Anything you do in life, if you’re going to be doing it regularly, you need to develop a system for it. In the beginning, you start as a little robot doing what you’re told, because you don’t know anything and you’re learning the fundamentals from someone who does know. It’s like you’re in elementary school all over again. You’ve got to learn the basics before you’ll be good for anything else.
In business, you’re being taught what works for your teacher.
Your job is to be coachable, and learn those fundamentals as quickly as possible. You’ve got to be taught. The person teaching you has their way of doing things, and that’s what they’ll teach you.
Until a comedian tells a joke, he doesn’t know if it’s funny.
It’s the same for you in your business. Until you try to put these techniques, presentations, etc. into action, you don’t know if they’re going to work. Once you go to work, you’re going to find out you have your own little variations in how you get things done. This isn’t something you have to spend a lot of time on – it just emerges over time. One thing you can do is notice it and write it down. It helps you clarify the steps that allow YOU to be most productive. The key is not to find out just what works for everyone else; it’s to find out what works for you.
I made my own book of what worked for me. You should try it.
We’re not talking about reinventing the wheel.
It’s just that everyone has different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Everybody has different experiences and view points. Everyone has a different style. The result is that everyone who makes the effort will find things that work for them. You’re coachable, you’re hard working, you do as you’re told – but inevitably you find out that you fall into different patterns and variations that work best for you. Since the job is to be as productive as possible, you need to stay with those.
Let’s say you play professional baseball.
You’ve been taught to swing a bat in a certain way. Solid fundamentals: keep a balanced stance, watch the ball as it comes out of the pitcher’s hand, etc. They’ve taught you the fundamentals. But if it’s in the 9th inning, the bases are full, you’re two runs behind, and you hit a grand-slam home run, no one is going to question your technique. They’re just going to be glad you did it.
In the beginning, you have to have meticulous focus on details.
You have to get the fundamentals down. You have to be thorough. But after that, you’ve got to do something with them. As your activity picks up, you start to learn things. You learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
As you discover them, write it down.
That’s what comedians do. They say Joan Rivers has over a million jokes in her closet, all meticulously filed away and indexed on 3×5 cards. Every subject, every holiday, every aspect of life – you name it, and she’ll be able to pull out a stack of jokes on the subject. Can’t she remember them? NO. Neither could you. Even if you could, you wouldn’t be able to recall them all on a moments notice like you can when they are written down.
How did she get these?
Like Bob Hope, Milton Berle, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld and thousands of comedians have done since the beginning of time: one joke at a time. These were jokes they tried and found they could get laughs with. Then they wrote them down. Step by step, they became masters of their craft: professionals. If they told a joke, they KNEW they’d get laughs.
Don’t take shortcuts. You aren’t going to be an instant sensation at the Comedy Club by showing up 5 minutes early, downloading a bunch of jokes off the internet, and telling them. You have to show up with your own proven material, or you’ll bomb. It takes effort and time.
That’s the track to becoming a sensationally successful professional.
The one thing no one in the world knows – the reason you can’t shortcut your way to greatness – is because no one can tell you what will work for you. You have to find that out for yourself: by work and by repetition.
I don’t know if the right name for it is “fact book”. I don’t know if you should call it a “business diary”. Mine was a special notebook that never got really big, but it had the key lessons I learned about what worked for me. It was MY book, and I still have it. You need to get YOURS.
The key is that you’ll be using this over and over because what you’re finding are YOUR fundamentals. When you have a teacher or trainer, they’re teaching you the fundamentals that work for them. You want to learn those as quickly as possible so you can go to work and find out what’s going to work for you.