This week’s ‘Coffee With Colm’ is all about being open to new ideas. However, opening yourself up to new ideas brings it’s own challenge. How do we avoid falling into that trap?
In my book Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business despite the Roadblocks, I think it through in this chapter mini-section entitled Be Open To New Ideas.
Below is that snippet from the book for you to consider.
For context: Our first business had failed.
The most obvious thing for me to do was follow my training and begin a coffee shop chain. I tried. Thankfully, however, I was open to new ideas and Carambola resulted. But being open to new ideas can be a double-edged sword.
What follows is what happened next:
Be open to new ideas.
“You’d make a fortune if you had your own little coffee shop,” was the advice my dad used give me. From his perspective, his way of looking at the world the advice was sound; it was just wrong for me.
Thankfully I resisted.
But because of my training in the café industry for several decades, opening coffee shops, not running my own little one, was the most obvious choice of business when I decided in 2003 to attempt to ‘build something significant’. At the time of writing however I am not in the coffee shop business. Over the years my thinking has broadened, mainly as a result of reading books and listening to CDs to get other people’s views of the world, and I have become open to new ideas.
One of the great ideas I came across was the Hedgehog Concept of Business in ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins, discussed earlier in this book. The concept asks you to ask yourself, “What can you be the best in the world at?” and suggests that it may not be what you are currently engaged in. I find this very liberating.
I believe that my business, Carambola Kidz IS the best in the world at feeding children in school. We are brilliant at it. We are on a mission to promote healthy lifestyle awareness in all children. We have changed the way children in disadvantaged schools in Ireland eat forever. Competitors in the industry set themselves up to be ‘just like Carambola, only better.’
Imagine if I hadn’t been open to new ideas? Please be open to new ideas; the next one might spark something in you that will change the world.
MORE: If you enjoyed that snippet and would like to watch me teach other business lessons in 5-minute videos click here
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Thanks for thinking with me.