The Will To Win. Cold Hard Truth. Rise and Grind. All of these are the titles of books written by the Sharks we had onstage this year at our annual IT Sales and Marketing Boot Camp. Who wrote what isn’t important. The point is, getting rich in business is not that complicated, but it does require unreasonable standards.
Often you can reduce how to succeed in business to simple statements. You must have the will to win, not just the wish to win. You must have your feet planted in the truth of how things work, not how you’d hope they will work or how you think they should work. You rise early and grind, not fool around on Facebook while drinking coffee, meandering through your day at an easy, casual pace, minus goals and self-imposed deadlines.
Simply put, it’s all in the decision to be unreasonable in your standards and expectations for yourself–a concept I learned from Tony Robbins over two decades ago that stuck. You’ve heard me say about clients, vendors and employees: You get what you tolerate. That holds true for you as well.
If you aren’t willing to set high standards for yourself as the CEO to demand exceptional growth, exceptional profitability, exceptional service you can’t expect your employees and vendors to step in and do it for you. Average motivation, average execution, average work ethic gets average results. Average is, by definition, mediocrity. You cannot be mediocre and rich. The competition is too tough, the hurdles to overcome too high.
In football, they say, “How you practice is how you play.” General Schwarzkopf talked about the concept of demanding his troops had cleaned, polished shoes at all times. He was considered unreasonable in his requirements for this, but explained it when he said, “Shined shoes save lives,” meaning it reminded his troops to pay attention to the small details, and in doing so, would result in attention to detail in the big things. Another way of saying this: how you do anything is how you do everything.
My friends in the restaurant business have told me that if a restaurant’s bathrooms are dirty, you ought not eat there. That’s the exact reason why I walked out of one hospital to go to another when having my second child. Dirty bathrooms, messy registration desk, and a poor check-in process. Do you need to know any more? If they can’t keep the bathroom clean, how are they going to keep the operating room clean? Answer: They won’t.
Too many people have gotten supremely lazy about their intensity at work and have zero expectations of themselves for productivity. Covid just accelerated this with the now rampant work-from-home movement, with people showing up to “the office” on a Zoom call looking like they slept in the clothes they have on, unprepared, with poor lighting, choppy internet, and a microphone that doesn’t work, sitting in a corner of their bedroom with a pile of laundry on one side and a half-naked kid roaming around in the background in a saggy diaper while they slurp coffee from a mug that says “Clients Suck.”
At the top, where the big money is earned, you see “unreasonable” CEOs demanding unreasonable performance and results. My staff have a button that says “U.P.A.” on it, which stands for “unreasonable, picky asshole.” That’s what they say I am. Good. I encourage the wearing of it so they don’t forget it.
MSP Success is dedicated to those of you who are “unreasonable” in the goals you’ve set for yourself, the standards you maintain for clients, and the principles by which you run your company. I applaud you. Don’t waver in your commitment for high standards. Those are the leaders who change the world.