For 25-plus years I’ve had a Post-it note on my bathroom mirror that simply states: “You haven’t hit your peak yet!”
I’ve looked at that message every single day. So when I was racking my brain trying to think of a title for my new book, it was staring me in the face. I saw the note and said, “That’s my title!”
“You Haven’t Hit Your Peak Yet!” comes out Wednesday. I hope you’ll order a copy from your favorite bookseller.
I never thought I’d write another book, but readers of this column and my seven other books got me thinking that I’m not done yet. I’ve still got a wealth of information that I’d like to share to help people navigate the shark-infested waters we live in.
I wanted to cover a variety of subjects — 27 to be exact. I start with adversity because I’ve never met a person who hasn’t had to overcome a little or a lot of adversity in life. To me, the worst failure is the failure to try.
Next is attitude. I learned years ago that one of the most powerful things you can do to have influence with others is to simply smile at them. On the flip side, of all the human failings that can destroy a person or a business, arrogance is the deadliest.
In my public speaking, I hammer home the point that people achieve to the degree that they believe in themselves. It doesn’t matter if someone says you can’t do something. The only thing that matters is if YOU say you can’t do it.
I cover business basics in my new book, such as accountability, discipline, persistence, setting goals, ethics and trust. And I share advice I’ve learned over the years from coaches like Sam Walton, Peter Drucker, John Wooden, Lou Holtz and others. Coach Holtz also wrote the foreword.
There’s a section on competition, because rivalries and opposition make you better. It’s important that you learn how to beat your competition.
Creativity is the first lesson I talk about in all my speeches, because we can all be more creative. But how do we cultivate creativity to grow success? And I discuss innovation, one of the hottest themes in business today.
Taking care of customers is taking care of business, which is why you need to create a service culture. And when you do screw up — and everyone does — you need to know how to correctly apologize.
You cannot be a leader under any circumstances unless you understand one four-letter word in the dictionary: HIRE. The single greatest mistake a manager can make is to hire the wrong person. And when it comes to getting hired, the most important thing to remember is that getting a job is a job.
People skills are so important that I made it one of the larger sections in the book. I include my 10 commandments for the office, and touch on the importance of manners, watching your language, friendship and being a class act.
There is no substitute for quality. Doing something that’s good enough never is. You need to do it right the first time. Our values determine who we are.
Self-improvement is a critical section. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. There are many things you can do, such as strengthening your memory and learning from your mistakes.
Check out my seven C’s of success: clarity; competence; constraints; concentration; creativity; courage and continuous learning. Success is the difference between working hard and hardly working. There is no “I” in team, so I share the successful traits of team players.
I’m a time-management freak, so I show readers how to keep time on their side. If you want to have the time of your life, make the most of your minutes.
I couldn’t write a book without valuable information on networking, negotiations and sales. I have more than 50 years of experience on these subjects that I’m happy to pass on. It’s important to remember that everything is negotiable.
I have several lighter but equally important sections in the book, like humor and laughter. A sense of humor is no joke.
In the last section, called “Final Thoughts,” I share life lessons like volunteerism, making people happy and thoughts on a richer life. Be sure not to let making a living interfere with having a life!
Mackay’s Moral: People’s lives change in two ways — the people they meet and the books they read.
Editor’s note: Harvey Mackay will be signing copies of his new book at Barnes & Noble in Edina from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.