Yesterday, I started reading Nick Carter's book Twelve Seconds: The Lift Your Business Needs. I love the analogy of a business as flight in the book and Nick describes it thoroughly.
One of the first discussions is lift. NASA defines lift as the following:
Lift is the force that directly opposes the weight of an airplane and holds the airplane in the air. Lift is generated by every part of the airplane, but most of the lift on a normal airliner is generated by the wings. Lift is a mechanical aerodynamic force produced by the motion of the airplane through the air. Because lift is a force, it is a vector quantity, having both a magnitude and a direction associated with it. Lift acts through the center of pressure of the object and is directed perpendicular to the flow direction.
Last night, another business owner and I had some drinks and we were discussing the energy and focus we had with our businesses. Both our businesses are doing well, but it's taken an incredible investment from us. I don't think anyone realizes, until they start a business, what it requires. From dipping into savings, to stressing about cashflow, to employee issues, to sales, to accounting and taxes… folks don't realize that by the time we actually work on our clients it requires every last ounce of energy.
We have to conserve energy as much as possible so we always have the engines running and the business has lift. Conflicts and problems can't be dragged out since that expends much more energy than we can afford. Imagine a flight where you expended too much fuel to make it to your destination… you're going to crash. As a result, I've become far more decisive and faster with responses and action than in the past.
Lift is the fundamental characteristic of every flight and flying device. As I look at my business, the lift of DK New Media is, without a doubt, this blog. The establishment of this blog led to our audience, my book, my speaking engagements, my work with venture firms and technology companies internationally, and the hiring of our employees and our ongoing work. If there were wings in my business, they would be this blog.
So, regardless of how bad a day I have, how much energy I've expended, what my workload is like, how much cash is in the bank and what client issues we may have, I consistently ensure that my business has lift. I know there are many more details of the flight that I have to pay attention to (and Nick's book is helping me focus on that), but I'll never forget the foundation of all of our work – this blog. This blog has allowed us to fly and will bring us wherever we want to go. I just have to ensure I keep it's engines running and continue to keep us climbing.
What are the wings of your business?