A couple of weeks ago I was flying home from a meeting and I had the pleasure to sit next to a very thoughtful gentleman named Lindon. Lindon is a professor, public speaker and author. As you imagine, our conversation covered many topics and was interesting at many levels; however, at one point during the conversation he presented me with a very interesting question. The question he posed was as follows –
‘You have just returned from the doctor with bad news regarding your health and tomorrow you have to deliver a lecture to your business students. It very well may be your last lesson. What are the three most important lessons in business? What are the three things a person has to get right in order to succeed ?’
After a little bit of reflection, these are three lessons that I would like to share –
1) Control and Discipline. It is exceptionally difficult to control your future as a business person unless you have the knowledge and discipline to control your finances. The discipline to spend less than you earn is critical. It does not matter if you focus on earning more or spending less, you simply have to make sure that earning in greater that spending. If you are unable to manage this, you will always be indebted to others and you will never control your future or your business.
2) Responsibility. Ultimately, you are responsible for your future. Nobody will believe in you unless you first believe in yourself. Too many people wait for the perfect idea, investor or opportunity to burst through their door when in fact; it is your responsibility to create the future. You are completely responsible for what happens. If you don’t like the direction that something is heading, fix it. If you chose not to fix it, don’t blame anyone else. Either way you decide, you are responsible.
3) Integrity, Ethic and Honesty. Although the next deal can seem like the most important thing in the world at the time, most successful business people will tell you that integrity, ethics and honesty are the real cornerstones of a successful business career. Always imagine that you live in a glass house and everything you do and say will, at some point, be known by everyone. Are you proud of your choices? Are you building a legacy of honor and respect? Are you trusted?
Hopefully this will get you thinking during this holiday season. What would your three items be?
I would like to personally wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. See you in 2015.