You are not alone. As we get more and more familiar with people and our surroundings we miss small changes. Sometimes those small changes can turn into big problems over time.
So what can you do?
In business, the best exercise is to walk into your place of business and try to look at your surroundings as if you were a customer. Look at everything the carpet, the walls, the artwork, where people sit, what people are wearing. If you do significant business over the phone, call in and see how the person answers the phone, check their voice tone, did you get a live person or one of those annoying “press 3 for…”
In relationships, the best exercise is “time travel.” Now this can work in business too, but it works great for relationships. Close your eyes, after you read this, and go back to when you first met. Think about everything you can, where you were, how warm/cold it was, what they looked like, what you looked like, what things smelled like, and was there music playing? This exercise will create fresh memories of things that happen in the past. It is not rocket science I know, but it can help you notice changes in our surroundings.
If you are not interested in doing that work, because you are too busy or some crappy excuse like that, then you need to bring in a tourist.
This can be a personal friend you have not seen in a long time when it comes to relationships. They will say things like, “man you have gotten grew,” or, “wow I remember your kids when they were this high.” Letting them to their own cliched devices will not help you. You need to ask them questions about what else they have noticed has changed since they were last in your home or town. This can and will spark your brain to notice those changes.
You can bring in a tourist to your business too. An experienced tourist will look at everything in your business; systems, marketing, office space, interview your team, look at your neighbors, check out your local business neighborhood, and heck even interview a few clients.
We, as business owners, get so caught up in the day to day. If you want to make changes or fix problems this coming year, get a set of fresh eyes on your life, not just your business.
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