I am always amazed at how little people prepare themselves for the task at hand. I've written many times before on this very blog that "80% of success is in preparation." This is so true.
Want to have that perfect sales presentation? Do a few (maybe several) "run through" practices by yourself. Know the material. Make no mistakes. Everyone knows this but few actually do it.
Want to "Wow!" that potential client? Do some research on who that client is and what they are about. If the client or contract is so important then you can surely spend at least an hour on their web site and know what they are thinking, their company policies and what their motto is. This is obvious but few actually do it.
Want to have that perfect vacation with that special someone and not have it messed up by bad weather? Doh! Go onto the Internet and make sure you are not going there during monsoon season. This doesn't need a remark from me. It's your vacation, you want it to be lousy because you were lazy? Be my guest.
Like I said, 80% of success is preparation.
Yesterday, I met a young man who was unemployed but is surely destined to succeed. I seriously doubt that, 24 hours later, he is unemployed now. How do I deduce this?
Here's what happened. We were walking to the bus stop to take a bus ride down to the shopping center. As we walked to the bus stop there was a young man (I'd guess about 18-years-old), who was well groomed and dressed, reading from a card. As he was reading, he would close his eyes and recite out loud the material he was studying. At first, I thought he was practicing for a play by this method in order to memorize his lines.
He was so involved in his recital that he didn't notice us and he backed up and bumped into my wife. In very humble and polite fashion he said, "Oh! Pardon me! I'm very sorry." (Extreme politeness and sincerity always scores points - something most young people today seem unable to do).
When the bus came, we all boarded and the young man did too. He sat next to me still intently studying the material he was holding in his hand. There I saw he wasn't reading a script from a play, he was memorizing a restaurant menu!
I surmised that he was memorizing the menu as he was starting work at that restaurant that day. My curiosity got the best of me and I interrupted him. I congratulated him on starting a new job and he floored me when he said,
"Oh, I haven't gotten the job yet. I am going on a job interview at this restaurant. I just thought it would be good for me to know the restaurant's menu by heart."
Brilliant! Of course it would. And it just shows dedication that is a rarity in these days. Would you want to show up at this interview unprepared competing for the same job as this guy and you haven't a clue as to this restaurant's fare?
I'll bet you a dollar that this young man had also investigated on the Internet this restaurants background, history and policies.
With his sincerity, politeness and dedication, I'd be stunned if he didn't land that job. But with this kind of work ethic, even if he didn't, he will do well. Perhaps the restaurant management may not recognize the ability, effort and talent this young man possessed. But, if he keeps it up, someone soon will.
People like this guy are destined for good things. How could he not be? Just look at his competition.
As an aside, the night before I went to a bar. At that establishment the waitresses greeted us and asked me and my friend if we would like a drink. I asked for a draft beer. She said, "What kind?" I answered, "What kind do you have?" She didn't know.
She then went through the same routine with my friend over wines. She didn't know what wines they served either. Finally she said she'd call another waiter.
She then proceeded to walk away and stand at the bar without bothering to look at the menu to inquire what was on it. Gee, how long would it take to memorize the 3 or four draft beers or table wines this restaurant served?
And if she did a good job, you think she'd get better tips?.... Nah! Tips? If you are a waitress, why bother? (Sarcasm notice!)
Just this one episode shows me that this girl is clueless and has a very poor work ethic.
Useless. Do you think she'll ever get a pay raise or move up to a better paying job? Not with this work ethic she won't.
How can people dream about getting a good job or even becoming rich when they won't even make the effort to become minimally informed about their business.
Image of a professional
Take this young man's example and reject this example of the young waitress. If you want to get ahead, do some preparation.
It kind of reminds me of a comic I once saw. In the comic, two guys were being chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur about to eat them. One guy said, "We have to outrun the dinosaur."
The other guy replied, "No, we don't have to outrun the dinosaur. I just have to outrun you."