When we start out in business we want everything to be perfect, which is obviously not possible. It took me years to realize the customer is not looking for a perfect experience, they just want to be comfortable and have a consistent, good experience.
I started out in the restaurant business. I used to get upset when people sat too long after they were done eating when I could use the table for customers that were waiting for the next available table. It took me a long time to realize that people go out to eat for more reasons then just to have a meal. They want to be acknowledged, relax, visit, talk business and get away from their daily problems for a while. If all they wanted to do is eat, they could stay home, microwave a dinner and save a lot of money.
This is also true in all other businesses. All the customer really wants is comfort, acknowledgement and a pleasant experience.
When I was young and first started out in business, I took it very personally when a customer was unhappy with me. I did everything in my power to change the situation, but it was always a tough battle and I learned over the years that it’s much more important to keep the customers that like you.
After 2 heart attacks in my 40’s and a few other medical problems, I also had to learn that you can’t allow yourself to be affected by people that have no idea who you are.
If someone you love or care for very deeply rejects or offends you, it’s OK for that to hurt, but the list ends there. Don’t ever be offended by people who don’t have a clue who you really are.
Thin skinned people should avoid being leaders. A true leader requires self-confidence and the ability to stay the course, no matter what anyone else says.
Unfortunately, many people are jealous of other people’s success. In fact, there’s a lot of people that are happy when others fail.
Most people that tell you that everything you’re doing is wrong, don’t really understand your idea or your abilities. So the solution is easy, if you have a dream, just go for it.
One of the major requirements of success is perseverance. You have to be able to focus on your goals, dare to try things that are new and be willing to fail without giving up.
I think the major secret of success is handling adversity, which seems to be an everyday occurrence. Losers often see adversity as devastation. Winners see it as a way to learn and improve.
The lesson here is that you can’t be a winner unless you handle adversity with perseverance. Throughout history our greatest leaders are those who persevered when others would have given up.
Everyone has stress in their lives. Entrepreneurs have much more stress than normal. We believe we have to do everything ourselves. We don’t know what a weekend or holiday is, we don’t take a day off or get a good nights sleep, and we feel very alone. These are just a few of the unnecessary things we do to ourselves that increases our stress.
After my second heart attack at the age of 47 my doctor told me that if I didn’t change 3 things in my life I wouldn’t live long. The first was losing weight and I succeeded at that, it just took me 30 years to do it. The second was working out, and I discovered I could watch people work out for 2 hours without taking a break, what endurance. The third was reducing stress, and I truly succeeded at that.
I failed miserably at Number 1 and 2, but I discovered if you limit your stress, you can live a much longer life. Making this work for you is much easier said than done. If I could only give one solution, it would be to figure out what’s really important in your life and never get stressed out over the little things. This usually eliminates at least 95% of the stress.
Leading with integrity means doing what you say you will do. The worst thing you can do is make commitments and then not follow through with them. It’s important that your commitments have a realistic time frame, every now and then there’s an emergency and a commitment can’t be kept. It should then be explained to everyone why the commitment wasn’t kept.
Many leaders believe their job is to get people to do what they want no matter what the means, this includes a lot of maneuvering and dishonesty and in my experience, will eventually be revealed.
The rule is simple, you must act with integrity to build and keep your employees’ trust.
When you have more than a few employees, it’s impossible for everyone to like each other. It’s very important that you teach your employees that they have to respect each other. In today’s world, a large part of each person’s time is spent on the job, the needless bickering and gossip and backstabbing is such a waste of time.
People come from all types of different backgrounds and have many different types of personalities and it’s not possible to like everyone that you work with. You don’t have to become friends, but everyone deserves respect, it makes all those hours you work much more enjoyable.
Your employees, vendors, customers and investors all have different interests and it’s not uncommon for all of these interests to be in conflict. So what do you do when everyone wants something different from you?
Set this simple standard for decision making and make it clear. The only criteria for making decisions is what is in the best interest of the business.
This is how successful business people can make fast, decisive decisions under pressure. By establishing this principle you set the standard for decision making that everyone understands.
Your perspective is one of the most important things to making you a winner as an entrepreneur. As the leader you set the tone. You have to keep the organization moving forward confidently.
Always communicate with confidence despite the challenges. When things are screwed up talk to yourself but not out loud, never talk catastrophe, no matter how you feel. Avoid cockiness, it is essential that you are confident, but people have to like you. You don’t want customers and employees thinking to themselves “do I want to work with this person”.
Your perspective changes everything. It determines what we see, how we see it, how we solve it and whether we succeed or fail.
When you’re starting out in business, the most important thing is getting customers. Without sales there can’t be a business.
As time goes on, it’s always important to get new customers, but there’s something even more important, in my opinion. Keep the customers you have.
It has always amazed me how many times I’ve seen companies spend a fortune on advertising to bring in new business, but when you get there to buy something, there’s no one to help you. So they constantly bring in new customers, and at the same time, they lose their old customers with their lack of customer service.
In order for a business to grow properly, you always need new business, but you also have to retain the customers you already have.