I absolutely LOVE it when I get a business tip that turns into a strategic and tactical win. As I mentioned in my last blog, I am discerning about whom I listen to and what wisdom I engage. You can be, too! And, when I find a “true north” tip, I am happy to share. Here are a few of my latest and greatest business tips…
1. Wear a belt and suspenders.
My BFF Al Levi taught me this one. Even the best laid plans can fail. That’s why you build contingencies. My friend and partner, Al Levi, calls this “belt and suspenders.” More options are required because the sure things will fall through. So you also need duct tape. And another pair of pants. If you aren’t reaching your goals, add more projects that will point you in the right direction. Improve the quality of each of those projects. Make lists, use Steps of Delegation, and have the meetings. So good.
2. The simpler you make it, the further you can take it.
I learned this gem from Jim Abrams. Clarity of intention will help you pare away the projects that don’t line up, or have to be improved. Which reminds me of…
Occam’s razor (or Ockham’s razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose there exist two explanations for an occurrence. In this case, the simpler one is usually better. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is. Occam’s razor applies especially in the philosophy of science, but also more generally. (From Wikipedia.)
So, while more projects may need to be engaged, we are well served to examine and streamline each one. Stay focused on your mission and goals, and stop doing things that are not aligned. Most projects and procedures get more complicated with time. Continuously simplify.
3. All of business is about relationships.
Yep, yep. I learned this from my friend, Howard Partridge. People buy from people they like and trust. Team members put up with a scratchy uniform if they feel loved, and supported and that they have opportunities. Even if you make a mistake, you can recover if the relationship has some roots. It takes communication and understanding. It takes truth telling and accountability. We are meant to work together, not to struggle forward alone. As we improve our relationships, we improve our businesses. Better yet, we are expanding peace across our planet. No small thing!
4. Bad news doesn’t get better with age.
My pal Nick shared this with me last week. Make it safe for team members to tell you bad news, and the sooner the better. You can come up with solutions and additional projects that help you to recover and hit your goals. Nice! Then, he plus-ed it with this, “I encourage team members to share bad news right away. However, when they do, I may make an ugly face. I may be surprised, or knocked back a step. Give me a moment. I’ll catch up! We can always figure something out.” This is an awesome “plus”. When you say, “Give it to me!” then you respond in a way that might be read as, “Whaaaat? You are in trouble, Mister!” they may assume that you really don’t want to hear it. So, the heads up that you might need a minute to catch your breath is a nice thing to share right now.
5. Breathe better.
Wim Hof is an extreme athlete. And an extreme breather. After his wife died suddenly, leaving him with a houseful of young kids, he battled depression and despair. In order to feel something, he jumped into the icy waters outside his home in the Netherlands. He began swimming under the ice, and developed intense breathing techniques that allowed him to submerge for long stretches. What I have learned from Wim? That breathing matters. Conscious, deliberate breathing can calm or energize and even heal. Before responding with panic or frustration, just breathe. Ahhhhhhh.
And, of course, the classic tip from our man Zig Ziglar…
6. You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.
Got a great tip that changed your life? Let me know! Comment below…