Business lessons before 7AM

Friends, have you ever taken a moment to think about all the lessons that life teaches us before 7AM? Be honest, of course you haven’t! That’s why you were intrigued to read this article. So since you are here, let’s jump right into it!

For those that know me, you know I’m an early riser. To be an early riser one must have some sort of a plan or at least remember to set the alarm clock before turning it in for the evening. In business, how often do we want to begin a project, attack a new market, land an important deal, etc. without a well thought-out executable plan? Yes, we know we want to accomplish a goal, but often we haven’t taken much initiative to set the alarm in advance. Or possibly, we have in our minds that it’s not our responsibility to set the alarm. Shouldn’t the alarm be set by the CEO, the owner, the executive team, the supervisor or “those” people over there? No, it is our personal responsibility to plan for our success. Set the alarm!

For me, when the alarm goes off at 5AM, I have a choice. Snooze and lose or begin and win! I consistently choose to hit the ground running with thanksgiving for another chance to be better than I was yesterday. This sets the tone for my day. A day of excellence, continuous improvement, proper attitude and of course… gratitude. These are all things that are of the utmost importance to my customers, employees, colleagues, family and friends. I know you’re probably thinking – wow he’s only been up for a few minutes now!

Time to get ready, but before I do, let me check in with my social media peeps. Over the years I’ve been consistent about sending a positive message out into the atmosphere before 6AM. Why? Because life is much bigger than just me. Despite all the ills of social media, I enjoy having a platform to connect intimately with customers, help change a friend’s day or inspire the next generation of leaders.

To be candid, I realize that not many people wake up and start their days like I do. But I enjoy a challenge and my tribe challenges each other to be better every day. The same thing applies in business. People buy from people that care about them. Relationships that provide value are priceless. In whatever you do, always provide value!

Okay, the KJ solitude is over and now the fun begins as the rest of the Jackson family begins to awake! For those of you who have children, you know the drill. It’s the race to get everyone showered, fed and out the door without forgetting the lunch bag or the homework. In business, we call this the busy season, the end of the quarter or better yet the end of the fiscal year. It’s game time and only the ones that have properly prepared will pull this off flawlessly. For those of you who do not know, there are some serious unwritten rules to how this should go down. Ironically in business, these times sneak up on us more often than we would like to admit. Deadlines cause us to skip important steps, which always causes pain down the chain (you do know this, right?). It’s important to follow the playbook in all four quarters! Great execution, turns into great plays, which results in great teams!

Now it’s time to head out the door. We’ve triple checked our calendars for the day, added a few thousand things to our to-do list, given our final hugs and kisses and there’s one thing that we’ve all forgotten – to feed Sean Smith. You see, Sean Smith is the only goldfish with a first and a last name (named after a minor league baseball player). Sean expects us to tap on the glass twice and drop one pinch of fish food in the tank by 7:00AM. No different than the expectations of our customers. To our end customers, it does not really matter what happened between 5:00AM and 7:00AM. Customers expect a consistent delivery of value, product, service and messaging. They also expect us to deliver all of this to them with a great attitude. And don’t forget to say thank you and really mean it. Organizations that consistently do this will easily rise to the top!

Never forget to feed Sean Smith! #letsgo  

Kevin Jackson

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