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What Mum teaches us about business

How do her funny sayings apply?

A few years ago, my Mum gave me a great little book ‘My Mother Always Used to Say…’, it’s full of the sayings she and my Grandma always used. They’re good advice for life generally but also teach us a few things about business. Here’s my favourites:

If everyone else was jumping off a cliff, would you do it too?

Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s the best way. It probably just means it’s the easiest. That’s not going to make you millions! If Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg had followed the crowd, we wouldn’t have Apple or Facebook. If you know and love what you do, you are the best person to find the unique opportunity: you are the expert. Go with your gut. Be bold. Be creative.

Brush your hair 100 times before bed

As a business leader it’s vital to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally. It’s too easy to focus on the business and forget yourself. But this can quickly lead to burn out. Successful business owners and CEOs I’ve met over the years are both physically and mentally fit. They take holidays, sail, go to the gym, do yoga, mediate and read. Whatever keeps you on top form, make sure it’s in your plan.

Thank you letters must be written within the month

Manners cost nothing but are worth everything. Say thank you when someone has helped you out, or great to meet you a networking event. Whether this is in the form of a card, a letter (yes that’s right, an actual old-fashioned thing on paper) or an email, people will remember it positively.

Marry for money and you will spend the rest of your life earning it

We covered supplier tips in, and this quotation reinforces the point about synergy. If you choose them purely on price it’s likely that you’ll be hampered by operational inefficiencies from day one. Choose your supplier based on whether their business has similar core values to yours and whether they buy in to what you are trying to achieve. This means you will have fundamental beliefs and standards in common which will ensure a successful working relationship.

Apart from all of this, she is a fantastic business woman too! Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous Mum’s out there, especially to mine.

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