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  • Can You See the End From the Beginning?

    Productivity

    2558417344_04e9d7478bHow a pop song can help you.

    “I can see the end as it begins …”

    Taylor Swift in her song “Wildest Dreams”

    I don’t often quote Taylor Swift songs, but I happened to hear this line in the song recently and it got me thinking:

    • Is Taylor Swift a visionary?
    • Are her lyrics also secret plans to build a business?
    • Are relationships and businesses that closely aligned?

    Yes, Perhaps and Yes

    These are my answers to these semi-rhetorical questions. I think my answers are not too surprising. For as long as music has been created there have been parallels to relationships and some of those parallels can also be applied to business.

    So, is Taylor Swift a visionary? I think the answer is an absolute yes. She’s been very successful in her country and pop career. No one can or should hold that against her. Are her lyrics a secret plan to build a business? I don’t know about that. You’ll have to decide that for yourself. But, there are a lot of parallels to personal and business relationships.

    What am I talking about?

    In Taylor Swift’s song “Wildest Dreams” she has a line that says “I can see the end as it begins” which to me says that we should look for the end at the beginning. Which is just saying the same thing is a slightly different way.

    Which is also a nice parallel to one of the 7 Habits in the classic book by Stephen Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

    Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind

    This may be what Taylor Swift was thinking about when she wrote the lyrics.

    Of course, a lot of relationships that are personal don’t start like this. There are too many other factors that don’t let people see the end as they’re seeing the beginning.

    An Acquired Skill

    Being able to see the end as it beginning is a difficult skill to master. As hard as it may be … it is very beneficial to look at the end while you’re looking at the beginning.

    One of the questions I’ve asked people I know in business and to the people I have mentored over the years is:

    What is your exit strategy?

    The reason I ask this question is because it applies to careers as much as it applies to personal and business relationships.

    It’s hard. Because you’re forcing someone who’s really excited about the beginning of something new to consider the end game, the end stage, the end of this good thing.

    Envision the End to have a Better Beginning

    Envisioning the end is as important as getting started. Thinking about how this thing you are considering will end up is important. Again it’s hard, and it may not be the thinking you want to consider. It may not entail conversations you want to have and host. But, by taking this long view you will be much better served in the long run. Both for your interests and for the others involved in this effort.

    As hard as it may be, it is important to think about, consider, and evaluate what the end stage might look like.

    When you are able to do this consistently and effectively you will stand out in your career.

    Of course, no one wants to really think about how their relationships may end – whether it’s for business or personal. But, and this is important, it’s worthwhile to consider what it might look like upfront so that you can plan it into the overall relationship.

    This is a lot easier to say in a business relationship because you can take some of the emotion out of it. And I highly recommend that you take this step. That you do take the time to evaluate what the end stage will look like.

    Those that can do this effectively will stand out in their careers. Not just in their business relationships, but also in their personal relationships.

    Is Taylor Swift a business guru and visionary?

    I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader. You can make up your own mind on whether you think a pop star that is worth something north of $200 million is as much of a musical star as she is a business star and genius.

    Are you a Business guru and visionary?

    That’s up to you to decide, find and to execute upon.

    Now go out and make your own kind of music.

    Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances. Follow him on Twitter @jshuey or on LinkedIn: in/JeffShuey

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    Posted in Career Development, Personal Branding, Reputation Management, Success Strategies
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