Working and Working Hard

When you’re in business a long time, you have to find ways to change.  Look what happened to Kodak.  The world evolves.  Clients need different services and new skills.  If a company doesn’t change in the right direction at the right time, it becomes yesterday’s news, last year’s hit.

Wilberg Community Planning has been around 17 years.  It was established two days after I left my dream job at an agency temporarily overrun with bad decision-making on the part of its board of directors.  I wept for a day and printed new business cards on the next.  It was a hard transition but I never looked back. 

This year, I made a similar decision and that was to leave a coalition for which I’d been the primary consultant for ten years.  A tough decision but one driven by the knowledge that my business needed to move on to new things, that to stay in the same position was making my business a Kodak.  That wasn’t good enough for me.  So I left without any quick replacements in terms of new business.

But, of course, just as happened when I first printed those business cards, business just started turning up.  A major, breathtakingly hard federal proposal that took months to put together, an opportunity to create an innovative evaluation system for a small, beautifully community-based organization, involvement in two major new redesign efforts in county government, and other new, different clients practically coming out of nowhere.  And then there has been a lot of training I’ve conducted over the past several months through the Nonprofit Center and my association with Planners and Grantwriters Roundtable.

In other words, I’m working and working hard but instead of that edge that I felt getting duller and duller, my new edge is sharp and focused.  Sometimes, you have to quit something to get other things going.  Or as I like to say, once in a while, you need to go out and come back in again.

Start over.  Be sharp.  Be keen.