Butts and Chairs

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Every month, I will introduce you to one of “Bob’s Laws of Business,” the unofficial laws that extend well beyond everything Murphy taught us. This month, I will explain the “law”: “Butts don’t Learn Anything from Chairs.”

In my 30 years in business, I’ve had the good fortune to get to know many managers and executives of manufacturing companies, and have noticed that they are different than the managers and executives of sales companies.  Manufacturers are factory focused, with good reason – every day there are customers who need them, problems that emerge and must be dealt with, and fires that must be put out, all of which takes their attention away from the bigger picture. Manufacturing managers and executives often feel like they are stuck within the four walls of the factory or glued to their chairs. If they leave the building, disaster requiring their immediate attention could strike at any minute.

My business mentor, who’s a very smart guy and also the owner of California Quality Plastics, has always encouraged me to get out of our building.  He told me: “You will learn valuable information when you meet face-to-face with customers, when you walk through a vendor’s facility or when you sit down with other executives who are running business. Go to industry trade shows. Go to classes. Get to know the competition. Get out into the world.”

And he’s right. I have learned far more useful information related to growing, expanding and improving our business by getting out of my chair and getting out of the building. Brains need to be exercised and “butts don’t learn anything from chairs!” The next time you feel stuck in a rut, get off your butt, get out of your chair and get out in the world to learn something new — it will help your business.  You never know what you’ll learn.

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