Besides writing this blog and doing workshops and seminars and presentations, I have a few hobbies. One is singing and playing guitar. Tonight I get to perform in front of tens of people at the Poison Frog Brewery.
I’ll be performing songs I’ve played hundreds of times in the last 30 years, including dozens of times the last two weeks. You would think by now I could just pick up the guitar and play a number of these songs without a lick of practice. You’d be right. But it wouldn’t be my best.
Are you practicing?
I know I could phone this performance in and still be somewhat entertaining. After all, beer is involved. I also know that the more I practice and prepare, the better I will sound and the more fun we will all have.
The same holds true for the presentations I’m doing next week. I’ll be talking about Word-of-Mouth, Customer Service and Advertising – all favorite topics of mine. I’ve been practicing for a couple weeks so that these talks will be favorites of my audience, too.
The same holds true for retailing, especially selling. You always have to be practicing if you want to stay sharp. You always have to be researching and finding out better ways to do what you’ve always done. Out of the 150 or so slides for my presentations next week, only two or three are exactly the same as when I first did these presentations. Things change and there is always a way to be better.
My high school homeroom teacher and swim coach, Mr. Pultz, had two key phrases that anyone who ever spent more than two minutes around him heard – “Can’t never did nothing,” and, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Are you preparing for the opportunities awaiting you in 2017, or are you just going to settle with something less than your best?
PS Hope to see you tonight. Or next week. Or whenever you’re ready to take your game to the next level.