I thought I had picked all the sugar snap peas on my flourishing vines. So I set the bag of peas aside and went on to pick lettuce and weed the peppers. But wait! When I turned around, I suddenly could see several peas that I had missed.
"Where did those come from?" I wondered.
Pea pods have the perfect camouflage. They are the exact same color as the vines and leaves. When I moved away from the vines, I could see things in a different light and from a different perspective. Pods that had been hidden by leaves or had previously blended in appeared. Suddenly, I could see what I had missed when I was up close, looking straight down or straight at the vines.
This made me think about life and business. Sometimes you really need to step back from what you're doing to see the hidden value. The bounty can be right there in front of you, but you're just too close to see it.
That's one reason companies hire consultants. When consultants come in, they are not caught up in the group-think of the organization. They can point out obvious sources of new revenue, discover forgotten assets, or reveal potential cost savings. They can uncover the hidden value by asking the right questions or just by seeing things from a different, outside perspective.
But I believe that you can do this for yourself. You just have to be willing to look at your business in a new light. Step back, bend down and look low. Go up high and look down. Step away and walk around. Try looking with new eyes and an open mind. Look with your customers' eyes. Look with investors' eyes. What is there that you haven't seen before?