There are several “golden rules” I adapted as a athlete that I live by. As a business owner, I believe many of them can be applied when presenting yourself and your business, interacting with people, and in general, when you are presented with a challenge.
Winners Never Quit – Quitters Never Win
This first lesson came from my parents: quitters never win and winners never quit. Life gets hard, it presents you with obstacles and sometimes it seems that the easiest thing to do is to simply give up. It is up to you to find a way over and around those obstacles, to push your limits, to work harder and to learn from your mistakes. Because whatever you do it has an impact not only on you, but also on people around you – your family, friends, teammates, business partners, employees, etc. However, there are situations when it’s smarter to step back and step away, so always use a common sense when making a decision. You won’t always win, but you should always give your best. So, when you fall, get up with a smile on your face.
Treat Others The Way You Want to be Treated
The second rule to live by is to treat others the way you want to be treated, even if it is your opponent or a competitor. That includes (non-verbal) communication, phone and email etiquette. Do I need to say more?
Perception is Reality
One of my coaches always said that perception is a reality and I could not agree more. People believe what they see, so always put your best foot forward and a smile on your face. On a basketball court, bending down and lowering our heads when tired would show our weakness. Even after a loss, we’d walk off the court with our heads up high although we were hurting inside. In other words: there are days when you just need to “fake it to make it.”
Assuming makes an ass out of u and me. Check the facts and know that there’s always more than one side of the story and more than one truth. Make an informed decision.
Small Things Make a Big Difference
I can’t stress this one enough: small things matter. When I was still playing basketball, we made sure to give a high-five for a great move or a pass, nice shot, great defensive stop. Now apply this to a world of business: follow up after you meet someone; send out a birthday, thank-you, congratulations or get-well note. Your customers, employees and business alliances/partners will appreciate you for remembering them on their special days (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.). When you close a business deal with someone who has been referred to you, pick up the phone and call the referral source – we all like it when our help has been noticed and appreciated.
What better way to take some of the advice and apply it to your everyday life if not with the brand new year? If there are rules that you live by, I would love to hear them, too…