Being Present in Business
By Jeffery S. Watson
I’ll remember this day for a long time. I was sitting next to my new friend Marc from Sarasota, Florida as we watched the Alabama and LSU game in Tuscaloosa when Joe Burrow was the quarterback for the LSU tigers. I’m sorry (not really, lol) if this is a trigger for all you Alabama fans, but Joe Burrow and the LSU tigers manhandled Alabama that entire game. That isn’t what stood out to me, however. What stood out was a concept Marc taught me that day. It’s very simple – “You must be present to win.”
We’ve all seen raffles and drawings with that statement on the ticket, but it also applies to life, and running a business in particular. With the rapidly shifting trends in the real estate market over the last year, I’ve watched a number of investor/operators who looked like they were riding high, but they’ve crashed and burned. One of the reasons it happened is because they were not consistently present in their business. They were always forward-looking and failed to have their hands and eyes on the critical components of their business at the times that it really mattered.
One of the due diligence components that I now use in my screening is asking an individual this question: “What does it mean to you ‘to be present’?” I’m looking for specific illustrations rather than generalized vagaries. Being present means being aware of the situation in the moment in which you are engaged, and it has your time, attention and focus.
A business owner I’m currently studying through the lens of history demonstrated a unique ability to be physically present with his team at critical junctures in the business cycle. For entrepreneurs like me who may be involved with several companies, that means we have to be careful with how we are physically present in which business operation on which particular day.
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Until next time,
Jeffery S. Watson