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Lee Straughan’s Business Essentials

by Kevin D. Crone

September 21, 2015
multi-ethnic team rejoiced

A little while ago, I was sitting in a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the food is cheap, quick and fattening. The nice people in the restaurant looked as if they wanted and needed it that way. I got thinking about how so many people don’t know the thrill of success or what it takes to get there. It occurred to me that there is a fine line between getting a job, to survive and succeeding. It looks like some people are always scraping by.

Ironically, all this occurred to me because I was attending a celebration of life for my friend Lee Straughan. Lee taught plenty of people how to succeed. Thanks to him, those around him, from young kids, people in all kinds of jobs, owners of businesses… are now tuned into learning and doing what it takes. I wondered how many people in Ontario are taught what it takes and how many may never rise above that kind of restaurant because of the lack of focus on success and no one to wake them up or teach them.

Those who Lee taught came from a variety of backgrounds and education, and weren’t exactly operating at capacity when he met them. Now, many of them own or run businesses, some have great jobs, and some have learned to invest in their future. Lee taught them business essentials.

For example:

  • How to find customers and sell products/services they really believed in and deliver on expectations. He taught simple formulas that they executed every single day. No exceptions. They were scared to do many of those things. Probably still are, to some degree. It probably isn’t typical to face up to fear daily. So Lee made sure they were clear on what they desired. They were inspired by Lee to believe in and to follow the basics of success. They understood that when your desire is greater than your fear, you become courageous. When you don’t overcome fear, you become average (this is the number one reason why most people don’t succeed.)
  • They learned how to handle failure, to control their emotions and move on. Too many people just acquire technical or academic knowledge and expect success to come to them, without taking responsibility for their success. They build up a pretty big wall around their fears and remain too uncomfortable to do the things that have to be done.
  • They were committed to doing everything Lee told them to do most of the time. The average person won’t take success advice from practically anyone and rarely use it religiously when they do. Heck, if we could succeed on our own everyone would be slim, wealthy and healthy.
  • They were taught to treat people with respect. To always show integrity and build a team using that integrity. To build people by first seeing what they could be instead of constantly judging them for who they are now. Now, integrity is an important characteristic that lasts, and is appreciated by customers and employees, but is rarely seen in business. They also learned to never let people down.

So what makes this slight difference between the fine line between success and staying ordinary?

My take is:

  1. Take all the principles of success we have studied and quit treating them as an entertaining novel. Review them. Take them personally and apply them.
  2. Find a mentor like Lee and do what they recommend.
  3. Take courses, training, coaching… and not just the ones that give you interesting knowledge or make you comfortable. How about becoming uncomfortable doing the things you know will cause you to be who you are capable of becoming under the watchful eye of a supportive coach?

What did you take from this mentor this morning?

Remember, action is all there is!

Have a great week!

Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
(905) 826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032


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