Just show up and improve your chances of success

Woody Allen is quoted as saying that “80% of success is just showing up” and whilst that may seem like a bit of a glib statement there’s more truth to it than many people realise.

You see, many people today say they will ‘just show up’ but it’s often just a throwaway comment with little or no commitment to honouring their word.

But let me share a story with you that kind of illustrates the point:

A few weeks ago I was at a Chamber of Commerce event and I met a guy who had recently started a graphic and brand design business. He confessed to having struggled to find clients since starting up.

However when I suggested he go out and do some business networking he started to mutter that he couldn’t possibly commit to turning out to events because a client might call him and need him to work.

In my view this attitude was just plain nuts. He needs to find work, he needs to meet new potential clients but just wouldn’t commit to making an appearance at an event that might benefit him and his business. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if his business simply didn’t survive.

But with that in mind; what if he had told a potential new client that he was going to meet them and an existing client called to request some work? Would he rearrange the appointment with the potential new client or would he suggest to the existing client that he was unavailable for a short time?

In all honesty, what kind of businessman would not even entertain the idea of going to a sales and marketing event?

The main reason why I tell this story is because his attitude to developing his business and showing up to networking events was hardly confidence inspiring. I would be reluctant to hire him due to the fact that he just simply wouldn’t even contemplate making a commitment to an event just in case something else happened.

But this isn’t the only example that I’ve experienced. A few weeks ago I ran and networking event of my own and we had 16 people who had e-mailed us to say that they were coming along. As it turned out not everyone who had said they would come actually did so. Again, not a great way of inspiring confidence in you and what it is you represent. And this is not a unique situation. I know many people who run business events who are often disappointed by people who will say that they’re coming and then just don’t show up without any kind of explanation or notice.

Now, I’m not saying that I always get this right (I reluctantly confess that I’m human too). But I continue to work hard on making sure that when I commit to showing up I show up.

So, the whole point of this article is just to reiterate something I’ve said many times in the past: “if you say you’ll be there, be there”. Just show up, no excuses, no BS, just show up.

In fact, your future success, as someone who does what he says he will do, could depend on how well you do this. The best reputation you could possibly nurture in your marketplace is as one of the few people who does what they say they will do.

If you’d like to share some of your experiences on this matter then please feel free to write them in the comments below:

2 thoughts on “Just show up and improve your chances of success”

  1. Karl Craig-West

    Since writing this article I’ve spent a couple of hours with a local plumber who needs a new website. He’s been in business a year and has done incredibly well, to the point where he struggles to take time off.

    When I asked him what he thought was his key to having done so well he simply said “I show up when I say I’m going to and always give a quote when asked.”

    This may sound quite obvious but tradesmen here in Britain are notoriously bad at keeping their word. How many times have you asked for a quote from a plumber or builder and you never hear back?

    So, there you go. Proof that a measure of success can be built on such a simple premise.

  2. Got another great example of where someone in business failed recently: I met a guy at a networking event who recently started selling LED lightbulbs. Now I’m very interested in this because LED bulbs use only a small fraction of the energy of traditional, and even the energy-saving, bulbs. I’m always keen on ways to cut our energy use (and spend).

    So, I gave him my card and asked him to give me a call.

    Guess what? Six weeks later, I’ve not heard from him.

    To me it begs the question: how much business is he likely to win if he can’t be bothered to even give me a call to chat about what I want?

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