Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What's next?

My first job out of college was selling couches at a discount furniture warehouse.

Aside from the long hours, sub-par working conditions, terrible pay, annoying customers, pain-in-the-ass coworkers and chronic back pain from lifting too many sofa-sleepers; it was a pretty decent job.

Anyway, my boss Pamela had a thing about signs.

She loved to post these little notes, sayings, quotes and motivational messages around the store.

My favorite was the ubiquitous, “What’s next?”

It was inescapable. Everywhere you looked, Pam was reminding you to ask yourself, “What’s next?”

Most of my coworkers thought it was cheesy. And annoying. And a waste of paper.

I thought it was cool.

Because it applied to everyone.

Salesman. Entrepreneurs. Creative professionals. Managers.


And here’s why:

WHAT’S NEXT? … is about productivity.

When you finish one project, activity or endeavor, celebrate and move on to the next one.

WHAT’S NEXT? … is about getting better.

Because there is no finish line. You’ve never arrived. Instead, you constantly expand your skills and abilities to add more value to your self, your services and you, products.

WHAT’S NEXT? … is about staying in motion.

Kind of like sharks, who start dying when they stop swimming. See, they have to ask themselves, “What’s next?” (presumably in Shark-Latin) because they can’t eat, breathe or breed unless they stay in motion.

WHAT’S NEXT? … Is about NOT being a one-trick pony.

Or a one hit wonder. Or a one-book author. Or a one-speech speaker. Or a one-income stream entrepreneur.

Which is not to say you should spread yourself too thin or lose focus; but you still need to be doing new stuff regularly.

It’s like taking the Rolling Stones, who probably ask, “What’s next?” all the time; and comparing them to some one-hit wonder spandex-wearing hair band from 1979 who’s been milking that same overplayed song for three decades.

Not that there’s anything wrong with spandex.

But whatever your situation is – businessperson, artist or manager – you need to regular ask yourself one question: “What’s next?”

What's next ... for YOU?

Write "What's next?" on ten sticky notes. Put them all around your office. See what happens!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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