The Obvious

How many times do we manage to avoid the obvious and, instead, search out secrets when it comes to improving ourselves, our careers and our businesses?

Here is a quick example. We gained some weight over the holidays. Now, there are a few ways we can go about rectifying this, but they all are essentially the same thing. We can go out and buy the latest and greatest diet book and follow its advice. We can search the Internet for weight loss “secrets.” Or, we can do the obvious. We can reasonably cut back on what we are eating, lowering our caloric intake and we can reasonably increase our activity.

In other words, losing weight is based on burning more calories than we take in, creating a caloric deficit. Sure, it is wise to see a doctor before embarking on a diet and exercise program, particularly if we are significantly overweight and have not exercised in a long time. But for the people, and that includes many of us, who put on 8 to 10 stubborn pounds over the holidays, the obvious answer is: eat less, move more. There is no secret recipe. Oh, and go to the doctor and have an annual checkup, because that is an obvious thing to do no matter what condition you are in. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

And so it goes with business. We have an underperforming business. We can buy the latest and greatest book on improving our business. We can search the Internet for business secrets. Or, we can do the obvious.

If the front of our shop looks drab, with a bit of paint we can brighten it up. If we do not have much presence on the street we are located on, we can put up better signage. If we are not selling as much as we would like to, we can make ourselves and our sales people more accountable for attending to customers in a courteous, helpful way.

Is buying books or using the Internet to gain information on improving our circumstances a bad thing? Not at all. Reading and searching for information can certainly be helpful. However, first things first. Attend to the obvious as your first priority. The faster positive action is taken, the faster results can be seen.

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*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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