What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The Virgin Unite Blog had a piece this week asking what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

It’s a pretty good question. Over the years I’ve had plenty of advice, sometimes welcome and sometimes not-so welcome (that somehow often turns out to be the best stuff). One piece of advice has stayed with me, and I try to share it as often as possible.

Back in early 2002 my business was struggling due to the double whammy of the dot.com bust and 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Talking to a good friend one afternoon I asked him if he had any advice for me that might help. We’d been talking strategy and hard decisions that we were going to have to make – the brutal facts weren’t easy. Then he said: “Just don’t forget to celebrate the small stuff.”

And over the years I’ve come to see both the power and value of that simple idea both in action in my own work and for those I work with.

Building a great brand and keeping your promises is essentially a constant stream of small stuff done consistently and in alignment.

And while we often celebrate the anniversary of this or that, the closing of a big deal and staff birthdays, more often than not we just blast on down the road with barely a pause to recognise all the little things – that small stuff my friend was talking about.

When was the last time you celebrated things like great feedback from a client. The effort people put in to get a task done. The nice gesture someone made to a colleague or customer. A promise kept.

I’m not talking about throwing a party here. It can be as simple as a heartfelt thank you or acknowledgement. It might be an extra cup of coffee picked up on the way to work for that person. Or buying everyone in the office burritos for lunch just because it’s been a tough week and you survived (something we used to do).

Life’s a blur. Days pass in a blink and as we rush from one meeting to another, from one thing on our to-do list to the next, it is so easy to miss the small stuff.

So I encourage you to share around my friend’s advice and, if you don’t already, give it a try: “Celebrate the small stuff.”

What’s the best advice you ever received? Please share your story in the comments section.

See you next week.


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