Business 1.0 May/June 2019

August 5th, 2021 by Bryan

The Consulting Thing – Part II

By Lyle Hill

I’m hoping regular readers will remember I wrote a column in this magazine a few months back wherein this “Consulting Thing” was mentioned. Specifically, I talked about my years in the industry and desire to share what I’ve learned with you.

Part I of this article dealt with common definitions and explanations to get you up to speed on important business terms and practices. With that now behind us, we can get into the real meat. If you need a copy of Part I please send me some cash and a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I will mail a copy to you. I suggest you collect the entire series. Then when you get old and are sitting in a rocking chair in a retirement home, you can get it out and see where you went right and where you went wrong. You may also want to add a few things of your own to pass along to your grandchildren, none of whom will be working in the window film business because they’re smarter than us. I learned some of the lessons and recommendations I’m going to provide because of my
own stupidity. Okay, we have the background, so let’s get into Part II.

1. Never burn a bridge … unless you’re running from the law. This is an old axiom but a good one. Simply put, every person you meet and deal with may be vital to you at some point in the future. Don’t dismiss or mistreat anyone.

2. Take it easy … be as intense and anxious as you want to be, but keep it inside. Yes, this might lead to premature death, but for the sake of your reputation, this is the way to go. After a few years in the biz I came to the conclusion that customers and suppliers liked to deal with calm, easy-going people.

3. Remember the other Golden Rule … as you know, the Golden Rule says “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The other side is “expect to have done unto you by others what you have done to them.” Or as my Southside Irish friends here in Chicago like to say, “what goes around comes around.”

4. Be patient … no one likes dealing with an impatient, nervous, pushy or overly aggressive person. Learn to practice patience and if you can’t really be patient, learn how to hide your impatience.

5. Watch your mouth … I can’t stand foul-mouthed, loud and obnoxious people. Everything you say doesn’t need a profane adjective to emphasize it. Saying stupid or intemperate things makes you look stupid!

6. Self-promote with care … there’s nothing wrong in the business world with self-promotion. It’s somewhat essential. But, do it with care. Don’t be boastful or obvious. When you’ve done something terrific and want the world to know about it, try to get someone other than yourself to get the news out.

7. Don’t be a knocker … When I was young I worked under a very talented guy who was valuable to our company. But he was constantly running everybody down. I mentioned this to him one day and his response was, “kid, the sooner you learn that a knock is as good as a boost, the faster you’ll climb the old corporate ladder.” I realized he was probably knocking me to everyone else just like he was knocking all of them to me. When I became his boss, I let him go. People like this are cancers for a business.

8. Accept criticism and take the blame for your mistakes … no one is perfect, including you. Be honest about your missteps to others and yourself.

9. Help anyone and everyone you can … you’ve no idea how much good will come back to you by being the first one to help a co-worker who’s struggling. For further explanation on this, re-read #3.

10. Read Proverbs from start to finish … the 20th book of the Bible’s Old Testament is stuffed with personal and business teachings that can be of incredible help to you. Yes, it gets a little preachy but the wisdom therein is found in virtually every chapter and many of the teachings found there are still quoted regularly today. I wish I would’ve read it and accepted its teachings much earlier in my life.

Ok, this is Part II. Whether or not there is a Part III will be determined by the response I get to this part. And as always, thank you for reading.

Lyle R. Hill is the managing director of Keytech North America and a former owner of a window film company in the Midwest. He also serves as president of Glass.com, an information portal and job generation company for the glass industry, and provides film-related advice. Hill has more than 40 years of experience in glass-related industries and can be reached at lhill@glass.com.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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