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Last updateWed, 01 Apr 2015 12am

Why follow through is your most important job

There are many reasons why retailers can fall on bad times. These may include absence of customers, shortage of resources or other events over which they have no control.

Regardless, the only thing that you have an abundant supply of is ideas. You can always revamp your business by using new strategies. A good idea has the power to turn around your fortunes. Necessity being the mother of invention, ideas are more important in bleak times than otherwise.

While the number of opportunities out there are never in short supply, business owners fail to capitalize on them, and for this, they alone are to blame.

A number of owners do not go all the way through in the challenges that they take up. Being self-employed, you have the liberty to get over this lack of following up. Working under someone else you would never have the same luxury. But working for yourself makes you accountable to no one. While you are there to keep a check on the staff’s activities, it is difficult to keep track of your own. Thus you end up delaying all the tasks that you should be completing.

More often than not, the main problem is the lack of a goal or objective. The excitement you feel for achieving your goals in a highly motivating conference or seminar is palpable. But the truth is, once back to our day-to-day lives, we are caught up in the routine and forget the true purpose behind all our hard work.

A great example of being able to follow through comes from a client I recently spoke with. Since working with us for the last 3 1/2 years he has been able to repay nearly 50% of his business debt - a total of $357,000 to date. The one factor that has made the biggest difference is a monthly spreadsheet we keep recording his liabilities via a shared Google document. The very act of updating this and making it a major focus of our monthly client calls has been the single biggest factor he has attributed to bringing his debt under control.

A tangible goal is of utmost importance. Motivation can be positive or negative. Negative emotions are more powerful motivators than positive ones. People will do more to not lose $20,000 than to gain $20,000. We all hate to lose more than we love to win. Due to the way we are wired, we tend to put in more effort saving what we possess than in acquiring it new.

So how do you motivate yourself to achieve your goals?

  • Have clarity in your goals: The reason why you’re doing something is your most important motivation, always keep it in mind.
  • Think and plan carefully: Every day, make a clear plan of action for all your tasks. It will help you organize your work, and make it easy to follow up on it.
  • Start small while preparing your to-do list: Even while preparing for a marathon, you need to start training slow. Remember, completion of tasks is more important than adding new ones.
  • Time is money: You need to keep asking yourself if the time you’re investing is worth it. Spend time only on things that you think are worthy of it.
  • Don’t give up, ever: Don’t get disappointed if you can’t complete a particular activity. Start again the next day with a new resolve!
  • Keep motivating yourself: It is important to keep telling yourself that eventually you will see all tasks to completion.
  • Reward yourself: Give yourselves incentives to do well, just like you give your employees. Take a weekend trip, go for a massage or head out for some drinks. You’ve earned it!


David Brown is President of the Edge Retail Academy, an organization devoted to the ongoing measurement and growth of jewelry store performance and profitability. For further information about the Academy’s management mentoring and industry benchmarking reports contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 877-569-8657.


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