The Best Business Advice I Ever Got

scaling mountain

From OPEN Forum: I’ve gotten a lot of good business advice over the years, but a simple phrase from my first boss, Jonathan Morgan, takes the cake:

“Make it happen.”

Jonathan didn’t share this phrase as advice, of course–he shared it as a marching order.  But it’s still the best business advice I’ve ever received.


Because “making it happen” is ultimately what success in business is all about.

Successful startups, for example, make something out of nothing–products, productivity, and jobs, where before there was only air.  To do that, they have to overcome obstacles that kill their lesser brethren, including inertia and fear.  They have to figure out how to use limited money, materials, and ideas to solve real problems–and they have to do it better and faster than established competitors.

They have to, in short, make it happen.  And the same can be said for all businesses and businesspeople.

Making it happen, of course, is mostly about having a particular mindset.

It is a mindset that says “I don’t know what the future holds, but I use whatever resources, creativity, and authority I have to get the job done.  I won’t get discouraged.  I won’t listen to the voices–my own included–telling me it can’t be done.  Come hell or high water, I’ll make it happen.”

So every time I catch myself running through the thousand reasons why I probably won’t be able to do something or shouldn’t be expected to do something or really don’t want to do something… I remember my old boss Jonathan.  And then I go try to make it happen.

Note: this article was previously published on The OPEN Forum. See more:

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  • How To Set Priorities
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