YOUR BUSINESS POTENTIAL
by Terry Goodwin
Gray put it so well . . . 
many a gem of purest ray serene
dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
many a flower is born to blush unseen
waste its sweetness on the desert air.
village-Hampden that with dauntless breast
little tyrant of the fields withstood;
mute inglorious Milton may have rest,
Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.
all have unused potential, as Thomas Gray perceived.
We simply don’t always recognise it.
We know what we’ve done; we may suspect what we can do; but on the
whole we remain in the dark about all the things we could do.
how do we discover our dormant potential and then begin to nurture it?
We have a number of options, of possibilities, of choices.
Unless we take advantage of the possibilities, unless we open our horizon
up to the options, and unless we are prepared to risk the choices, we will
simply restrict ourselves to the familiar.
Santayana told the world that if it failed to learn the lessons of history, it
would be compelled to repeat them. And
it did, unhappily And it does,
dismayingly. By the same (or
perhaps the reverse?) token, unless we pursue the unknown, unless we try to push
our personal frontiers outward, we will simply repeat our past performance.
are a number of relatively simple steps we can take to distinguish our true
potential. Here are some questions
we might ask ourselves.
What do I really want?
Am I satisfied with what I am currently doing?
Is there something I would rather do?
How might I determine what it is?
If I think about doing something
new in some unexplored territory, does it feel exciting?
Fearful? Stimulating? Or am
I aware of an overpowering tendency to thrust it to one side in favour of the
familiar, the comfortable pattern?
Am I able to recognise my
strengths? Am I developing them, or
am I putting them into a straitjacket?
Do I already possess the knowledge
and resources (emotional, physical, mental, intellectual) to pursue the new
course? Or will I have to acquire
new knowledge, learn new skills, accept new beliefs?
Am I aware, or ready to accept,
that unless I am prepared to learn new skills or acquire new knowledge, I am
unlikely to develop my true potential?
Am I likely to sabotage my own
efforts to develop my potential? If
I can distinguish this tendency, what might I do about it?
established that I am aware of my potential and am prepared to explore how best
to utilise it in a business capacity, what might I do next?
Recognise that the first idea is
not necessarily the only one or even the best, but work out alternative
Ensure that my strategies are
correctly designed to produce the desired end result.
Devise tests to check this out.
Establish a USP – a unique
Think of ways of making the idea
foolproof. This will involve not
merely considering clients needs, their possible objections, and their probable
desired outcomes, but also one’s own propensity to self-sabotage.
Develop a routine that will
reinforce the positive energy with which the idea was first greeted.
Involve others and invite their
Maintain an environment for
exploration and continued learning.
Above all, do not be content with your initial achievement. Potential is not finite; that would be a contradiction in terms. So continue to seek out ways in which your horizon may be expanded. Fathom those dark caves and bring your personal flower to its full ripeness and sweetness.