Business thoughts from my Grandma Betsy

Last year we lost grandma to complications due to Alzheimer’s. In the end, she would still say some awesome things and many of them were unfiltered and even at times inappropriate for a lady of 93 years of age. She never owned a business but ran my grandfather’s medical practice and Holiday Inn behind the scenes. Never at the front, but always the guide for my headstrong Grandpa. These ideas always bring me back to center.

1. A smile and a nice word or two can set up a hard conversation for success. Grandma always had to work on things whether it was in the family with children that could be challenging. Having to take care of things when being a doctor kept grandpa away. She would always make sure that even before a scolding you were given the chance to understand that this was about the problem or the situation and you could use your skills and energy to change it. It wasn’t a personal attack.

2. Make sure you use “a look” instead of loud words when trying to get someone to simmer down. Grandma Betsy barely yelled, she didn’t need to. When she did you knew you were in trouble. Instead when we were out or in a public situation she would need to yell to get us back into the right frame of mind. She would use “the look”, you know what I mean. That way there can be a way that you and your team can manage communication during meetings, challenges, or sales calls. It makes sure that you can stay on track for what ever the goal you are trying to achieve versus yelling.

3. Always take time for your self and your body. I remember her religiously doing her exercises. She stayed so fit even into her 80s by walking, playing golf and keeping herself limber. When you build this type of practice into your normal day to day life then you will pay more attention the other things in your business and even your personal life. Energy grows where your attention flows.

4. Lipstick on both shoulders after a game of golf meant she had played well. If you have played golf at an ok level then your will know keeping your head down is one of the most important parts of a good golf swing. This mean that she stayed focused on the task at hand. What are the things in your business that need to make your business day fruitful. That way you can make sure that as my g-ma said, “It’s not practice makes perfect, it is perfect practice makes perfect.” I am not a perfectionist but sometimes just doing the work isn’t always the best route, because you might have to redo it or breakdown client relationship.

5. Chocolate Sundaes are soul food. Make sure you treat yourself like your best client and celebrate the little things.

Business is not always the easiest thing. Putting all of the ups and downs in perspective is in your control. Whether that is writing down the things you do well or passing off the things you don’t do well. There are always ways to make sure you are adding constant improvement. That being said if things seem too difficult always remember Grandma Betsy rule #5 and eat a chocolate sundae with a smile and a friend, you don’t have to share your ice cream.