How we made our first million.

Wow! Typing that actually feels pretty cool. I still remember going from being king of the mountain in primary school to suddenly becoming a tiny minnow in the ocean full of sharks called secondary school. That was pretty daunting. In fact at first it was downright horrifying, but as each day passed it did get easier. A bit like business I suppose.

Hopefully regarding your business, you’ll have managed to spend as little time as possible in the “horrifying” part. It isn’t nice. But like a big van with a tiny engine, it gradually recedes into life’s rear view mirror.

Now let me be clear here. This isn’t a how-to guide. There are books written by smarter men and women than I which will guide you along the path much more eloquently than I ever could. What is more, I am still deep in the learning phase, as I expect to be for much of my life. To paraphrase both Jim Rohn and Steve Jobs in one fell swoop: Stay hungry.

That is the key.

Really, those two words say it all. The moment you think you have arrived at the top of the hill and you believe no one can come near you, is the same moment your professional demise begins. Do not give in to hubris, self-satisfaction or false comfort.

Instead continue to set new challenges. Raise your standards and wow your clients. All your clients. Even those who are yet to become your clients. Ideally you want people to queue up, eager to buy from you.

And why, aside from the fact that it’ll take care of your bottom line?

Simply because the knowledge you and your team gain from delivering the best quality product, service or experience to your clients is worth more than all the gold, silver and bitcoin in the world.

Anyway, I’m getting away from myself a little now. The good stuff is going to have to wait for the book which will follow. In time.

See this more as a starter for ten. An invitation to an open floor, where ideas and experiences will be handed out like paper napkins. Bountiful, essential and to those unable to conceive of the inherent value of the right words at the right time, deceptive in their apparent lack of substance.

Today social media dominates the world of new business. What you present to the world is almost irrelevant compared to the manner in which it is presented. Courtesy, sincerity and attention to detail take center stage. Listening to the needs of your customers is one thing. Responding to those needs is quite another. Which do you think might benefit your business the most?

If something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing it right. Or in the words of my mother, “Tidy your room”. So often did I hear those three words even after tidying my room that I became determined to ensure said bedroom reached Country Living standards of excellence. And in doing so, I heard those words less and less.

In our business, we make some of the best products in their field. And that didn’t happen by accident. Just being good enough, is no longer good enough. Whatever business you are in, reframe your way of thinking about that business. It all boils down to one thing. You are in the customer satisfaction business. Whoever that customer is, as long as you can make them feel that taking their custom elsewhere would be a massive step backwards, they will always be your customer.

Never stop trying. However high the mountain you stand on, you’re still more than 90 million miles away from the sun.

And as always with the latter, be careful where you look.

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