There are a lot of things I’ve gotten right in business and a lot of things I’ve gotten wrong. I can’t say what percentage I’ve gotten right and what percentage I’ve gotten wrong, but one thing that I know I’ve gotten right is my sense of urgency. Now this trait has also driven some people crazy. Bob Rabbitt, a good friend and someone who used to work with me, would tease me when I would ask, “Can we do that? Can we do that today? Can we do that right now?”
He used to parrot that back to me and mock me saying, “Can we do that today? Can we do that right now?” All kidding aside, it was a fair observation of me because I have an extreme sense of urgency.
I want to do things now. For instance, I’ll figure out if I have free time in the next two weeks, decide where I want to go, and then book tickets and go. I’ve gone to Japan and Europe that way. I’ve taken my whole family to Europe just three weeks after deciding to do it. Once I’ve got something I want to do, I just go do it. Of course, there are times when that’s not smart.
However, there are a lot of times when that works in your favor, so I would encourage everybody to have a sense of urgency in business. Recently, I was reminded how crazy my sense of urgency was, and I’ll tell you about it in a quick story.
Pat McPherson, another friend who used to work with me, was a great engineer and technical resource for our company. He was my go-to person whenever I had to show a client some technology. I had gotten a call that there was an opportunity in Kentucky, and we had to be there within 24 hours. It was an opportunity to demonstrate some capabilities that we had with a sizable client, but our business was based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
To give you an idea of how crazy my sense of urgency was, and still is, I told Pat, “Go home and pack. Start driving south and sometime this afternoon, I’ll give you an address.” I didn’t know where he was going. I just knew he was going to Kentucky.
Pat, to his credit, did it and so did a lot of other people in my business. While we did a lot of things wrong, I know for a fact that this sense of urgency and that crazy “start driving south” attitude won us a lot of business. It probably cost us in other ways, but it spurred on a lot of growth. While I don’t recommend that attitude to everybody, I can definitely tell you that it worked for us.
Fire up that sense of urgency in your business, especially when it comes to sales and delivering on promises for customers. Let Nike says, “Just do it!”
Written by: Wade Wyant
Red Wagon Advisors, West Michigan Scaling Up Coach