In the June, 2011, edition of The Costco Connection Wally Amos discuss putting “off doing things - calling old friends, apologizing for errors made in judgment, following up on an idea”. Wally writes about his desire to contact a former friend who was dying of cancer.
As many of us, Wally meant well; he intended to call his friend, but he kept putting if off for various reasons. Finally, Wally called his friend and was connected with voice mail, and he decided to call another friend who was a mutual acquaintance. This person told him that the other friend had passed away two days before.
Wally realized that his call would not have saved his friend’s life, but maybe it would have made him laugh or smile. At the worse, he may have made his friend’s final days easier through shared memories. In addition, it would have given Wally some peace.
As you go about your business and personal life (remember that it is one life, and you cannot separate the two), think of someone that you need to contact. We all have people that we have put off calling or writing, someone from our past. Do it now; do the right thing, before it is too late.
What about someone to whom you should apologize? It is never too late for you to say that you are sorry for something that you have done wrong. Take ownership of your error, take responsibility for what you have done, apologize, and make it right. We have discussed before that it is not that you made an error, it is what you do after the mistake is made, that counts.
Is there ever an error or mistake from which you cannot recover? Have you ever been the victim of a mistake that you will not forgive? If there is, that doesn’t mean that you should not attempt to apologize; you should always attempt to make things right. That is good business; that is doing the right thing.
What about that idea that you had to try something new and different? Did you follow up on it? Did you try that new marketing plan, even on a trial basis, even with a few prospects? What about contacting those former clients who left your business; did you ever ask them why they stopped ordering from you? Why not?
The secret of attending networking events is not just in meeting new prospects or seeing old friends again. The secret of success is in the follow up. Call new prospects and get to know them; send a card to an old friend saying that it was good to see them again. Ask people how they are and what they are doing now; maybe you will find a need for what you have. Maybe it will just be the right thing to do.
You do not want your personal life to be decided by the lack of follow up. You also do not want your business life to be defined that way. Would’ve, should’ve, could’ve – those are the worst words that anyone can say or hear. As Wally Amos warns, do not say “I wish I had.” Either in business or your personal life, you must “Do it Now”.
Please let me know how you think of these thoughts. You can leave me your comments, email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me to chat at 360-314-8691. I always value your input and ideas.