Several months ago, I stumbled across this video featuring Robert Herjavec (most notably from Shark Tank these days), and there were a number of things he said in the video that resonated with me.
I wanted to share it because not only do I think it’s worth a watch, but because I also think there are a number things that’ll resonate with many of you, as well:
Whenever I watch videos like this, one of the hardest things to do is to distill some of my favorite quotes into a single post, but in an effort to do just that, I thought I’d share some of the ones I like and how they relate to what I – and many of you – do for a living (or for a hobby), and then just list the rest as ones that I also enjoyed.
Robert Herjavec and WordPress
Obviously, there’s nothing Robert said in the course of the video that has anything to do with WordPress – but it did have to do with business – and there are obviously businesses built around WordPress, so the points that he made transcend whatever field you’re in. In just so happens that I – along with many of you – are into WordPress
With that said, here are some of my favorite quotes.
The purpose of business is to create a customer.
This is actually a quote by Warren Avis whom Herjavec used to work, but this particular quote is a good reminder.
Right now, I think that we’re in a period of a sort of WordPress Gold Rush where people are more concerned with playing the volume game – that is, churning out half-baked products for the sake of generating as much money as possible in a short amount of time rather than creating sustainable businesses and ways to make a living.
This isn’t a universal truth, of course, but an observation. There also plenty of companies who are out there for creating value – via high-quality products or services – for others.
Do Not Be a Jerk
No one likes to do business with someone who isn’t nice.
This is something that I believe the majority of us know, and have an innate belief that this is true, but this doesn’t stop us from losing our patience with some of the customers that we have.
I’m not defending rude customers. In fact, I think you can fire customers just as much as you can fire and employee – relationships are two ways streets – but when you’re running a business and someone else is interfacing with you, be it a customer, a contractor, or an employee, then it never hurts to be nice, does it?
Be Good at What You Do
Success is about finding out the stuff that you should be participating in. … Be great at one thing. The world will reward your knowledge of a very narrow field … Be world-class at that one thing. Forget your weaknesses because someone is going to eat your lunch at the stuff you’re not good at.
This is probably my favorite quote of the entire interview because I think that we can all go further, faster not only if we’re teamed with the right people, but if we’re playing to our strengths.
Furthermore, this is also why I think that it’s much more important to go deep rather than wide in your field of work. Rather than trying to be a generalist – or someone who can do a little bit with everything – specialize. Go deep rather than wide and because exceptionally good at one thing.
Other Good Quotes
Granted, I could go on with other quotes, but here’s some of the other things that I really enjoyed in the interview:
I’m not in business for emotional gratification, …, when you’re angry or you hate, you make stupid decisions.
It’s not about listening for empathy, it’s not about listening to be a nice person, it’s not just about listening – and not just the audio cues – but the physical cues about what people are really saying. It’s about trying to get to the truth of every comment and every word and you’ve got to understand what the mood is.
The minute you think you’ve made it is the beginning of the end.
Sure, I – and you – could elaborate on each of these quotes just as much as those that came before, and many will agree just as much as others disagree.
But all of that’s fine, just so long as we aren’t jerks about it, right?
The Big Takeaway
Although many of these ideas are oriented around business and success, they can be directly related to the work that many of us are doing with and around WordPress since we’re obviously working on building products, services, and business arounds WordPress.
Ultimately, the point is the same that comes from listening to any successful entrepreneur or those from whom we find inspiration: Take the lessons that they’ve learned and apply them to what we’re doing so that we can shortcut some of the mistakes that they’ve made in an attempt to be more successful in what we do.