It’s the Simple Messages Which Are the Most Profound


It’s the Simple Messages Which Are the Most Profound

I’m often asked what’s the best business advice I’ve been given or quotes I live by so I thought I’d share a few (because I’ve been given lots of gold).

Here are three of my business gems:

1. “If you don’t ask, the answer is always, no.” – Keith Abraham.

2. “For what purpose?” – Paul McCarthy.

3. “Failure is an event, not a person.” – Donna Thistlethwaite.

So let me explain why these simple messages are so profound for me.

1. “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”

I heard Keith Abraham speak over 20 years ago, and this was one of his many gems which have stuck with me throughout my personal and professional life.

It sounds so obvious, doesn’t it, but you’d be amazed at the number of people I meet who tell me they wished they’d asked someone for help or asked for something but didn’t because they were too scared of receiving a, “No.”

I take the different approach. If hearing the word ‘no’ is the worst outcome, then I’m OK to ask because you just don’t know what you might get instead.

By embracing this philosophy, I have been fortunate to gain not only business coaching from some amazing people who gave up their time to help me, but it also got me backstage passes to meet Deep Purple, simply because I emailed the promoter and asked!

So what is holding you back?

Is there someone you want some help from or something you need, but as yet, you haven’t taken the step to ask? If the worst case is ‘no’ and you’re OK with that, then imagine how good it will be if the answer is, “Yes”?

2. “For what purpose?”

Paul McCarthy is my marketing and business coach, and this is his pet phrase. Again, so simple, and it’s a question we should be asking ourselves every time we do something, to ensure we are on the right track.

For example:

  • For what purpose are you attending this event?
  • For what purpose are you saying yes to this meeting?
  • For what purpose are you developing this brochure or lead magnet?
  • For what purpose is that page on your website?
  • For what purpose is that follow-up process?

If you can ask yourself this question each time you do something or say yes to something, then you will be more likely to keep a single-minded focus and produce quality outcomes versus chasing shadows and shiny objects which burn up time and energy.

3. “Failure is an event, not a person.”

I recently saw Donna Thistlethwaite speak and this was one of her many gems sprinkled throughout her presentation which really resonated with me.

I always describe my business journey as the board game Snakes and Ladders; instead of the straight line of success which many non-business people think is the life of a business owner. If only hey!

Throughout my journey, there have certainly been some ups and downs, and there have been more than a few times when I have felt like a failure, and that is not a very nice place. And when you’re in that place, it can be all-consuming. Now I’m not sure if you’ve been there as well, but that’s how it’s felt for me. So to hear this very different perspective on failure was a wonderful lightbulb moment.

I’ve always believed you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. So to now frame those mistakes or failures as an event, rather than as part of me, creates a much more positive outlook, wouldn’t you agree?

As I’m not sure if these gems resonate with you, I thought I’d give you the number one phrase I constantly tell my clients:

“Questions give information.”

Too often, we assume, and we know what happens when we do. So, when something happens which makes you #$@@!, instead of reacting to the situation or the person (be it a client or staff member), I encourage you to ask questions; who, what, when, where, how and why?

I think you’ll be surprised at the result.

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