Do you know anyone who rarely follows through on what they say? Are they successful or do they struggle? I bet I know the answer.
On the flip side, do you know someone who does what they say? They always return the phone call, the email, and they take their commitments seriously? One way to tell if someone is or will be successful in business and in life is if they follow through and keep their word. This follow-through is both commitments to others and commitments to oneself.
Your Word To Others
The investment community is actually rather small. As you do deals and go to meetings, you tend to run into the same people over and over. By the time you get to the top of your game, you would have done business in some fashion with most of the other players in the industry.
It takes years to build a solid reputation. That reputation could be ruined in less than a day. For example, I know many real estate wholesalers that were not honest with their buyers. They end up selling a bad deal or two and not disclosing issues with the houses that they were aware of. Once this word got out, they were out of business.
At a past Denver Success Summit, we had a property management company commit to buying all the attendees a drink at our networking happy hour. This is someone that has participated in several of our Success Summits and someone that we trusted. There was a miscommunication about him speaking at the event and he got upset. We thought we had it worked out, but he decided not to show up and not participate in the happy hour networking event. He committed to supporting our event but did not come through.
The fact that we had to cover the cost was not a big deal. In fact, we were happy to do I, but what bothered us was that he let us down. Clearly, we cannot trust his commitments going forward, so he will not be invited back. At one point he told me that he expects about $100,000 in profit from our last event with all the new clients he picked up and the referrals he will get. If that is a real number, he is potentially giving up $100,000 in profits by not covering a $500 bar tab. That does not seem worth it to me.
We are currently working through an issue with a past client. They borrowed some money and are fighting hard to not pay it back. I am not sure how this will end, but worst case for us, we lose the money. Worst case for them, they will never do business with us or anyone we know ever again. What is the future damage of that? Is it worth it?
We get a lot of business and close a lot of deals because we do what we say. We close when we say we will, and we are there for you when you need us. We are sometimes blunt on the front end, but the truth is not always easy to hear. It has always been our business model to be brutally honest with our trusting clients to help them with their success. We are also committed to returning phone calls and emails.
These simple steps have separated us from our competitors. That is no different in any other business. Too many companies and individuals fail at the follow-through, and they are destined to mediocrity because of it.
Your Word To Yourself
There is very little in this world more important than being honest with yourself. You cannot change who you are or accomplish what your want until you are. This is true with your current position and your goals and this is true with your promises to yourself.
I work off a task list each day. I am writing this article because my task list tells me to. Once something finds its way on my list, I find a way to get it done. It is that simple. Me writing it down is my commitment or promise to myself to do the task, no matter how big, how small, or how scary. No matter what! Things do get bumped to the next day or a later day, but they never come off the list until they are done, and I never stop working until my task list is clear.
Because of this, I can accomplish what I want. I first just need to determine what it is I want and make a plan to get there. I break the plan down to action items and then I write those items down.
It is so, so important that you always follow through. If you are not sure you can get something done, do not commit to it. Keep your word, keep your reputation, and enjoy your success!