This banned word can get you into a lot of trouble

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An entrepreneur gave me his business plan and other documents relating to his business and asked me to review it.

I went through the business plan and had some insights to give him but decided first to ask him, how could I help.

This is a very important question because as an independent adviser you may have much experience and more than 100 analytical tools to detect what’s the matter in the businesses but you could miss the mark completely unless you go into a review session with an open mind.

It’s important to right at the outset find out what is concerning the entrepreneurs.

Anyway, I asked the question and the reply was “customers”. The entrepreneur told me that he had set up the business a few years back but still did not have one customer.

Entrepreneurs forget what Peter Drucker one said, “The purpose of a business is to create and maintain a customer”.

We spoke awhile about how to acquire customers and then it dawned on me:

What do you need to win a customer?


You need to be creative about using your network of contacts, where are you going to find customers, how are you are going to approach them, what you are going to say and which prospective customers are likely to buy your product or service.

Now , in some organisations and institutions, the word “creativity” is virtually banned.

In one instance talking to a senior business person , I was asked not to use the word “creative”.

What about “innovative”? I asked.

“Oh, that’s alright,” the Business person said. “Now I understand what you’re telling me.”

Pause for a moment. How else can you win a customer without using your creativity?

You have to think about it, come up with an approach and then do it.

Everyone is creative. Sometimes they don’t just realise it.

Creativity is one of your most important resources or assets.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

In this turbulent, ever-changing and complex business environment, you are going to rely more and more on your creativity.

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