What successful people have in common
Lisbeth Calandrino – I love the special edition of Floor Covering News, “Drive to 35”, spotlighting people and events in the flooring industry. In the matter, FCNews celebrates three and a half decades of people in the industry helping retailers. They honor both those who are with us and those who are no longer with us.
As I read the articles, I looked at the similarities of successful people. They have one thing in common: they have paid their dues. They have worked hard and put in the time. Have you heard the expression, “It takes years to become an overnight success?” Eddie Cantor, a famous comedic actor of the mid-1900s, was the first person to coin the phrase, “It takes 10/20 years to become an overnight success.” Becoming a success takes time, luck (being in the right place at the right time) and hard work. If you’re looking for success, here are some tips:
Do things differently – don’t do the same things differently.
Companies tend to improve the status quo, such as increasing their installation warranties. I think this is a mistake. It’s better if you add something to your warranties, such as making sure your installer wear brightly colored booties with your store name embroidered on them.
If no one else has done it, then do it! To become a leader, you have to be creative. I read that the new marketing differentiation will be creativity and innovative. In other words, be good at what you do – not only good, but also exceptional. Mediocrity will get you nowhere. Know your profession, your competitors and stay informed of the latest innovations.
Know exactly what you want to achieve.
Author Stephen Covey may have said it best when he said, “Start with the end in mind.” What are you going for, what do you want to happen? You probably don’t have the answers, but you do have the questions. The right questions will get you on the right track.
Be agile and don’t be afraid to take the path less traveled.
There is nothing new in following the old path. You know, the one you know by heart. If it doesn’t work, change the plan and go in a different direction. Not working does not mean you have failed; it means you are closer to success. Do not be afraid to fail. When you try something new, failure is always an option. Never stop trying. Instead, learn from your mistakes and move on. In the rare case of product/installation errors that could lead to claims, you should always do the right thing by your customers. Remember: it’s not about making a mistake, which is inevitable if you do something long enough. Rather, it’s about how you correct that mistake in the future.
Don’t think you have to do it alone.
You need to have faith in yourself, but it’s likely that you don’t have all the answers. The late Beatles member John Lennon once said, “We were the best … it was just a matter of time before everyone figured it out. It was more than talent, creativity and 10,000 hours of practice. You have to believe you can do it, even if it does not work.”
Find a mentor.
In my experience, I have found that most people are willing to help. Recently I reached out to someone I’ve worked with, who’s not in our industry, for some ideas. He had a great idea that really worked out and he was willing to call for me.
In the end, it’s all about defining your core values and working to be successful on your own terms.
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