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16 fantastic, simple ideas

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Some time ago I had the pleasure of interviewing and writing about Julian Tertini, the man who created – and later sold – Freedom Furniture. After his ‘no compete’ time period was up, Tertini was itching to get back into retail and decided to buy the struggling Fantastic Furniture business, which has since turned around big time. Here are some of his unique views on living with, and loving, your business experience.

1. Life is like a bank account

(I love this one – it is typically Tertini.)

Every day you make deposits and withdrawals. Deposits are the things you say or do that are good, positive or helpful to other people. Withdrawals are the things you say or do that are destructive or negative.

Your aim in life, in order to have emotional, physical, and financial wealth, should be to make a lot more deposits than withdrawals.

2. The power of cooperation

You rarely achieve success without the active support of a lot of people. You need other people to cooperate with you and to believe in what you are doing.

3. It’s people plus systems

This one will shock the systems lovers. Tertini believes that too many businesses try to organise and systemise to counter human nature. Now he’s not against systems – recognising that humans need systems to function properly – but he stresses that whenever possible, make sure your systems tap into basic human nature.

4. You are what you think

All actions result from thoughts, and the quality of your outcomes is directly related to the quality of your thoughts. You make choices every hour of every day that are either positive or negative to your life. So think more and choose better. Think of the consequences. Thought takes energy, time and effort and that’s why we often avoid thinking.

5. You are responsible for your outcomes

Accepting responsibility for what happens to you is one of the most liberating things you can do. It is liberating because you understand that the power to change things, to achieve outcomes, rests in your hands and not someone else’s. Unsuccessful people spend most of their time blaming outside events or people for negative results.

6. Put in more than you expect to get back

So many people think the reverse is true. “Tell me what I’ll get back and then I might put in the effort.” While this approach may seem logical, it almost always never works, especially for the long term. Rewards come from the least expected avenues. Predicting them is impossible. So why try?

7. Leverage your time

Most people don’t use their time wisely, and yet it is the most valuable of your possessions. How do you leverage time? By trying to get more than one benefit or result from as many timeframes as possible. Tertini reckons listening to educational tapes on the way to work is a classic example of a better use of time compared to listening to early morning radio.

8. Courageously ask questions

Most people are afraid of asking too many questions. Consequently, they work off assumed, apparent or false facts. Decisions made on these bases usually have poor outcomes. Don’t ever be afraid to question. And remember another rule: quite often the first answer you get to a difficult question is not the right answer.

9. Invest in you

Try to know more about your industry than anyone else. Be the best you can be. Take pride in how you do things. Take pleasure in doing things well, in seeking out the right answers and outcomes. Learn more each year about everything that you’re involved in.

10. Happiness and passion are your choices

Most people say that happiness is one of their main goals in life. The good news is that you can choose to be happy or unhappy. Your attitude and response to the everyday stuff that comes your way determines whether you are happy or unhappy.

So too with passion; you either do stuff in your life that you are already passionate about, or you need to develop a passion for what you do. Either way, life becomes more interesting, satisfying and positively challenging.

11. Think ‘win, win’

This means that you seek solutions so that everyone wins. It requires a balance between self respect and respect for others. It comes from having a character of integrity and maturity and having an ‘abundance’ mentality.

12. What, me wrong?

Always be willing to consider the possibility that you may be wrong. Never think that you know it all. Try to think solution rather than problem, and be willing to abandon your old ideas if someone comes up with something new or better.

13. Go on, pay the price

Understand that everything in life has a price. It is amazing how many people expect stuff for which they aren’t willing to pay the price. Even winning lotto requires you to buy a ticket! The hardest question to ever answer is whether you’re willing to pay the price in order to obtain what you seek.

14. Do I have the right balance?

Remember that balance should be measured over a lifetime. Most people measure balance over much shorter time frames, and therefore become unwilling to pay the necessary price for the outcomes they desire.

15. Simplicity is the key to clear thoughts

We are all bombarded with an overwhelming volume of noise, fact and information. Don’t lose sight of the power of simplicity. People often give themselves permission to fail by making simple things complex.

16. If you can’t excel with talent, do so with effort  

You’ll be doing exactly what the vast majority of successful people have to do. The necessity to work hard is an integral part of success in any field of endeavour.

One last message Julian left out. When he opened his first shop, he told me he soon worked out that he wasn’t good in a shop, so he bought another in order to manage the business and employ great retail people who could do those jobs better than he could.

This guy is very realistic and he is not scared of confronting the hard facts that make the difference between success and failure.

Work on your business, not in it. To learn how, book a complimentary business assessment today with a Switzer Business Coach.

Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Thursday, October 15, 2009

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