A few months ago, I had the opportunity to speak at length with radio talk show host Dave Ramsey. Dave is full of great advice about money management. And he also knows a thing or two about business. During the course of our discussion, Dave told me a story that revealed two powerful secrets for success in business. Here’s what Dave had to say:
“I had a conversation with a guy the other day who is worth about $6 billion. Every time I have a conversation with someone like that, I listen and take notes. I asked him what advice he could give me to build my business up to be as successful as his.
“He brought up the tortoise and the hare. He said keep it steady, keep it slow. Keep your eye on the ball, and don’t be running around all over the place. Keep going every day with excellence in the ordinary. Every day, get up and do it beautifully and with unbelievable professionalism. Every day. Steady, steady, steady.
“The second thing he said was not to try to maximize every margin: leave room in your deals so that everybody wins. If you beat a vendor up so badly buying from him that you make him go broke, you’ve lost a partner in the marketplace. If you squeeze every ounce out of your team and don’t share with them in compensation, you won’t have anyone that will want to go with you as you win. Be a giver; have a generous spirit. You’ve got to be wise in the middle of that — you can’t give away every dollar — but he said that so many companies, especially when they get to the point where they’re being publicly traded, feel like they have to squeeze every dollar out of every movement and everything has to be monetized perfectly. He said to just leave a little room, a little margin.”
Dave’s story revealed the faulty thinking that many business people are acting on. Too many people try to take shortcuts to success. They use debt to jump ahead. They jump from one opportunity to another. And they try to make others take their lumps for them. But these tactics often fail. So the advice of this billionaire many times over is just the opposite. Steady professionalism and taking care of those around you will get you much further, much faster than any shortcut.
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom’s Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.