Scenario Number One
What if I told you that of all the things you do today, you could choose only a handful. How would you begin to sift through your services and products to pare the list down to a core set? Could you tell me, right now, what those products or services are? What criteria would you use to judge?
Would go for the high value/high profit or margin items? It would seem like a logical direction. Maybe you would go for developing a niche that is only yours further.
Now let's expand the view to a landscape that includes your direct competitors. What does that list look like?
Same exercise looking at indirect competitors. Has the list changed at all?
What are the market considerations and concessions you need to make?
Scenario Number Two
You are about to negotiate a pay raise or to provide a quote for a project you have been asked to bid on. Every single book on salary negotiation is filled with advice on documenting value, matching that value to a need, and communicating worth. And if you have your own business, I recommend being prepared to quote rates.
Have you done your research to find out what the going rate for what you provide is? How do you stack in comparison with others? Would it surprise you to learn that although women know how to negotiate and attach value to their worth, there is still a social cost associated with them doing so? [thanks, Dan]
In your calculations and communications with the party interested in your services, do you spell out terms and conditions? Anyone experiencing project run overs and scope creep?
Scenario Number Three
What if you found an envelope filled with real money. No marks on the envelope and no idea who put it on your desk or in your mail box. There are maybe be a couple of thousand dollars in the envelope. What would you do with it? Would you report the find to the police? Or would you keep it.
By the way, this scenario is not so far out, it has been happening in Japan. [thanks, Dan] How would you decide to act if you knew it would be just sitting in a box somewhere unclaimed? Would your decision change if your next door neighbor or colleague decided to keep the cash?
If someone revealed to you that the money was a gift intended for your to do as you wished, what then?
We all think we have one definitive relationship with money. And we think the decisions we make are applicable in absolute terms. Yet, when we apply a broader context or add information to the mix -- marketplace behaviors, relationships, dependencies -- that picture and those decisions may change radically. We thought we were talking about greenbacks yet we may be talking about grays.