The Importance of Consistency Sheltowee Outpost Alex Day Jun 13 2014 There are a few things that are absolutely required to be an entrepreneur. One that gets a lot of attention is persistence. This is a trait that comes easy for me. I am too stubborn and bull headed to ever give up. Another item that I am going to discuss in this post is consistency. Consistency is a trait that does NOT come naturally to me. It is something on which I continue to work. But in this post, I am going to avoid flagellating myself for a lack of consistency, and instead cover why I think it is important and something for which I (and any entrepreneur) should strive. To achieve any modicum of success in business, every individual must cultivate relationships. The reality of the matter is, is that relationships are what drive business. Although some people would like to think that their business is driven by cold hard facts and logic, the fact of the matter is that businesses are driven by relationships. People tend to do business and buy from people with whom they are comfortable. This is a key differentiator amongst good sales people. Consistency is important in relationships. Have you ever had that friend that you always knew was going to be there for you? These friends are rare. A key component to their personalities is consistency. It should be noted that consistency cuts both ways. You have probably had that friend that is CONSISTENTLY not there for you. In business, delivering good customer service, dealing with integrity, and doing what you say you will do, are incredibly important and it is imperative that they are delivered consistently. My grandpa used to have a saying. He would tell me that my eyes were too big for my stomach. That was when I would scoop out huge portions of my grandmas cooking and then not eat it all. In business I have suffered from having eyes that are too big for my stomach. In the past I have taken on more than I can handle and not been able to meet the expectations of the client. I think that this is easy for entrepreneurs to do, because we eternal optimists. We always think at the time, "of course we can do that". Below are a few of things that I have done (and am in the process of doing) to address these "inconsistencies". Make sure that you properly set expectations. I am in the business of helping people raise money and helping other entrepreneurs. It is easy for expectations to get askew. It often goes from "helping" them raise money, to "raising the money" for them. I spend much more time now on writing down the deliverables and setting the expectations properly. When you make a mistake, get up and move forward. That is to say, if you are like me, and need to improve on areas of your business skills, when you do make a mistake, don't spend lots of negative energy on the mistake. Put it behind you and move forward. You can not change a thing about yesterday, but you have it in your power to impact tomorrow. Leverage tools to help you. One of the greatest tools in your arsenal is a calendar. Use it. Put down when you need to do things, and plan it out ahead of time. And then do it. There are lots of other digital tools out there that can help you too. Spend some time planning. A little bit of time planning, can save a lot of angst and frustration. Make sure you know what your goals are and that you are moving towards those goals. Be self aware. This is a tough one. If you are lacking consistency, or are doing things WRONG consistently, then be willing to identify the issues, and be willing to change them. Remember that some of the greatest businesses in the world were built on being consistent. McDonalds does not have the best food in the world. But where ever you go in the world, that McDonalds hamburger is going to taste the same. Make sure that you are delivering an excellent experience for your customers, and if you are consistently doing this, your chances for success sky rocket.