Years ago, I was in a seminar learning to become a behavior specialist. The trainer used an expression I will never forget. He said - if you are not A-ware, you cannot B-ware, and will not SEE! I never forgot the expression because it made so much sense.
A couple years later, I also heard a story about indigenous people on an island in South America who were surprised when the 'white man' stepped onto their beach. Thy had not 'seen' the large ship on the horizon - and even as the white man arrived still did not see the vessel. Because they had never see a boat so very large and had no comprehension of what something like that might look like - their eyes, although they may have received the data and transferred it to the brain, the brain had no way to sort out or make sense of the data it received. I thought this to be very very interesting.
Today I listened to an explanation how a mid air crash occurred between two small aircraft. An experienced pilot was explaining the value of instruments and mad the comment "The eyes do not see what the brain does not expect". This took me back to being A-ware to B-ware so that we can see!
How often have we had things happen in our businesses - good and bad - that we just did not 'see' coming! This is where communication and strategy on all levels is important. Weekly meetings with staff to review issues that have arisen, problems and crisis that could be solved or avoided are integral to keeping a business moving forward.
But there is no strategy better for personal and professional growth than hiring a coach or mentor. It is in this way that we experience 20/20 vision. Isaac Newton said once, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Newton was referring to those larger than life experts and great people who had gone before him - lifting him up in thought and inspiring vision. Unfortunately Newton never explained how he got up on the shoulders of the 'giants'. Undoubtedly, he had mentors and advisors he paid in some way.
You see, Newton did understand the universal laws that many of us are today still learning. These principles, both physical and spiritual, include the law of fair trade for fair value. I speak of it often - reminding small business owners that good products and good advice always come at some cost to us. It is important that we pay fairly for what we receive. Sometimes a service or product may be offered to us for free - but we should not expect them for free. Ergo, hiring a coach or mentor will require that we compensate them for bringing us the vision we need.
If we want to be aware and 'see' both possibilities and hazards in our businesses - we need to learn to expect to see them. As the pilot said, the eyes cannot see what they do not expect. When we learn to look for the unexpected - be it possibilities or problems, we can beware of things we do not want to happen - and run towards the things we do want to happen. A coach can assist us in looking for those things. A good coach will help you see all that happens as opportunities.
A short PS to this story...
Recently I did some work for a new business - some of it paid - some pro-bono. Last week the business owner sent me $25 - a small sum to many, but for her it was a great sacrifice - and she was doing it to show appreciation for my time. Within one hour of deciding to send me the money, she received a new client that brought her twelve times the amount she sent me. (12 x) This is how the universe rewarded her for honouring my time, advice and vision.