Thoughts From 30,000 Feet Up

Sometimes the most startling revelations come at the oddest times in the most unexpected places. Like in Seat 10D on a Northwest airlines flight from Indianapolis to Kansas City.

It’s late afternoon and most of the passengers are businesspeople who just want to decompress after a day of meetings. So, when the little boy in the seat behind me started jabbering incessantly about 30 minutes ago, my first reaction was “It’s going to be a long flight.”

After a few minutes of trying to tune him out, I realized I was failing. The exuberance in his voice about what was obviously his first plane ride was actually drawing me in!

“Hey, Dad, if we had a plane, we could use it however we wanted. We could drive it like a car if we wanted. We could fly it if we wanted. “

“Why didn’t we bring our helmets? We could wear space helmets like they do in the movies because, you know, we’re going into outer space.”

And on and on and on . . . he was so excited he could hardly speak fast enough.

As he continued his unrestrained observations, I noticed quiet grins as the other passengers read their magazines or rested their eyes. This 4- or 5-year-old kid was reminding a plane full of weary business people how much fun it can be to use our imaginations . . . to see possibilities instead of practicalities . . .

“No, you can’t drive a passenger jet down a highway, stupid kid.”

“No you don’t need a helmet because we’re NOT going into outer space – a plane like this would disintegrate, silly!”

The higher we climbed, the more he commented on how different the things on the ground looked from his vantage point up here. Then he suddenly switched perspective and blurted, “All they can see from down there are our lights. They can’t see the whole plane like we can from up here.”

Bingo. Give that kid a book contract, sign him up for a speaking tour – without any business experience, he just imparted what the business management gurus have been espousing for years: to take the time once a week, once a month, whatever it may be, to take a look at your business from 30,000 feet up. When you’re down on the ground and surrounded by all the day-to-day details, that’s all you see. You certainly can’t see the “whole plane” from down there.

30,000 feet up in an airplane . . . what an appropriate place to get a lesson on looking at your business from 30,000 feet up . . . go book your next flight right now.

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About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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