What RABS Learned, Lately...
We learn volumes in business. Here are ten of Run A Better Set's insights, lately.
1. Write notes on what you learned each day. It's the only way to track it all. It makes the learning manifest. When you write notes, you're storing the learning in your mental backend and your mental front end can access it another time.
2. Take the train to the airport instead of a cab. Especially early on in a business' life, you're probably spending more than you're earning. It's going to get worse before it gets better so suck it up and ride public transit, even late night. Saving money is just as good as earning money.
3. Not taking things personally isn't good advice. It may be easier to not take things personally when you're rich. But when you're not and when you love something that someone else doesn't, it's personal. So the lesson - don't listen to someone who tells you not to take things personally. Take things very personally. Everything in life is personal. The nuance is that if you take it personally, you must allow the insult to motivate you to be and to do better. If you take it personally and brood and let it ruin the next opportunity, you're failing. The next opportunity is as valuable as the previous opportunity.
4. Ask everybody in the room a question. When you're in a room with folks, selling or demoing or making friends, your job is to make an impact. The best way to do that is to ask everyone questions. Shake their hand. Get their name. Ask them about their job. Make sure if they're sitting quietly throughout the demo you engage with them. Anything else will be less than empathetic and will likely appear as ignoring them or rushing to finish the demo.
5. Haste makes waste. Do not rush. Be deliberate. This is one of the hardest things to do. It's impulse control. When you have an exciting email, or call, or meeting, it's instinct to say yes to everything, to give less than thought through responses, and to write and deliver messages that are either incomplete or full of mistakes. The concept applies to the bigger picture as well - decisions cannot be made quickly. Of course, there are instances where decisions have to be fast. But you are always better served waiting on almost everything than being hasty. It's essentially the maxim measure twice cut once for business. RABS always thinks back to an FDR quote from his last correspondence with Churchill - (approx) you know, I've learned that in time, all things have a way of working out.
6. Drink less coffee. You may not realize it, but coffee makes you edgy and impulsive. It worsens your sleep and you need quality sleep. It doesn't even taste that good. But it's addictive and that's what people like about it. So, limit your intake. Never a cup a day. Seriously, that's too much. You want to be at your best and the reality is, caffeine zaps your energy. Espresso is better - it's less caffeine but it still must be tempered.
7. Find ways to view life and people in terms greater than transactional relationships. Running a business is about making money. The best way to make money is to make people happy. So, business is about increasing money and happiness. Find ways to value the happiness of others as much as your bottom line and your bottom line will improve. They'll be happier and so will you.
8. Limit your intake of music and radio unless it's inspirational. Talk radio is either political or celebrity trash or dating non-sense or tragedies or stories about the editor of Julia Child's first cookbook. Most music is more loud noise than it is music and generally full of subversive themes. The things that enter our minds change our self-image and our view of the world. Bad audio content cultivates incredible and unfortunate amounts of negativity in our minds. Remember, cultivating happiness in others is in part due to our own positivity.
9. Your urgency isn't their urgency. Your business or job may be your life, but it isn't theirs. Respect their time and space. It's not easy. You want their money and to deliver the benefits of your service as soon as possible. So you must find a way to manufacture a sense of urgency in them. In other words, you must find a way to make sure their need for your product is flourishing. This is commonly done with the marketing tactics "get it while it's hot" or "only ten spots remaining". Find a way to import that idea into your presentation.
10. When you're working, good things happen. Every cause you create has an effect. Create as many causes as possible. They will resurface six months from now. Creating new causes also has the effect of letting you focus on other things while those previously created causes manifest.