- Show up on time.
- Do what you say you will do.
- Finish what you start.
- Say “please” and “thank you.”
Would anyone argue that doing those four things can do wonders for improving any business? Yet, how few individuals – let alone entire businesses — adhere to them!
I realize that I’m taking a risk talking about this – since there are certainly times when I have failed on all four fronts. But I’m continuing to practice – and every day I’m getting better. Thankfully, productivity is about progress, not perfectionism!
Chris Crouch, creator of The GO System, stresses that we train people how to treat us by the way we act. Recently I was called by a company that wanted to know whether I was interested in appearing on their television program – we discussed the possible options, and the caller said, “I will call you no later than Wednesday.” Remember they called me – I didn’t call them – and two weeks later I’m still waiting. I’ll think twice before I spend any more time talking with them. How difficult is it, when we can’t do what we promise, to say: “I’m sorry. Here’s what’s happening.”
“Finish what you start” is an ongoing challenge for me! Many, perhaps even most, entrepreneurs struggle in that area. After all, we are idea people – and for us, it’s much more fun to think of ideas than it is to implement them. This means it is essential to ask ourselves whether or not we should start something at all – or make sure we are surrounded by people who will run with the ideas. As you’ve heard me say many times, “Together We Are Better!(TM) By the way, if filing all those papers in your life is still on your project list – ask us how you can find anything in 5 seconds or less!
I remember reading an article many years ago by Tom Peters, author of The Pursuit of WOW, in which he described how much extra effort he had taken to fly across the country, on short notice, to complete a consulting contract for a client. Not one of the many people for whom he had made the effort ever said “Thank you.” How many thank you notes have you written lately? It’s one of the best ways I know to be memorable in the eyes of your client and loved by your family.
Consistently practicing these four habits will dramatically improve your business and your life. Start today! Like anything worthwhile, habits require discipline, so more importantly, keep on practicing the “referability habits,” and live in a way that encourages those around you to do the same.