Saturday, September 02, 2006

Curious about Fundamentals: So Easily Overlooked, But So Important in Every Way

Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” - Jim Rohn

Definition of Fundamental:

1. Pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the foundation. Hence: Essential, as an element, principle, or law; important; original; elementary; as, a fundamental truth; a fundamental axiom.
2. A leading or primary principle, rule, law, or article, which serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part.

I love and/or live to read, but I ardently love and/or live to listen - yes, I am an auditory learner! That’s why I have recently been in my glory signing up for teleseminars. It seems that during every week there are a plethora of choices from Monday through Thursday.

What does this have to do with Fundamentals? Lots! Because it doesn’t matter what the topic is, every presenter who has been successful stresses the importance of starting with the Fundamentals - the foundation, basics, and the essential principles.

One doesn’t build a house without a foundation and plan. So, we shouldn’t jump into a business or any endeavor, for that matter, without the Fundamentals. I love the following quotations that speak directly to this:
  • They instilled in me how to do things the right way, having good fundamentals, having good work habits - and even how to put on my socks.” - Ryne Sandberg
  • Perhaps the single most important element in mastering the techniques and tactics of racing is experience. But once you have the fundamentals, acquiring the experience is a matter of time.” - Greg LeMond
  • But you know, the fundamentals of how you build a product and how you approach the customers and solve their problems have not changed.” - Scott Cook

Oftentimes, I feel that the fundamentals sound straightforward and simple, so we tend to overlook their importance. An example would be the new idea that excites us. We are so in love with it, we don’t take time to check out the fundamentals. We just rush ahead and create the product/business of the idea.

  • Is there a group of people that want and need this product (especially want it)?
  • Do they have the means to purchase it (even if they want it, it won’t do any good if they can’t afford it)?
  • How will we get in touch with them (let them know it is available)?

Others who suggest the importance of engaging and starting with the fundamentals:

  • Return to the fundamentals of politics - sell our story door to door.” - Richard J. Daley
  • I had to spend countless hours, above and beyond the basic time, to try and perfect the fundamentals.” - Julius Erving
  • I wrote two plotted books, got some of the fundamentals of storytelling down, then... it's sort of like taking the training wheels off, trying to write a book that's fun in the same way without relying on quite such mechanical or external beats.” - Jonathan Franzen
  • Figure out what you want to focus on when you're 12 and 13, and then start to learn the real fundamentals.” - Brett Hull

What are the fundamentals of your field of business and/or interests? How can you put them to use to lead you to success?

Here are some thoughts and the fundamentals for you to consider and work on this week:

  • We need leadership on the fundamentals of eating right, exercising, and not smoking.” - Donna Shalala
  • No one can give another human being the soul of an artist, the sensibility of a writer, or the passion to put words on paper that is the gift and the curse of those who fashion poetry and prose. But it's ludicrous to suggest and short- sighted to believe that the fundamentals of fiction can't be taught.” - Elizabeth George
  • I believe in evolution and I think when it comes to business and the roots of business and the fundamentals of business, I don't think that ever changes. I think the idea of change is an illusion, but in nature it's necessary to change and perhaps business is a part of nature. I'm not totally sure.” - Elliott Gould

And finally:

Higher education must lead the march back to the fundamentals of human relationships, to the old discovery that is ever new, that man does not live by bread alone.” - John Hannah