The Two Simplest–And Most Effective–Business Lessons I’ve Learned

I’ve learned these the easy way, and I’ve learned these the hard way.

These lessons are simple.

They’re easy to grasp, friction-less to understand, and the benefits are obvious. Mentors have taught me these lessons over cups of coffee, and clients and customers have taught me these lessons over firing me.

Trust me when I say that these lessons are not always as easy to follow than they are to nod “yes” to.

 

The first lesson: Show up.

Nothing comes out of things that you don’t go to.

Meetings, events, parties, lunch-and-learns, whatever. Show up.

Of course, we can’t–and shouldn’t–go to everything, unless that’s your job. We’ve got to balance appearances with actual work. Meetings can slow down our day, events can become fruitless, parties frivolous, and lunch-and-learns can turn into annoying sales pitches. I get it.

So be selective. But once you choose to go, go.

Make the absolute most of whatever you’re showing up to. It will pay off.

 

The second lesson: Do what you say you’re going to do.

I’m horribly imperfect at this one, but I’m intentionally focused on improving in this area.

A great businessman took some time out of his day to grab a cup of coffee with me. We began talking about how he picks the companies and people he partners with.

“It’s fairly simple, honestly,” he said. “I give them a chance to do what they told me they’re going to do. If they do, then I continue working with them.”

When we do what we say we’re going to do, there’s no reason to not do business with us.

 

A final thought.

Aim to be excellent.

Aim to show up every time. Aim to do exactly what you said you were going to do.

But give yourself just a little room for imperfection. When you come up short on execution for either of these lessons, here’s how you can make up for it.

Show up, and do what you say you’re going to do.