If Someone Says It Twice . . .

The other day I was having a conversation with a seasoned independent consultant, and I asked him what he didn’t like about his work. He said that the hardest part of his work was the marketing. He loved to be engaged in the coaching that he did, but the marketing took about half of his time. This consultant’s statement about the amount of time marketing takes echoed exactly what a different successful consultant had said a couple of years earlier. And when you hear something twice like this, you should pay attention.

We might often choose to ignore parts of the conversation that we don’t really want to think about. When starting a business, most people believe that they will be engaged in the technician’s work. They will be delivering the product that they set out to sell. But business books and people who share their experiences tell us that business owners must spend time working on the business to make it succeed. Working just to deliver the product isn’t enough.

We might be tempted to ignore the facts about rates of business failure or the amount of work that a startup might be. But if you hear it from more than one person, you should explore whether it is true or not. This doesn’t mean that everything that you hear repeated is true – just that it is worth a second listen.

Don’t ignore the repeated messages around you, especially when they come from years of experience.