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A corporate entity – even if it’s a not-for-profit or association – will include some kind of market research into their plans to ensure they are best serving their customers or members.
In “The Marketer’s Toolkit” (a Harvard Business Essentials guide) they suggest market research include these components.
• Direct Observation (paying attention to what and how customers are purchasing)
• Experimentation (testing customer responses)
• Gathering and Analysis of purchase data (loyalty programs work great for this)
• Survey research (asking the population)
• Focus groups (encourage outside perspectives on specific issues)
• Interview dissatisfied and lapsed customers (what’s working and what’s not)
And as you’re reading you’re probably agreeing that it all makes sense and that you couldn’t move a company forward without incorporating at least a few of these practices.
In order to develop your company “on purpose” you need to be taking some risks, paying attention to outcomes, testing the waters and evaluating when things go well … or not.
Then you make growth decisions based on that information.
So my question is, why are we shy to applying these same strategies to our personal lives?
Sometimes we ignore critical data and stay on a less-than-fulfilling course.
Sometimes we’re afraid of taking risks.
Sometimes we ask people’s perspectives but are really looking for people who agree with us.
And sometimes we fail to pay attention to our small actions that have a profound effect on our future.
Aha – you owe it to yourself to take your own research to heart
For instances, during your super busy day, are you paying attention to what tasks you are doing that serve (or don’t serve) your purpose?
Are you taking some risks and experimenting with your talents?
What habits are you most proud of and which might need some tweaking?
Is your circle of influence of like mind for your future?
Have you written a thank-you card lately? (hint: start with your family).
Intrinsically you know when you’re on course or not.
Not every minute of every day is about you but is it about being you.
When you’re happy you make the rest of the world happy.