“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” -Oprah Winfrey
In my opinion, Oprah Winfrey – a self-made billionaire, who at last count had 44 million U.S. viewers a week – is qualified to give business advice. With numbers like that, it’s safe to say she knows what it takes to start a business, build a brand and keep her customers (44 million!) coming back for more.
Last week, as I painstakingly created a contact list for our marketing efforts, Oprah’s quote was retweeted by someone I follow on Twitter. As I reflected upon its meaning for a moment (anything to take a break from actually working), I began to think about the list I was building and what I could do now to ensure the list – and HPC – would be better positioned for the future.
The list began as a fairly simple assignment: create an Excel spreadsheet with one column for business name, one for address, one for phone number and one for the name of a specific contact person. Now, as I began to ponder Oprah’s words, I considered what I could do to make the list more complex – increasing its functionality as we proceed with our marketing efforts.
Although it has added more hours to an already tall task, HPC’s contact list now contains columns to:
- classify businesses by their propensity to use our services (based on a review of their current marketing/advertising efforts among other items).
- document where we obtained the contact information.
- categorize businesses by industry.
Many of the tasks involved in starting a new business aren’t glamorous. By learning from those that have come before us, we can avoid costly mistakes and maximize our time and effort. Sometimes that means reading a blog post like this one, and sometimes it means taking a break to check your Twitter feed. Thanks, Oprah!