Dec 7 22:00 2001 Sharon Dalton Williams Print This Article

I have a very dear friend who is also my partner in some of my ... She lives in the ... Valley of ... and I livein Laurel, ... Some business dealings need to be donefa

I have a very dear friend who is also my partner in some of my business
ventures. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia,Guest Posting and I live
in Laurel, Maryland. Some business dealings need to be done
face-to-face rather than by telephone or e-mail, so we take turns
driving to each other's area.

When I drive down to see Sally, I have to drive through the Washington,
D.C., area, head west on Route 66 in Virginia, and then head south down
Route 81 through the Valley. Somewhere a little west of Manassas,
Virginia, there's a definite change in scenery. The "big city" feel is
gone, the 4-lane highway in each direction narrows down to two lanes
each way, and there's actual land space between communities.

On one trip down to the Valley, I had a horrible time trying to get out
of the Washington, D.C., area. The Beltway around D.C. was plagued
with construction zones and at least one accident. By the time I made
it west of Manassas, I needed to take a road break. I drove for
several miles looking for a place to stop, and I finally saw an exit
off the highway with a McDonald's.

I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings as I entered
McDonald's (I had other things on my mind), but I did take a look
around me as I left. I saw that the McDonald's is in the middle of
nowhere. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I noticed that the
majority of the traffic on the two-lane road was due to McDonald's. I
thought, "What a great location McDonald's picked!"

Think about it. Before McDonald's was built, I'm sure there were
people who just saw a wide open space of land out in the middle of
nowhere. The land probably didn't show a lot of promise. However, the
person(s) who built this McDonald's saw an exit on and off a major
east/west highway that was well-traveled. They saw the only means of
refreshment for miles around. They saw guaranteed traffic. They saw
the possibilities.

My same friend Sally and I used to teach 4 - 6 year olds in Bible class
at church. She had a gift of seeing possibilities everywhere. It
didn't matter if we went out to the grocery store, or browsing through
the craft store, or walking around the lake. Everywhere Sally looked
she saw object lessons to use to teach the kids. Sometimes I would
look at the object that had caught her attention, and even with her
excited explanation of what she could do with it, I didn't see what she

Over the years, however, I have developed that "possibilities" outlook.
A lot of what I do is writing, and I have learned to see the "article"
in almost every situation. I had to teach myself to do it, but once I
got the knack of it, it's amazing what I see that others don't even

To grow your business and to keep it from getting stagnant, learn to
see the possibilities around you.

First, keep a pad of paper with you wherever you go. You never know
when the spirit of inspiration will hit. And believe me, you WON'T
remember that brilliant idea later. It will be gone. So get in the
habit of writing down your ideas the moment you get them. And don't
forget to put in some details when you write your note. I've looked at
cryptic messages I've left for myself, fully understanding what I was
doing at the time, but not making heads or tails of it later.

Second, pay attention to the details around you. Look at what's
actually going on. Study the people (study, don't stare!) sitting on
the bus with you. Listen to children as they play. Watch how others
conduct their business and deal with customers. Look at the sign posts
along the road. Some of them are quite funny.

Third, learn to look at what you are seeing with new eyes. Ask
yourself, "What is the lesson to be learned here?" or "Can I use that
in my business?" or "Is there an article in there somewhere?" Learn
from other's mistakes so you don't make them yourself. Learn from
other's successes and see how you can adapt the idea (not steal and
plagiarize) for your own business.

When you develop a "possibilities" outlook, new ideas will begin to
race through your mind. Your creativity will begin to flow. You'll
feel a new energy about the growth of your business. And that's when
things get really exciting!

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Sharon Dalton Williams
Sharon Dalton Williams

Sharon Dalton Williams is the author of "How to Succeed and Live a Full
Life." Learn how to reach the goals you have set for your life and
business. Surf to to order your copy.
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