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Mike Cooper's Blog

By Mike Cooper | Broker in Winchester, VA

Whatever happens in vagueness stays in vagueness.

Whatever happens in vagueness stays in vagueness. 

"Whatever happens in vagueness stays in vagueness."  I don't know who the original author of that quote is because I found dozens of Google results on a search, but what a great thought it is.  Clark Whelton of City Journal is often sited as the author.  If that is true, I applaud Mr. Whelton because he has struck a cord in more ways that the simple ambiguity of the English language.  He has also given us a view of many businesses today.

Far too many small businesses in this country operate on a arch of vagueness.  You'll hear Directionthings like, "I've got to do whatever it takes to keep the doors open," or "I can't get ahead because I'm always behind," and "I'd be able to get ahead if I had more time to invest in focusing on the future."  Oh, I feel your pain.  I know from personal experience that trying to keep the lights on can be all consuming.  It can be so consuming that year after year can pass by without moving the company forward an inch. 

You paid the mortgage, kept the lights on and stayed in business, but at the end of the day you weren't where you wanted to be.  You didn't take a vacation.  Many weeks there was no salary for you.  You dreaded tax day.  Direction and future goals are only a dream.  Survival mode and vagueness have become the norm.  You don't have time to focus.

OK, I get it.  What can you do when business has you chained to a desk, a project, a pattern, etc.?  Stop and take stock.  It doesn't take a weekend away.  This can be done in your office, your car or at the coffee shop.

  • Why are you in business?  Independence?  Freedom?  A better life, more income, more time with family and so forth?
  • What are you doing that is producing income?
  • What are you doing that is not producing income?
  • What is costing you that is not producing anything?
  • What would your business look like if it was the business of your dreams?  What will you have to change to have that business?
  • What is robbing you of achieving the direction you want your business to travel?  Low functioning employees?  Poor decisions?  Expensive services that don't provide what they promise?  Expenses that are like a drip, drip, drip, but you don't have time to turn the facet off?
  • Be brutally honest with yourself.
  • What would you have to change to have the business of you always wanted?  One of the reasons I haven't loaded my office up with agents is because I don't like wallpaper.  I don't need licenses hanging all over my office.  It won't make me feel like a success.  If those licenses aren't a part of our success strategy, they are a part of our failure.  I'm only willing to team up with visionary agents who have a well articulated plan for their own business success.

Your success rests solely on your shoulders.  Because of that, you need to constantly make tough decisions that keep you on course, but if you don't know where you're going you won't know when you arrive.  What happens in vagueness stays in vagueness. 


By Annette Lawrence,  Sun Aug 26 2012, 07:03
Sometimes a business owner simply grows weary of the perpetual task of figuring out to where the cheese has been moved.

They insist on looking for the cheese where they are because the lighting is better...but there is no cheese!

"I want my information where I'm at, when I want it and on the device I have!" That's a BIG change and has moved the cheese in a manner inconceivable just 10 years ago. (is cheese to vague?)
By Mike Cooper,  Sun Aug 26 2012, 07:39
Well said, Annette.

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