My sister-in-law’s potato salad – or more accurately, what was left of it

Let’s continue exploring business applications of my old family reunions.

The Resister – We all know this one. This is the wet blanket that says things like, “We’ve never done that before” or “this is the way we always do it” or something to that effect. The Resister is a big believer in rules, and takes it upon himself to make sure everyone follows them.

In the family reunion, it was Uncle Gary, the husband of my father’s younger sister, Aunt Linda. They had 4 kids of their own, but Uncle Gary always had time to lecture and monitor everyone else’s kids as well, letting them know they were running afoul of the rules and what is the only way to do something. I was an extremely rebellious child. I didn’t commit any crimes or do much material damage, but I had a smart mouth and talking back to grownups was as easy as breathing for me. Not surprisingly, Uncle Gary and I didn’t get along very well. Because of my rebellious nature, the adults found it easy to blow me off when I would tell them Gary was a certifiable maniac, that he belonged in a room with striped sunlight, padded walls and no corners, wearing a sweater with no sleeves. Eventually, I would be proven right on this one. I’m not going to air my family’s dark times in public, but let’s just say that Gary’s behavior would eventually validate my claims. Aunt Linda eventually divorced him, and would later remarry.

How many times have we been in a meeting where a new idea is discussed, and there’s that one person that says, “we’ve never done that before” or “that’s not the way it’s always been done.” That has to be the biggest buzzkill in existence. If this type of thing comes up regularly, the motivation to innovate disappears. Innovation is the lifeblood of all business. No matter how perfect we think we are doing, there is always room for improvement. There is always a process that could be further streamlined, or a product that could be produced faster or of higher quality, or some other way to be more efficient or of better service to customers.

Some businesses can benefit by bringing on more people, which sounds counterintuitive. Hiring people costs more money. True, but what are you hiring the person to do? If you can sell a drowning man a glass of water but couldn’t file a legal brief to save your life, having a legal expert will reduce your time & effort in compliance tasks. If you have great products to sell but aren’t too swift with getting the word out, a Virtual Assistant could add content to your website, write some posts for your blog, or manage your email list and creating great newsletters that people will actually read when scrolling through their 247 emails.

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