Run Your Business: Getting lost


September 10, 2021

Photo: gradyreese/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: gradyreese/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

When I first started running in college, I loved to get lost on a run. I made turns and loops in unfamiliar areas until I had no idea where I was. Sometimes, I even ran without my glasses or contacts just to make it even more of a challenge. It was fun to have the miles add up as I slowly found my way back to familiar territory.

Today, I shudder when I think how easily I could have tripped and fallen on a rock or pothole. Yet, I have never lost my love to explore new areas while running, especially when I travel. In Paris, I ran around cobblestone streets and breathed in the smell of croissants.

In London, I ran through the winding paths of London’s Hyde Park, and that was where I completely lost my sense of direction. But at least I had my phone’s GPS. Until, I reached for it and found nothing in my pockets. I’d left my phone in the hotel. Still, I didn’t ask for help. I ran down different paths, hoping to find a familiar sight, but I had no idea where I was or how to get back. I finally gave in and asked an elderly woman walking her dog for directions.

She ignored my panting and the sweat dripping off of me, and gracefully gave me the precise directions back to the hotel — exactly the opposite direction I would have run!

Asking for help gave me the confidence to move forward. Now, I knew I was moving in the right direction.

Don’t go it alone

I’ve been reluctant to ask for help in my business as well. I was a business owner and felt as if I was supposed to know all the answers.

I needed to ask for help in the first year after my dad passed away. At BHB Pest Elimination, our goal is always quality service, but sometimes you have a difficult account. My dad and I used to brainstorm solutions together. But now I was on my own, and one of our big commercial accounts was having a difficult fly issue that we just couldn’t get a handle on. I knew they’d cancel soon. I felt helpless. Reluctantly, I called in a consultant. The consultant helped us solve the issue and save the account. He even helped us set up service protocols that we continue to follow today.

When I first began in this industry, marketing was simple. We had phone directory ads, postcards, cold calling and knocking on doors. As marketing evolved, we thought we could continue to handle it all ourselves as we ventured into pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) marketing.

How wrong I was! Not only was I more lost than in London, our marketing budgets skyrocketed out of control with little success. Again, we turned to help: Professionals gave me direction. We streamlined our budget and saw an immediate increase in closed business.

Once I sought the guidance of experts, I wondered how I could have wandered aimlessly for so long without seeking help. The world is constantly changing and it is so easy to get lost. Rather than risk getting further off track, ask for help. You will get on the right road faster and will be able to move forward in the right direction.

Have a great run!

About the Author

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Broder is owner of BHB Pest Elimination, New York, N.Y.

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