6 Lessons Your Mother Taught You and How They Apply to Business

Ray Eibel - Director of New Business Development ·

Recently, I read a sales article written by Dan Waldschmidt that really hit home. In the article, Waldschmidt discussed the importance of focus, discipline and, most importantly, core values to guide you. We often get off course by the “latest and greatest” new strategies for business, hoping that one of these tactics will work. When the “latest and greatest” fails us, we simply move on to the next strategy. The more you go down this road, success becomes less clear. Instead of bouncing from one strategy to the next, maybe we just need to go back to “core” business strategies based on the lessons your mother taught you many years ago.

1) What Goes Around Comes Around

What we do every day has consequences, sometimes they are good, and sometimes they are bad. Remember, actions cause results. You always get the results deserved by the activity you engage in. If we agree that what we do will bring about a result, it is then logical to assume if we do the right thing, we can make a positive difference. Things that can matter most are offering a kind word and being honest and fair in your business dealings. The culture you create will ultimately determine your success. So if you want to have good things, make sure you are doing the right things.

2) No One Likes a "Know it All"

Many of us have a habit of cutting people off at mid-sentence or interrupting our co-workers and customers. Even our eyes can send negative signals waiting for our conversation partner to stop talking. I know a lot of things you hear seem unimportant, things you may already know, but if you take the time to actually listen long and hard enough, you just may hear something that will help you become more successful. Listen for those moments.

3) Stop Being a Whiner

Pretty simple concept here, STOP COMPLAINING. Stop being the person that keeps others from moving forward. No one likes a whiner, and that is a simple truth. What we sometimes forget is a whiner can negatively impact your business and influence the people around him/her. The last thing you need is a company or a department full of whiners and wimps – don’t be that person!

4) Life Isn't Fair

Someone once told me “fair” is a place you go to eat cotton candy, ride on the Ferris wheel and look at the cows. We all need to stop thinking we are the only ones who ever had a bad thing happen to us. Many things we consider “unfair” are really life’s gambles that didn’t pay off. Sometimes we make risky decisions, and when they don’t turn out well, we cry, “unfair.” Other times, we may end up with the short end of the straw. Enough is enough; let’s move past it.

5) Just Because Everyone Else is Doing it, Doesn't Mean You Should Too

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in “best practices.” There are certainly numerous opportunities to look for best practices as we listen intently to webinars and attend workshops and conferences. I am not here to tell you that other organizations don’t have good ideas, but don’t blindly assume what works for another company will work in your organization. Oftentimes, I have done workshop presentations on a successful program we are running, but when asked specific questions on how another organization can implement the same program, I realize it may be very difficult because of the way their firm is organized or their core values.

6) Grow Up

I am sure we have all heard that you need to be tough if you want to win in business. This means you have to deal with being knocked down when you least expect it, and you need to rebound quickly and get back on your feet. Instead of getting offended, insulted or, worse yet, feeling sorry for yourself, focus on the real issues. Complaining and whining isn’t what grown-ups do. Also, part of growing up is learning from our mistakes and getting better at making decisions.

The basic life lessons we learn from our moms growing up are the same good lessons we need to apply right now if we want to be better at doing our jobs. Being successful isn’t always about your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis or your “go to” plan. Most often, it’s about the core values you let guide your day-to-day decisions.