Shep Hyken is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, a grass roots entrepreneur, and a speaker. He’s a busy guy but he’s focused in a way that makes him effective and efficient.
He’s already been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Speakers Association, an incredible feat considering he’s still amazing crowds around the world on the subject of consistently delivering Amazing Customer Service.
In his Paper Napkin Wisdom, Shep shares with us a simple yet profound message. He says: “On successful people (and those that aren’t). Those that do, do. Those that don’t won’t!”
Don’t Hold Back
The first time Shep heard the above phrase, the last word was “don’t” rather than “won’t” but there’s a big difference between the two words and Shep believes his spin on it to be more accurate. “Won’t” conveys that we’re stopping ourselves, which is precisely what Shep thinks happens. He believes that some people hold back because they don’t see the bigger picture or don’t look for the positive strategic byproducts that happen as a result of doing new, different things and trying all kinds of different angels. In some cases, he says, there’s something subconscious that keeps people from doing things or it’s simply that they don’t like to try a little bit harder or work a little bit harder. It’s unfortunate, because a little bit of extra effort can make all the difference.
“Someone once told me it doesn’t take much more to go first class,” says Shep. Putting in that little bit of extra effort or that little bit of extra work can make all the difference in an experience and he says it’s what makes an experience memorable. It’s an element that Shep applies to every business relationship he has, but he’s careful not to over commit. He’s learned that in order to be successful and grow you have to say ‘no’ and delegate tasks. Delegating tasks allows Shep to do what he calls staying in his lane: he knows what he’s really good at and he stays focused on doing that. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t expand his efforts or that he doesn’t keep an eye out for new opportunities, but it does means that he evaluates potential ventures in terms of how congruent they are with what he does in addition to assessing how much time and money it will cost him.
Identify What Works
Shep says that part of success is identifying the things that you’ve done in the past that worked for you and trying to repeat them. He advises taking a look at what you’ve done from the beginning of your business to what you’ve done now and find the milestone moments, the moments that really made a positive impact in your business. Are there things that have worked for you in the past that you don’t do anymore? Shep says that our attention too often gets siphoned off into the some activity that gets in the way of us doing what’s always worked best. If we take the time to repeat things that have worked for us in the past instead of constantly innovating, we not only save ourselves time, we give ourselves the opportunity to see what strategic byproducts might be right in front of us.
“Things are going to happen that you’re going go ‘ooh, that’s a great idea.”
A strategic byproduct is an opportunity that arises as a result of some sort of current situation.”Along the way things are going to happen that you’re going to go ‘ooh, that’s a great idea.'” says Shep. He shares the example of how, when his speaking business was lagging due to the fear surrounding air travel in the wake of 9/11, a client mentioned how he wished Shep had content he could bring to the company. Considering what his client had said, Shep reworked his content into a training format and did just that. Recently, he’s even noticed that his income from training has begun to surpass that of his speaking engagements.
Shep has a really simple approach to getting stuff done, he just does it. By delegating the things that would otherwise distract him from staying in his lane, and putting in that little bit of extra effort, Shep is able to keep a sharp eye out for opportunity and move his business in the right direction. It’s a method that’s lead him to great success, where might it lead you?
Listen to my conversation with Shep here: