Experience has taught me that there are no results without action. You have to dream, develop your idea through research and investigation, and then make it happen with time and effort.

Nearly 15 years ago when I interviewed author/entrepreneur/nurse/public speaker Carol Havey for my book, Mentoring Heroes, she said she based her seminars on three key steps to decision-making. These steps are:

  1. Figure out what you really want.
  2. Consider what it will take to get it.
  3. Decide if you are willing to pay the price.

Carol’s steps sound simple, but there are many people who go into business without thinking these things through to begin with and then cannot, or do not want to, do what they need to do to achieve their goal.

Another one of the 52 women highlighted in Mentoring Heroes, Harriet Gerber Lewis, who was Chairman of the Board of Gerber Plumbing Fixtures, Corp., said one of the most important business lessons she learned from her father was to respect every employee. Each one is an integral part to the company’s success.

Following are some other good business pointers, mostly from my family. Please comment and add your own to the list:

  • Never tell a customer “No.” Give them another option. If they ask if we print posters, which technically we do not, tell them the largest size we print and that it fits in a standard-sized frame. (Photographer Ron Grey)
  • If someone else can do it, so can you. (My husband, Marshall Brodien, creator of all TV Magic products)
  • You don’t get the order if you don’t ask for it. (My sister, Patti Brewer, financial advisor)
  • Don’t spend more on your business than you make in profit. (My practical father, John Doyle, who was an engineer for the phone company)
  • At the end of the day, ask yourself what you’ve learned. If you want to succeed, you can’t remain stagnant. You have to learn, apply, and grow. (My daughter, Lisa Kluge, pharmaceutical rep)
  • Don’t assume you know what the customer wants. Ask questions, listen, and be honest. (My son-in-law, Chief Petty Officer, Steven Lukasiewicz, USN)

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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