When you hear the word “red” in the context of business, it is usually not a good thing (i.e., it’s preferable not to be operating in the red/losing money). However, RED is a color that you should embrace because it encompasses an effective formula to help you grow your business.
I’ve observed far too many entrepreneurs who spend a lot of time “doing” first. What I mean is that they jump into executing task after task without first contemplating a strategy and also without evaluating if the work that they are doing in their business is the best use of their time or is the best route/tool to help them achieve their goals. You might think of this as “ready, fire, aim”—or more simply, doing before thinking.
I named the RED strategy after a very successful and creative professional that I admired and worked with. I had observed a pattern in his approach to his work:
Research - Before taking on a new project or task, he always spent a lot of time on research and surveillance. He embraced the mantra of “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. He would do his homework on the project’s parameters, the people involved, similar or competing endeavors and more. This information helped him to prepare his best plan of attack.
Not before he felt like he had done ample research and surveillance would he move on to the next phase.
Whether you are pitching a new client, developing a new product or contemplating taking your business to the next level, make your first step research and surveillance.
Execution - Once a plan was in place, only then did he move on to execution. This execution included not only a meticulous attention to detail, but also focus, all based on the information garnered in the research phase.
When you execute, use your research from the first step as your guide to make sure the execution stays on track. Don’t be tempted to do other things on your to-do list or get distracted by something new and shiny. Focus specifically on the plan that you have thoroughly researched.
Domination - Once you prepare and pay attention to detail, you can do the best work and always come out on top. Give it your all every single time. As this entrepreneur was fond of saying, “This ain’t no dress rehearsal.”
It’s that simple. Take time to stop doing and first go RED to help you do your best work.
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics.
Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth