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If you don’t have time to do things right the first time, how much time do you have to do them over? 

This was the sign my dad, Johnny Nagel, a common sense, hard-working man with wisdom beyond his sixth grade education, had posted on the door of his makeshift small business office of his machine shop.

As a diesel mechanic in a small, farming community, grain farmers relied on Dad to deliver their hay bailers, combines, and tractors within a suitable timeframe.  Due to North Dakota’s limited growing and harvesting season, timing was critical.

With a rush to get back into the fields, Dad felt the pressure to deliver machinery before its time.  Although it was difficult for some to see the value of ‘doing things right the first time’, Dad’s commitment ultimately prevented costly delays for his clients.

Entrepreneurs Feel the Heat to “Hurry Up”

In a rush to get to market, you hurry through your business planning process.  You didn’t feel you had the time to do things right the first time.  Failure to identify critical strategies triggers a flurry of costly marketing mistakes and the need to take up the planning process once again.  How much time do you have to do things over?

You sprint through research overlooking vital statistics that would accurately position your offerings. You didn’t feel you had the time to do things right the first time.  After months of lack luster results, this fundamental mistake forces you to realign your products.  How much time will it take to do things over?

Corners are cut on a critical project for a high-profile client ultimately doubling your project overhead and drastically reducing your profit.  You didn’t feel you had the time to do things right the first time.  Not only does this create grounds for the loss of future contracts but puts a permanent dent in your reputation.  There’s no chance to redeem yourself!

Certainly, interpreting ‘doing things right the first time’ is left to the individual.  Whether it includes your planning process, client promises, or work quality, when you find yourself unreasonable rushing or struggling, remember the philosophy of Johnny Nagel — If you don’t have time to do things right the first time; how much time do you need to do things over?  This simple, yet profound business approach will save you from costly mistakes and unnecessary stress.

Have you rushed a critical aspect in your business? What price did you pay? Tell us your story so we can learn, too.

Here’s some additional blog posts you might enjoy:

6 Lessons Entreprenuers Can Learn from Ron Johnson

Common Pricing Mistakes to Avoid

The High Cost of Indecision on Your Business

4 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Howard Stern

Is Your Business Ready to Deliver?

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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