Business 1.0 September/October 2019August 6th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs
The Consulting Thing – Part III
By Lyle R. Hill
To be candid, I wasn’t sure how these Consulting Thing articles were going to be received. I mean, who am I to be telling anyone how to run their business or their personal lives? But they’ve been well received and have generated comments. And not just ordinary comments, but comments from some bright and influential industry leaders. People like Ed Golda, Carol Borow, Jack Welch and Doug Studt sent e-mails and others called to encourage me to keep up this series. A few of them sent me suggestions. One, from Doug Studt, was “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” That’s pretty good, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from Doug. So I’ve decided to add one final round to this.
1. Always Tell the Truth … and I don’t mean “half-truths.” A reputation for honesty will take you far in life, remember this saying by George Bernard Shaw … “The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else”.
2. Always Maintain YOUR Control and Composure … Keep It Professional (KIP) at all times. I know there are times when you’d like to scream at someone or maybe even smack them in the face, but never let yourself get to that point. When you lose control of yourself, you have lost any chance of controlling the situation.
3. Keep Pedaling … my father, Lyle Alvin, knew more platitudes than anyone I’ve ever known. When I was a kid, one of his favorites was “the only time you can coast is when you’re going downhill.” I responded with the concept of coasting on level ground with a brief explanation of the laws of inertia to which he replied, “you know kid, sometimes I worry about what’s going to become of you.” Lyle Alvin was the kindest and most honest man I ever knew. I had great respect for him. In my entire life, he only hit me once … and I more than deserved it.
4. Don’t Waste Your Time … on bad people, customers, or suppliers. A good friend of mine has a saying he often puts at the bottom of his correspondence that goes … “I don’t regret my past, I just regret the time I spent with the wrong people.”
5. Enjoy Life … and if you’re not enjoying your job, quit it and try another one. Like now!!!
6. Chase a Goose Every Now and Then … a wild goose that is. You might be surprised at how it turns out. There’ve been 8-10 times in my life when I went after something where the odds were against success. But it came out well. As I type this, my son, Patrick, and I are chasing a wild one and I think we’re going to get it. It’ll be a good reminder to me and a good lesson for him. Also, even if nothing is caught, sometimes the chase is worth the fun.
7. Make the Call … be a decision maker. Often a bad decision is better than no decision because the sooner you find out something is not going to work out, the sooner you can move on to the next solution. I don’t like dealing with indecisive people. They will burn you out.
8. Expectations … you need to try to manage the expectations of everyone you deal with. And, of course, your own. You do this by being honest, forthright, and most of all, doing what you say you are going to do. Under promise … over deliver.
9. The Extra Mile … another of Lyle Alvin’s sayings was “you’ll never find much traffic on the extra mile.” Actually I think he used to say “you’ll never find a traffic jam on the extra mile” but either way I think you get the picture. There were times when I used to think he was a little wacky, but for a guy with only a ninth grade education, he was probably one of the wisest men I ever knew.
10. Read Ecclesiastes … on part two of this consulting series, I suggested you read the twentieth book of the Bible’s Old testament (Proverbs) and nobody complained so I’ll push the envelope one more time and now suggest you read the twenty-first book, which is Ecclesiastes. I read this book (which will take you about 15-20 minutes) at least twice a year. Good for my mind and my soul.
OK … done with the consulting thing. Thanks for reading and now please go live your life!!!
Lyle R. Hill is the 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 auto glass industry, and provides film-related advice. Hill has more than 40 years of experience in glass-related industries and can be reached at email@example.com
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