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We were fishing along the shore and came across the campsite of a group of early-teen canoeists who were just waking up and making breakfast. All of a sudden I heard one say the title of this memo.

There are certain things we need all the time and some we need some of the time. I’m not going to offer an opinion on if you really need to wear underwear when camping. Go with your preference.

In life we all need certain things from food, water, shelter to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In business there are also some basics and they include:

  • A solid competitive advantage, which includes your value proposition. Your competitive advantage is why people pay what they do so you can make a profit, stay in business, and support your employees and their families.
  • A way to let others know about your value, i.e. a good marketing plan. Even the most valuable brands in the world like Apple, Google, Coke, Microsoft, etc. do marketing and advertising. Nobody will do it for you.
  • Good operations and delivery. This could be production efficiencies, being organized, having solid systems, and more.
  • A way of knowing how you’re doing. This means accurate numbers and monitoring them to make sure you’re not off track.
  • Finally (for this essay), a solid team. Because if there’s a dependency on the owner or certain key employee there’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Take care of the basics, do the things you’re supposed to do, and good things will happen.

“Doubt can motivate you, so don’t be afraid of it.” Barbara Steisand

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