A Nine Letter Word That Every Business Needs to Learn

By Herman Pool
In Marketing
September 10, 2012
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Kat / Vertical Axion

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S-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e.

Many companies attempt to avoid this particular concept at all costs. It literally means “the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable,” so why wouldn’t people want to avoid it? Sacrifice is not something anyone enjoys, and generally we like to keep what we’ve earned. We like instant gratification.

There’s another part of the definition to sacrifice, however. The end of it reads,” for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.” We don’t sacrifice for meaningless sport; we have a purpose in doing so. That’s why sacrifice has a place in the business world.

In the end, you reap what you sow. If you let your company get lazy and don’t keep up with the latest technology or innovation because you’re already successful, then you’ll wind up like Kodak, Nokia, and RIM – all companies that got comfortable once they tasted success.

Kodak is the best example here because they’ve already reached the end of the line. A few weeks ago, they declared bankruptcy. Less than 24 hours ago, the company started auctioning off the part of their business that made them famous – their digital camera department. A company that was once synonymous with the words “digital camera” is simply extinct.

Yes, changing your entire way of thinking and doing business when an innovation hits the market is challenging. It’s uncomfortable, it’s annoying, and best of all, it’s often very expensive. But what happens when you don’t? Your company sinks to its knees and then tries to catch up when it’s already too late.

Without the pain, there will be no gain. You have to work for the results you want. That can mean changing a department, a person at your company, or your entire set of goals. If you don’t, and you choose to stick with the path you’ve chosen, you’re responsible for the decisions you make – which means you will ultimately be responsible for the failure of your company.

Instead, remain ever-flexible. Pay attention. Sacrifice when you need to – even when it’s hard. Make the right decision at the right time to get the result you want.

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