By Ron White
About three years ago I took a great trip to Europe. I saw the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo painted his great work. I stood 15 feet away from the incredible statue David, saw the Vatican, stayed in a 200-year-old hotel in Venice (where the streets are only water!), and visited the ruins of a 2,000-year-old city (Pompeii). As I marveled at these landmarks of history, I remembered other landmarks I have seen. I remembered my trip the year before to Paris where I stood in awe of the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s tomb and a 1,700-year-old church in Cologne, Germany, called “The Dom.”
The Colosseum is 2,000 years old! One of my friends told me that when he saw it for the first time he got choked up. It is hard not to just marvel at an incredible building that I had seen so many times in books and movies. Then I got to thinking: This building has been here 2,000 years, and I saw a LOT of things on that trip that had been around 500 years, 1,000 years, 1,500 years and more! They were built to last and they have.
You have a choice in your business. You can build it to last for future generations to marvel at and the current to take notice of. Or you can go for the quick fix, the fast buck and on to the next. There is no doubt which one I recommend.
Here are a few tips to build a business that lasts:
*Tell the truth—it sounds simple and it is, but not everyone does it.
*Stay in contact with your customers either via email, phone call or card. The easiest person to make a sale to is someone who has purchased from you in the past.
*WORK! It has been said that nothing does as much for a man’s soul as a hard day’s work. Give it your all.
*Ensure that your product is top notch and listen to your customers for improvements.
*Duplicate yourself—you can do it by training others to do what you do; regardless, find a way to expand your reach.
Two thousand years ago Rome was the center of the world, and they left monuments to remind us of that today. They built their city to last… and it has. Build your company, life and business to last and leave a legacy. You will be glad you did and so will those yet to come.
Becoming a Top Gun
By Ron White
I want you to get this image in your head…
In international waters an aircraft carrier is busy with movement. Flight deck crews are safely directing aircraft. The air traffic controller is giving commands. Pilots are throttling their engines and sailors are swiftly and precisely preparing for a mission at 07:30. The mission is for a squadron of F-18 Hornets to take flight, but there is one problem: one of the cockpits is empty.
At 07:28 a young pilot, scarfing down a donut and chugging a cup of coffee, is smiling and laughing as he scampers toward his aircraft still zipping his flight suit. He grins and says, “Sorry guys, it was one of those Murphy’s Law mornings [or traffic was bad or something else]. Sorry I am late.”
Was that hard for you to picture? It was for me, because we all know that military pilots are some of the most trained and disciplined people on the planet. And in this scenario that lack of attention to detail would affect an entire mission and very possibly cost lives.
In life and business an often overlooked component to success is attention to detail and precision. If you want to be the best of the best, if you want to be the “Top Gun” of your organization, the only way to achieve that mark is to fail to make excuses, and more important, to fail to put yourself in a position where you have to make excuses. A true “Top Gun” will pay attention to the smallest detail and this means:
1. Realizing when you fail to meet expectations, you impact your entire team and customers. There is a difference between risking and failing and failing because you were sloppy.
2. Becoming an expert at preparation. In the military this is called the pre-flight briefing. You better have a pre-flight briefing before every sales call, business day or meeting to organize your thoughts and actions.
3. Every mission has an objective. Never make a sales call or business contact without a clearly stated and defined objective. A military pilot would never take off just to see what will happen. Have an objective.
This is how you become a “Top Gun”!