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"Make it Better!"

by Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"ô

(c) 2002, A Few Good People, Inc.

Whatever you make, sell, or do, you can undoubtedly make, sell, or do it even better than you already do.

There, I said it.

Itís nothing personal. Iím sure that you already do a great job, but there is always room for improvement; there are examples all around us. And I am absolutely certain that you can find something, however small, that will make what you do just a little better.

How can I be so sure? Iíll tell you.

Someone improved a pad of paper.

Iím not kiddingÖ a pad of paper! It was one of those "cubes" with a design printed on the sides (which, in itself, is an improvement over a regular pad of paper). But they went one step further and drilled a hole in one corner for a pen or pencil. Ingenious. Simple. Useful. Amazing.

I challenge you to start right away! Donít be intimidated; your improvements donít have to be quantum leaps in technology. Little things add up. For example, it is my goal to improve my website every day. It doesnít have to be anything huge, but I try to tweak it every day. Sometimes the changes are big (a new page or feature), sometimes the changes are small (fixing a typo or changing the color or size of a word). But they all add up and the website is lookiní pretty good, if I say so myself!

Just examine how others have improved their products. We all know and love sticky notes: look at the simple improvements they came up with for a basically simple product. Colors, for example. Yellow, blue, green, white. Then came various sizes (in various colors, of course). Now they have different shapes for different purposes, which come in various sizes and colors. For example, you can buy long, skinny sticky-notes to use as place markers in books or magazines. A simple idea with a number of simple improvements.

Hereís another example; a rope! Someone actually improved on a rope that is used for horses. How can something as simple as a rope be improved? The rope Iím talking about is called a "lead rope", which is attached to a halter (which is worn over the horseís head) and used to lead a horse where you want him to go. Using such a rope can be uncomfortable for you or your horse due to its unforgiving nature, so hereís the improvement: they made the rope out of an elastic material similar to a bungee cord. Now, if the horse suddenly moves one way or another, there is much less shock to him and to you. And there is an added benefit if the rope is attached to a fixed object (such as a hitchiní post). Simple. Ingenious. Effective.

Surely you can come up with something. Start right now. Invent some little way to improve a single aspect of your business. It doesnít matter how small it is, DO IT! Try to come up with something every day, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

The pad of paper you improve may be your own.

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