out for a weeks vacation.
Cheers!

The most important thing that I've found is to be humble when posing the question about the groceries. I've never had anyone get upset with me. I've had people really surprised but never chastise me for trying to do something nice. BTW....it's actually not charity. One of the things I notice is that the average person gets slammed by taxes and high bills. They rarely if ever qualify for any government handouts but manage their finances really carefully. Paying for these type of people's grocery bills can have a surprising impact on their week....allowing them to "pass it on" to others. It's my attempt to bring a bit of joy into the world. I agree with you....the title is a little outdated but I wrote the article just before heading out for a weeks vacation. Cheers!
Guest - Daniel on 23 August 2015
Thanks

Nice wake up article!

Nice wake up article!
mgilmour on 25 August 2015
RE:Thanks

Thanks for that Daniel!

Thanks for that Daniel!
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