Truisms for the Business World: David Reiss Shares How You Can Be Successful
You could argue that “truism” is an underappreciated term in business, mainly because of its proximity to “cliché” and “platitude.” Be honest, what went through your mind when you read those latter words? Bad movie dialogue? Fortune cookies? Cheesy Superbowl speeches? There is a reason for such evocations: Put simply, these terms are commonly seen as hokey or overused rather than constructive or progressive.
Yet, business truisms are crucial for the same reason they are perceived as ineffective: They are so obvious that they are inherently timeless. Many truisms may sound like clichés on the surface, but they speak to deeper, nuanced concepts that consistently reflect success and forward-thinking in the workplace.
Throughout his career as an entrepreneur and marketing consultant, David Reiss has embraced truisms to help businesses become more lucrative and ideologically sound. Here are some of his observations on truisms and how they can help your business hit the ground running.
“When we set a goal, we focus on the reward and how it will feel; this propels us into action.”
Goals are a key variable for almost any endeavor, and in business, they are especially vital when it comes to productivity and accountability. Typically, the goal-setting process consists of forming a goal, aligning all necessary resources and plans and putting forth the effort needed to reach the goal.
That said, as David Reiss notes, once we identify what is required to meet a goal, we shift our attention from the reward to the associated effort. The problem here is that many people focus too much on the effort and not enough on the goal, which, in turn, lessens motivation, increases the risk of burnout and ultimately creates a shorter path to failure. Your effort is important, but dwelling on its implications is unhealthy.
A goal should be the proverbial carrot constantly driving you to action. Keep it front and center to avoid over-emphasis on the hard work needed to achieve it.
“Everyone else is scared too.”
Fear is often cited as a blessing in disguise for entrepreneurs. In other words, it pushes them forward despite its discomfort. This is considered a communal experience for all entrepreneurs. David Reiss, however, does not subscribe to this school of thought, as he is unable to relate to fear’s perceived constructive purpose. Rather, Reiss views fear similarly to goal-related effort. Will over-focusing on fear teach you anything? Will fear foster progress en route to your envisioned goal? In most cases, the answer to both questions is an emphatic “no.”
By dwelling on fear-of-failure, you will only court setbacks and paralyze your development? Remember that fear, while a valid human emotion, is always balanced with opportunity in business. Failure can be dreadful, but it also helps you learn important lessons. If you fear failure, you fear the chance to get up after you fall.
There is no direct payoff for being afraid. If one door closes, two more usually open — so long as you have a solution-oriented viewpoint.