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David FullerThere was a lot of excited yelling at our house on Saturday morning when I cut down the tree in front of the house.

My morning started when my wife asked me six times in a row if I was getting a Christmas tree.

I had told her all week that I was going to get a tree on Saturday.

My head started to spin with all the questions:

  • Where was I going to get it?
  • Was it going to be nice?
  • Did I want her to come with me to pick out a nice tree from the plant store?

I told her to trust me, the tree would be nice. I then proceeded to the garage to get a saw and went and cut down the blue spruce in our front yard and dragged it into the house.

In business, we sometimes think we need to look for opportunities that are in distant lands; that we need to expand our reach, our network and our client base to get more customers to drive revenue. We spend our energy and focus on coming up with clever campaigns that will capture attention and have new clients flocking to our doors.

For many years after I started business coaching, I did the same thing. I wrote a book called Profit Yourself Healthy to enable me to connect with more business owners worldwide. I had clients across North America; I had speaking gigs and clients in Europe; I even had a customer or two in Australia.

It took a lot of energy to fly here and there, meeting with people to help them with their businesses.

Then one day I was made aware of the fact that while I worked in a relatively small town compared to other business coaches I knew in the United States and Canada, there was plenty of work right on my doorstep.

One year as I sat down to do my planning for the year, I decided to focus my energy and look closer at the opportunities that might be in my community and the small communities in the region.

I realized that my passion to make a difference in the lives of leaders could be satisfied quite easily by working with those people who really needed help in certain sectors of the economy and specific regions that didn’t require me getting on an airplane.

In fact, I discovered that I loved working with a diversity of locally-owned organizations more than working in the specific industry where I had previously worked.

The take-away for business owners is that when we look for opportunities to fill needs and create value, we should start with those close to home.

Most businesses would do well to simply look to their existing customers. We have relationships with these people and their needs aren’t being filled. What can we do customize our service to these clients, while offering them products or services that would fill our coffers?

Sometimes we need to think outside of the box to creatively implement solutions to achieve successful outcomes.

My Christmas tree grew in my front yard and allowed me to save money because I was able to see something others overlooked. I realized the blue spruce was almost touching the powerlines and needed to be trimmed by two metres for safety reasons.

Luckily for me I didn’t get electrocuted while topping the tree and the end result was a beautiful Christmas tree in plain view that others hadn’t even noticed.

Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner in the firm Pivotleader Inc. Need someone to yell at? Email [email protected]

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