Posted by: Christine Adams | August 2, 2009

PLEASE Sweat the Small Stuff!

Richard Carlson, PH.D. makes a lot of valid points in his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff. We can apply his teachings to business in a number of ways. Here are some valuable lessons in building client relationships:

  • Don’t interrupt others or finish their sentences
  • Seek first to understand
  • Become a better listener
  • Choose you battles wisely
  • Spend a moment everyday thinking of someone to thank

Here is where I disagree with Dr. Carslon:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff?perfection
    • The small things could make or break your business relationships
  • Make peace with imperfection?
    • There is no harm in trying to achieve pure excellence
  • Learn to live in the present moment?
    • In order to be successful, we must always think ahead
  • Repeat to yourself that “Life isn’t an emergency”?
    • This is only the case if we plan ahead, which cancels out his previous statement
  • Look beyond behavior?
    • Behavior, will tell you a lot about a problem or a potential solution. …Pay attention!

As a marketer, I live in the world of perception. While it would be nice to think that the small stuff doesn’t matter, the truth is, it does. You can spend all the marketing money in the world but if you are not perfecting the minutia, the new customers you gain through promotion will likely not return…thus your money was wasted. So, as you read this blog we will take look at business through a micro lens.

There may be things I cover that you are doing well and if that is the case, congratulations you are on the road to success. If you stumble across something that seems like you could improve on: practice, practice and practice some more until it becomes a habit. I challenge you to be honest with yourself and to look at your business through a new set of eyes. See yourself and your business as other people perceive it to be. By all means, please learn to sweat the small stuff!



  1. There is a difference in details and the small stuff. I agree that details are very important. We are constantly having to re-prioritize our day and our goals. At 10,000 feet view I am unable to see the small stuff, but if it is brought to my attention I’m caused to dive down below 1,000 feet and I lose focus.

    I also think that with the overload of electronic communication, we have become more efficient but less personal. Business or personal relationships don’t happen online or in a meeting.

    • Thank you for your comment Tracy! Spoken like a true mentor… and one of my favorites I might add.

      You make an excellent point but I disagree that relationships can not be formed online or in meetings. People build trust and respect through interaction of any form. The challenge is to add value to what you say and practice what you preach. People then have the desire to interact with you, thus a relationship forms.

      Keep watching, maybe you will find some value in what I have to say. Hopefully, over time, I will change your mind.

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