The first key principle in business success is knowing who you are dealing with, and who you are, a smart person or a foolish person.
The difference between a smart person and a foolish person is that when a foolish person is foolish, he thinks he is smart, when a smart person is foolish, he knows he is foolish.
The next difference is that a foolish person thinking he is smart, has no chance of becoming smart, whereas a smart person knowing he is foolish, can become smarter.
By seeing the foolishness, he has a chance of correcting himself so he ceases to be foolish, but that can happen only if a person acknowledges he is foolish and then works to become smart.
Otherwise if a person does not see and accept that he is foolish, he will remain foolish. This is the advantage of knowing you are foolish. The next step is to know what is foolish and what really matters. What matters is what will last or has a life of its own.
What really has a life of its own? That is what matters. Words and comments require a person to listen to them and interpret or create a meaning from them. Therefore words have no life of their own.
What happens in our world without words? Very little. What are words but empty air? Nothing at all. What gives words the power to enchant or anger? The mind of the listener.
Therefore, the fool takes words to mean what he thinks they mean, creating excuses for his failures, justifications for conflicts or self pity. The wise person allows for the passing of air to go without concern and moves forward without regret.
A smart person inquires and asks questions of their opponent and associates to learn what the other person knows so they can gauge how to deal with them.
A foolish person does not ask anything and assumes they know everything and are experts. They will tell you the ‘right’ way to do everything but make mistakes and never improve their knowledge. They rarely become smart, they just stay stupid, arrogant and unsuccessful.
If you do not know who you are dealing with, either with you as a potential partner or against you in any form of transaction, it is extremely difficult to guarantee success. Put in effort to not be foolish yourself.
One other way to determine if a person is smart or foolish without revealing your self is by asking questions and observing. Are they are asking questions or trying to show what they think they know and have done by speaking far too much.
Handle each person according to who they are, do not change anyone. And remember that if you are working with a foolish person, they have a good chance to bring you down with them in a business venture.
The analogy is to put in the effort to climb the tree and pick the apples, or think you are so smart that you cut down the tree to get them all. How creative is that!
The second key principle is to complete your communications. The best way to express this is an example of a recent email.
I have a client who visits me regularly. Due to his business, he cannot make set times for our meetings and has to tell me when he can come each week. I sent him an email to ask if he would like to come for a visit this week. He replied, “Yes that would be nice.”
The problem is that I then had to reply to him to ask which day and time was suitable for him, and then he had to reply again. Every week he has to tell me what time and day he can come over, so this is a normal routine.
However his reply was incomplete turning one email into two and more than twice the time required. Not only is this a waste of time, but in business, it gets very frustrating as it often takes four or six or more emails or texts for people to say what should and could have been said in the first reply.
Make sure that all your correspondences are complete and include all details so that there is no need to go back and forth several times. This shows your intelligence and attention to details indicating a sharp mind which will impress people in times when those qualities seem to be diminishing very quickly.
Let’s give this a monetary value. A text message costs 20 cents. If everyday you have an extra 4 texts to get the information you could have had in the first text, that is 80 cents a day which equates to $292.00 a year. Add to that the extra 10 minutes average waste of time at $50 per hour that your time may be worth is $3,042. A total of $3,334 per year just on texts!
Such is your wasting time by simply not doing it right the first time for a simple text message. If you add up all the other things that you waste time on in this way, you will partially answer the question of where your time and money goes. And not just yours, but the other person whose time you are wasting.
I hope this article gets more people to become aware of how our life passes like grains of sand in the hourglass, and before you know it, time is all used up.