Back to Basics

Category: Processes Published on Jun 15 2016

I recently received an email from someone who attended a webinar. To quote, this person stated: “Your information was very basic, but good.”


Ouch! Very basic….really?

Then again, perhaps this is not an ‘Ouch!’ moment.  Successful people understand that mastering and consistently applying the basics is fundamental to their success.

We are not ready for nor will we benefit from more advanced techniques until and unless we have internalized and are excelling at applying the basics. For example, we learn how to print before we practice cursive writing; we master walking before we excel at running; and we become proficient at counting before we learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide.


The basics are core to all of our learning and growth. Some of the basics like walking we practice on a daily basis without thinking. This may make us proficient or it may make us sloppy as we take for granted our ability and forget about the basics.


For those tasks we practice less often, over time we may build in short cuts or simply forget the basics of why things should be done in a certain manner. And occasionally, we may never have been instructed in the basics. Instead, we may have learned by trial and error and made our own rules as needed.


Some of the sports greats like Larry Bird and Tiger Woods attribute their greatness to practicing and mastering the basics of their sport. In high school, Larry Bird practiced every chance he found, often going to the gym early, shooting between classes, and staying late into the evening. When Tiger Woods wanted to go to the next level in his game, he hired a coach and dedicated himself to improving the basics of his swing so he could learn and master the nuances and advanced concepts necessary. He understood that being perfect on the basics would allow him to concentrate and focus on more advanced techniques.


This concept applies to small business also.

 - If you are having trouble with accomplishing your goals, the first step should be to go back to the basics of goal setting. 

 - If your challenge is with connecting on social media, then check to see if you are following the basics of setting up your profiles and posting. 

 - And if you are not adequately filling your sales pipeline, then review the basics of your marketing and sales appeal.


Instead, what many small business owners do is search for a magic bullet that will solve all of their woes. They look for an advanced tip, trick, or technique that will move them forward, enhance their social media presence, or buoy their sales. They spend hours of their valuable time and hundreds, possibly thousands, of their precious dollars chasing down the next big thing.


Does this sound like you? If so, I encourage you to stop the madness and return to the basics. Are you following all of the steps or are you taking shortcuts? Do you even know what the basic building blocks are and why they are important?


As Larry Bird so ably illustrates, the path to moving forward and becoming better and more profitable at what we do is found in mastering the basics. And as Tiger Woods has proven, working with a good coach or mentor will make the process go more quickly.


What can you do today to get back to the basics?