Category: Fundamentals

Mar 19 2010

Does Your Business Make Noise Or Make Beautiful Music?

I was reading an old magic book the other day, “Tarbell Course in Magic”, published in 1927.  One particular paragraph really jumped off the page for me.  I would like to share it because I think it has a valuable lesson you can apply to your business.

“There is a big difference between a magician and a man who does tricks.  One can give medicine to a friend but that does not make him a doctor.  Giving medicine is only a small factor.  One must be able to diagnose, so as to treat, and be trained for emergencies.  It requires years to make a physician.”

The author was making the point that the making of a magician is no different than that of other professional people.  A business owner must be trained in the mechanics of business, the alternate methods of operation, and be skilled in delivering the company’s product or service.  Background is crucial to success.  You must understand business and your customers.

A musician is not just a person who plays a piece of music.  He had to first learn the scales, then how to combine notes into harmony.  Proper timing is also important.  Studying music history builds an understanding of art.  Many individual elements create the “whole” musician.

Your business is much like the musical instrument.  A business owner must learn how to play the instrument.  One person plays a guitar and the audience cringes at the awful sound.  Carlos Santana plays his guitar and you immediately know the music comes from his soul, mesmerizing his audience with beautiful music, holding them spellbound for hours.  The difference – he spent hours on fundamentals to ensure he had a foundation on which he could build his unique sound.

One business owner sends an email to his list and 50% of the recipients unsubscribe because they feel it was spam.  Another entrepreneur sends an email, and customers rush back to his place of business or hurry to check out his website to get more information.

He is successful because he understands business fundamentals.  Things like It’s About Them, Not You or Customers Buy Benefits, Not Features.  He understands what marketing really means.  He also knows it’s important to be authentic.  All these pieces form the successful business.  Leave any fundamental out, and you start on a path to failure.

This sounds so simple, many will overlook the importance of the basics.  I often get caught up in the latest greatest technology or some cool new shiny object.  There’s a time a place for these things, but they won’t help if I don’t have a strong foundation to build on.

What are some fundamental practices you should be reviewing for your business?  Do you think it’s important or a waste of time?