Consider yourself as a high-functioning screw-up
The mindset you truly want to have, in my humble opinion, is that of a “high-functioning screw-up”. This means you understand Murphy’s Law (“Anything that can go wrong, will”)… and you hope for things to go right, while preparing for disaster… but… you also stay on top of bringing in the moolah.
It’s a balance, and you have to be conscious to do it.
Fully awake, and fully rooted in reality. Which most people are not. You must stop expecting perfection -- either from yourself, or your employees, or your customers and clients. It will never happen. Life isn’t a calm pond -- it’s an unpredictable ocean. So you want to hone your navigation skills, to weather storms, rough seas and smooth sailing with the same Buddha-like attitude.
Even more important… you gotta learn to enjoy the ride, no matter what. I consider myself a balanced, high-functioning screw-up. I run a tiny office -- it’s just me, and Diane in here part-time. Sometimes we goof up, and emails get lost, or we ship to the wrong address, or we piss off customers in some significant way or another. I just never let it get to me.
When we do screw up, I try to fix it, fast and without a lot of fuss. I rely on my reputation when I need a little patience or good will from an aggrieved customer… and since, most of the time, you can expect prompt, serious, and world-class professional-quality service on my end, people are quick to forgive my occasional lapse.
And when they’re not able to forgive me, then I say goodbye and good luck, and I never look back. Because I don’t expect or demand perfection, and I’ve learned to enjoy the ride no matter what happens. I don’t waste time on lost causes. Tragedy is not losing a customer because he didn’t receive his package in time and got pissed off.
Real tragedy is having a loved one pass away, or getting bad news from the doctor. Everything else is just a small bump on the road as you haul ass through life. It’s all about balance.
Focus is saying no to 1,000 good ideas.
Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing isn’t hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The hard thing isn’t setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.
The last 10% is 90% of the work.
…I think everybody should get rich and famous, and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer…