I do not cook. I warm. If my bride is gone for a couple of days I might starve if not for the microwave. Fortunately she not only does cook, she is a great cook. She try’s new recipes all the time.
I tell her I love something new that she made and she says thanks but then adds, “I think next time I’ll tweak the recipe a bit. I am always confused by that. I just said I loved it the way it is. She says let’s change it. Whaaaaaat?
Lucky for me her improvements always seem to be actual improvements. In business and most other areas of life it doesn’t always work that way. Charlie Munger says that the fundamental algorithm of life is this…repeat what works.
Many people over complicate success. The most successful people do not. Everything you do creates feedback. You need to listen to that feedback. Listening means when something works you do more of it. Often even a lot more.
When something goes poorly you should do less of it. It could be you stop it completely.
Of course for any of that to happen you have to pay attention. You need to pay attention to your results and what actions you took to achieve them. You also need to pay attention when things go wrong. What actions did you take, or not take, that may have caused that result.
Most people don’t invest the time to analyze their actions. They don’t evaluate their own performance. Sometimes when they do they aren’t honest with themselves. They sugar coat their evaluation and cut themselves way more slack than they would cut other people.
The good news is, you have no requirement to be most people. You can follow the fundamental algorithm of life. You only need to slow down enough to know what is truly working in your life, both personal and professional, and do more of that.
You also need to be honest enough with yourself to know what you should stop doing.
All that’s within your control. Successful people control the controllable. They also realize quickly that when they control the controllable the uncontrollable doesn’t matter all that much.
Take control of your life today and success becomes a repeatable process. So, you up for it?
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4 thoughts on “Repeating Success”
Last evening, I was in a relatively new (open about a month) upscale wood fired boutique pizza restaurant–for my third visit. The pizza is amazingly good. The owner came over and I complemented his sauce. He confided in me the simple recipe. He joked that he should tell people that it’s a secret recipe that he labored over for years.
As we continued to talk, I asked how things were going. He gestured around the restaurant. “We still haven’t done a grand opening. We don’t advertise. The restaurant is full on a Wednesday night. I can’t complain.” He went on to say that he had (has) all sorts of ideas to change the menu in the future, but a successful restaurant owner friend gave him some advice: Don’t complicate things for the sake of change. If it’s working now, keep it simple. You can always tweak it later, when things settle down. Go slow.
Great advice. Remain open to change, keep your finger on the pulse, and dial in your core competencies to a point of mastery.
That is great advice. I’ve seen many a successful business change for the sake of change. Most were unsuccessful in changing back to what had worked in the past. Once the magic of simplicity is gone, it can be hard to capture it again.
Missed seeing you at GIS, Steve. I spoke with Jan Oakland for a bit. So glad to see everyone face to face. Maybe we will get to see you in Phoenix?
After 23 years of attending GIS I’ve now missed two in a row. But I’d bet I’ll be at Phoenix, it’s a whopping 7 miles from home for me. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well!