This month marks what would have been my dad’s 86th birthday. He left me with a lot of simple practices that make big impressions. Little things often lead to big things. These little things may relate to your work, business networking, and how you operate in general.

Often, how we do anything is how we do everything.

I didn’t learn all of these quick “little things” from my dad but thinking of him always reminds me of other great lessons I’ve picked up along the way.

Always Look Behind You Before Walking Away
Before leaving a room, park bench, or wherever, look behind you as walk away to make sure you didn’t leave your bag, phone, or dog behind.

Be Early and Be Prepared
I believe being early shows others that you’re prepared and take the meeting seriously. I find that people that are always late are almost never prepared. What impression do you want to leave?

Take a Mental Inventory Before Leaving
This is similar to the tip above. Before leaving the house, office, car, or somewhere you spend most of your time, do you have your phone, keys, wallet, glasses, etc.? I often do the “pat down” routine to make sure I have everything.

Work Off a Daily Plan
If you have a goal for the month, working off a daily plan with the action steps needed to hit that goal, will help organize your day. This way, you will almost always have time to get after it. But first, get a goal.

If it is to be it is up to me
The most important ten little two letter words in the English language strung together. In the end, everything comes down to YOU making it happen. So, make it happen.

Do Your Best
If you strive to be the best at everything you do, you’ll always get better. Make it a point to spend time with others that ARE the best.

Praise in Public, Critique in Private
It’s fun complimenting someone in a public setting because it makes both of you feel great. It also makes you look like a great leader. But if something needs to be handled, take it outside.

Complete What You Do with a Bang
Final point in a speech, last week at work, final stages of a client project, or the end of a meeting. Leave a great lasting impression ending everything with a flourish.

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
The infamous FU. Nothing happens without following up on a next step. Most people are not great with follow up, so be great at follow up.

Suggest a Next Step
Part of your ending with a flourish might be suggesting a next step at every meeting so you can continue the dialogue and the relationship. Get that next step on the calendar right then and there if possible.

Own It
We all make mistakes so when you make one, apologize, take responsibility, make it right, learn from it, and move on.

Make It Easier for Others
Provide the Zoom link, set up the calendar invite, communicate in their time zone, and take the initiative to get the thing done.

Never Take the Last One
The last napkin, cookie, or whatever. If you need to, ask if others mind. Or try to restock or replenish what you just used up so nobody gets stuck or feels unsatisfied.

Don’t Worry
Just be prepared and do your job, deliver the presentation, or jump into the ring. Whatever it is, if you’re going to do it, you’re probably prepared so just focus on what you’ve been practicing and go from there.

Dress Your Best as Appropriate
A friend recently told me that his father used to say if you wear a tie, you can charge $10 more an hour in billable hours for your services. We are how we dress.

Offer to Help
How can I help? This might be the best question you can ask someone. Just follow through on your promise to help. If someone needs to check back with you, you’re not helping.

There are many more but that’s my time.


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