If Grandmothers Ran Your Business

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Me and my grandmother, A.K.A. Mama Sue, on Christmas a few years agoMe and my grandmother, A.K.A. Mama Sue, on Christmas a few years ago

I’m lucky enough to still have all of my grandparents, and I chat with one of my grandmothers almost every day.

While a good bit of our conversations revolve around how to turn on her flip phone’s volume or explaining that her Kindle having too many apps doesn’t affect her computer’s Internet speed, she has taught me a lot, too.

She grew up in a time where life was simpler but tougher. Hard work was a must to survive, and your name and reputation were all you had sometimes.

So what would the world be like if our grandmothers were in charge? Here’s some advice they’d give that applies to you and your business:

1. Always keep a clean house. Whether you work out of your house or a standalone office building, keep it looking its best. You don’t want a potential client to visit if it’s a complete mess. They’ll assume you are unorganized, and no one wants that type of person handling his project.

2. Look your best. No matter where you’re going, take pride in your appearance. You are the face of the company, so make sure you look like you can handle a company. Whenever my great grandmother would leave the house, even if she was just going on a short errand, she would put on nice clothes and even panty hose because, “What happens if I’m in a wreck? I wouldn’t want someone to see me not looking my best.”

3. If you pass someone, say, “Hi.” Whether it’s a wave, smile, nod or simple, “Hello,” make sure you’re a pleasant person to run into. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my grandmother say someone isn’t nice because they didn’t talk to her when she passed them on the street or in Wal-Mart (where everyone knows everyone in her town).

4. Pay with cash. While literally paying with cash for large-purchase items doesn’t make sense, the idea behind it does. Don’t buy something if you don’t have the money. You might have to take out loans to get your business started, but keep a close eye on your debt.

5. Put family first. No matter what, your spouse and children should be a priority. It’s easy to let your business come before them, so make a conscious effort to spend time with them. As the saying goes, no one ever wishes they had worked more when they are about to die.

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