See the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Claude_Monet._Haystack._End_of_the_Summer._Morning._1891._Oil_on_canvas._Louvre,_Paris,_FranceAugust. Often called the dog days of summer. A fairly ordinary month. Vacation winds down, kids go back to school. Summer is ending but fall is still a little way off.

But this August is extraordinary.

A good portion of genius and certainly excellence in any endeavor is to be able to recognize the extraordinary within the ordinary. While everyone else sleepwalks through life, those who strive for excellence notice the details. They see things that never catch the eye of the masses.

Claude Monet took the pedestrian field of haystacks and turned them into 25 works of art that today adorn the walls of the world’s greatest museums. How many people walked by those haystacks every day and never gave them a second thought, never noticed how the light reflected off them at different times of the day, never even saw the different patterns created by their shadows?

This August is extraordinary.

In a world of beige boxes, Steve Jobs saw that the ordinary desktop PC had extraordinary potential with merely the addition of color. The blueberry iMac was born. How many millions of designers walked by dull PCs every day and never recognized the potential they had when they were given a fresh coat of paint?

Being able to see the extraordinary within the ordinary is the key to creativity and creativity is the key to setting your small business above the rest. Let the others keep walking past the beige computers and haystacks as they stare at their feet and take no notice of their surroundings. You need to notice the details.

  • Are there qualities in your employees that you overlook? Notice them and develop them.
  • Are their other applications for your product?
  • Is there an area where your customers or clients are underserved?

You’re probably ushering your small business through the dog days of summer, completely unaware of how this August is extraordinary. It’s so extraordinary in fact, that another August like this one won’t come our way again for 823 years. That qualifies as extraordinary in anyone’s book.

Have you figured it out yet? August 2014 has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays.

Be honest, would you have noticed that had I not told you? But now you know. Take the idea and make your August an extraordinary month in the history of your business.

Sponsored by AT&T

Image: Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.