When it’s broke and you don’t fix it: The lesson my cell phone taught me.

CONFESSION

It is time to humbly confess that my cell phone that has not worked properly for the last few weeks. Don’t get me wrong; it works…just…fine.

Except when I am unable to pick up an important call because the screen response is dead in various locations – including the area where the phone icon appears when it rings. It is also frustrating not being able to quietly text or type an email on the go. My touchscreen keypad has conveniently disabled various consonants that are critical in any language. I do have voice control however; and I have learned to talk to myself in public and manage to edit the auto correct before sending.

DENIAL

Hoping for performance improvement, I finally uploaded all 5768 photos and videos to the drive – no dice. It is just a little broken. After all, I did drop it in the lake this summer and the jar of rice seemed to work wonders. It also survived a crash on the ski hill. It has probably survived more acts of phone violence than I care to admit. My phone is three years old and on its ninth life. Other than that – it works just fine.

Call it ignorance or what you will. Conversely I admit I have pat myself on the back for being so adaptable. Refusing to spend another $x on a new device, I have taken pride in finding ways to compensate with this one. After all, in an age of profit volatility, who wants to increase expenses?

REALITY CHECK

This begs the question: at what cost? How many of us are guilty of being in this same comfortably dysfunctional situation? (My tablet and laptop function perfectly by the way.) It’s more than just the phone. How many of us ignore the subtle signs when things stop working for us? Who is spending energy making up for mistakes that are frankly avoidable given the right resources? Why do we so often fail to see what is needed to run a smooth day to day operation? Why do we simply adapt instead of making changes? Are we afraid to invest in the proper means, materials or process in favor of ‘making due’?

…AND ACTION 

I have faced the reality that my ability to stay connected, responsive (and calm) is the lifeblood of my business- for my team and my clients. My cell phone is not fine. It’s broken. It does not matter that I can still work my business. I am not working as effectively as I could. It’s like having a broken dishwasher for months while you use the sink. I know now that this communication thing should be effortless. And so, off I go to my mobile dealer to upgrade at last. It is the investment that cannot be ignored.

It will be worth it. My business is worth it. Is there a subtle decline in your work flow? Are you simply adapting to inefficiency? Are you holding off making a leap forward that will improve your performance or add expertise to get you to the next level? Are you procrastinating taking action that will ultimately and positively impact your bottom line? Find the gap today. If it’s broke, or just needs a new battery, you better fix it.