As a coach I am fortunate enough to spend time with interesting people who are going after what they want and building meaningful careers. The more time I get to spend with people like this, the more I have realized that the secret to their success can be attributed to one simple fact: they accept clichés as facts. When others scoff and roll their eyes, they heed the advice and put it into action.
Below are 10 of the clichés that show up time and time again when working with happy and productive people:
1. IT´S THE LITTLE THINGS:
People do business with people they like, and often times it is the small, albeit time-consuming actions that show you care that keeps you in the heads and hearts of clients. Embrace being inefficient by writing out individual “thank you” cards and sending out “thought of you when I saw this” gifts. Get on a plane if only to spend an hour with a client that is important to you. Pick up the phone to give your clients updates instead of a quick email. Personal touches leave lasting impressions.
2. ROME WASN´T BUILT IN A DAY:
Anything worth loving takes time and sacrifice. If everyday you put your head down and do your work, put yourself in a position to learn new things, and are patient enough to let the beauty of “compounding” run its course, you might be surprised where you stand five, ten, twenty years from now. The time will come when you have to reach out and grab something, but the closer you are, the better the chance of not coming up empty handed.
3. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS:
Reputations are built solely on results, not promises. Never has someone been referred for what they said they were going to do, recommendations come after the “doing”. The best way to stand out in this noisy time we live in is to meet and exceed people´s expectations. If you consistently over-deliver your actions will do the talking for you and the word will spread.
4. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT:
Sure there are successful people who do not take care of themselves, there are just a lot more that do. If you treat your health as number one, everything else just becomes so much easier, and this starts with our diets. What we decide to put into our bodies each day may very well be the most important decision we make. Consistently fill it with junk, and it will begin to show not only in our bodies, but in our work, and how we treat others.
5. YOU ARE THE COMPANY YOU KEEP:
If what you decide to put into your body is the most important decision of the day, who you decide to spend your time with is the most important decision of your life. If you surround yourself with negative people who do not take care of themselves, the odds of you adopting the same habits rise significantly. Identify the people in your life that give you energy and support your goals, and cut out those that do the opposite.
6. STAND UP STRAIGHT AND SMILE:
Experts claim that as much as 93% of communication is non-verbal, proving that our bodies beat our mouths to the punch in regards to how others perceive us. The best suit or even stellar reputation loses instant credibility points if it comes with a glum look served with a side of poor posture.
7. EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE, MAKES A MAN HEALTHY, WEALTHY, AND WISE:
Success can come in all shapes and sizes, but the odds increase tremendously if you do these two things: create distraction free time each day to get your work done, and say “no” to any statement that begins with “just one more”. It just so happens that getting to bed early and getting up early accomplishes both of these things.
8. DON´T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER:
Everyone is better than you in something. The people that put their ego aside and learn from every person that they meet, not only build more meaningful relationships, but often times end up creating interesting careers because they have a variety of perspectives to draw from.
9. BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY:
It is often assumed that great business people are “risk-takers”. More often than not, they are indeed the exact opposite. Successful people are meticulous in minimising the downside and they have no problem walking away from opportunities, no matter how alluring, if the numbers do not add up.
10. ALL WORK AND NO PLAY, MAKES JACK A DULL BOY:
It can be very difficult to disconnect from work, especially when things get tough. But if you are not careful, you can jeopardise not only your health and your relationships, but your business itself, if you do not regularly step away from work and have some fun. Turn off your phone, get involved in the lives of the people that are important to you, take your shoes off and walk in the grass. Sometimes the best way to reconnect, is by doing the exact opposite, and disconnecting.
All of the clichés above lead to the most important one of all, the one that each of my clients have based their careers on: YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST GAME. What got you to the top does not guarantee that you are going to stay there, but if you accept the clichés listed above as truth and do it with a smile on your face the odds increase significantly.