[Marketing Memo] The Best Business Advice I've Ever Received
By Cary Weston
My message this morning is quite short but quite effective. It was delivered to me from the inside of a soda cooler. And like most things that we learn at 19, its value at the time was lost on me.
But as the years and experiences rack up, it just may be the best business advice I've ever received.
And it's time I pass it onto you.
I was working at a pizza and sandwich deli during college for a man named Gabby Price. Gabby was a local football coach, friend to many, and a teacher of life.
Like most stores, this one featured a wall of coolers, for beer, soda and dairy. And as part of our daily routine, we'd spend time in the cooler filling in the holes of the product that had been sold.
Often time Gabby would join us and help fill the shelves. We knew he was just being nosy, but we also knew he was checking in because he cared. We'd chat away about all the things that mattered, to a 19 year old that is. Sports and girls, basically. But there were sprinkles of other topics.
And one day, he asked me what I wanted to do when I graduated college. Essentially, what I wanted to be when I grew up. That was a big question then and, to be honest, it's an ever bigger question now.
I remember introducing him to my plan of starting my first business, a plan I still have in my head to this day. I was excited about the prospect but was really struggling with the details.
How do you make a business work, I asked. How do you know where to start? What it is going to take to make it successful?
Gabby didn't pretend to have all the answers and I appreciate that now. What he did have was his own experiences of owning a business and he shared with me the challenges in a down to earth manner. What that helped me understand there are no silver bullets or magic formulas.
And he gave me what has turned out to be the simplest and perhaps most effective business advice I've ever received: "Third grade math and kindergarten principles."
Make sure you don't spend more than you make and treat people as you would wish to be treated.
Its simple, short, and it's been almost 20 years since he shared that advice.
And it's becomes more valuable each and every day.
- Cary Weston is a partner of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications in Bangor, Maine
Company's Web: www.sutherlandweston.com
Cary's Twitter Acct: www.twitter.com/cary_weston
Cary's Linked In Acct: www.linkedin.com/in/caryweston
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