“In order to think smart,” she asks “do we need other people’s guidance or is there a general concept or formula we can apply in our planning/marketing/selling activities?”

It’s a good question.

I reckon the smartest thinkers are the ones who recognise that they’ll always benefit from other people’s guidance. They may be doing a great job already, but they’ll welcome other’s views on better ways of working. Many successful leaders look to surround themselves with people smarter than they are.

More arrogant types have trouble considering alternatives, and can feel threatened by smart people. They’ve got it nailed, right, so why keep an open mind? Of course this describes precisely none of you, as you’re all reading this!

As for Jenny’s question as to whether there are general concepts which will help smarten up your business, I can think of a few: systemise, outsource and know thy product inside out.

Jenny also wanted to know “What does ‘think smart’ mean?”

It’s clear that implicit in the phrase is the sense of improving efficiency and making life easier, whatever that means to you. Perhaps it’s more money, or maybe more time. You’ll know what you need more or less of. Successfully working out how to achieve the balance that works for you, that’s thinking smart.

It’s also about those lightbulb moments, whereby you dream up a big idea or even a small tweak to how you do things that proves to be a significant time saver.

For example, a few weeks ago I started cooking double portions and freezing half. I now spend less time wondering what’s for dinner and more time hanging out with my little girl.

Have you got any examples of smartness to share? Or as Jenny so brilliantly put it, how do you think you 'think smart'?

“ I reckon the smartest thinkers are the ones who recognise that they’ll always benefit from other people’s guidance. ”
 
Sam Leader

Sam Leader is a director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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