Details Matter

Details Matter
May 1, 2018 Gary Shotton

If you will pay attention to details and take care of the little things, you will find that the big things take care of themselves.   By Gary Shotton #000187

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Details Matter

By Gary Shotton

Hello my name is Gary Shotton and I’m here in my machine shop and we’re talking about Inspiring Better Business (IBBTalks). and today we’re going to talk about a subject called details matter. and sometimes we look at things in a successful business. and we wonder how did they get to be so successful how do they get to step where they’re at. what do I need to do to get to where they’re at? I have that sometimes asking me I’m not that far along and I’m not that big a business, but how did you get there, what is I want my next step. and it’s kind of like the difference for me. it’s kind of like the difference between a long-distance runner and a sprinter. you know there’s a lot of pride and there’s a lot of attention given to the fastest man in the world. but you know the long-term sprinter. Yeah, we have marathons now, but they’re just not quite as popular as those fast people.

In business it’s going to be a lot more like a long-term run more like a marathon. and you’ve got to kind of lock into that before you get started, because if not you’re going to be jumping around trying to make things happen. you’re going to try to make things happen too fast and it’s a long race I’m telling you. now the best thing I can give you here about four points regarding the steps, that I think it would take to make a successful business. and I’m going to use an analogy because I’m carrying with me a CDL commercial driver’s license. Its CDL stands for commercial driver’s license, and it allows me to drive any of the largest semi-trucks the biggest trucks on the highway. I can legally drive that because I at one time owned a trucking company, that’s what we did. we had big trucks we had medium-sized trucks. and I had drivers all over the United States. and I just needed to get that driver’s license just in case I needed to drive. and I did drive from time to time to go retrieve a truck or finish a job but it wasn’t my regular job to drive, but I was always amazed at those people that got the award for a million miles without an accident. are you kidding me a million miles I checked it from Boston to LA? that’s about three thousand miles and a million miles would mean that that driver that got a million miles usually takes 20 to 25 years, would have to drive the entire length of the United States 350 times. That’s amazing, well how do they do that. let me tell you what a driver does and how that relates to business.

First of all, a safe driver is going to stay inside their lane. they’re not going to try to jump into another if there are three lanes on the highway. they’re not always moving left lane middle lane first lane back in always trying to drive by somebody. they get settled into the lane that’s best for them. they don’t change lanes very often, and then when they know it exits coming up and they’re going to get exit here maybe in a mile or two. they’ll be very careful and move over to the lane that they need in. well you know what if you’re going to be successful in business. you better get in the right lane for yourself. not a truck lane not a driving lane, but the lane that fits you. and then stay there don’t keep jumping around don’t jump from one opportunity to the next opportunity. I hear people from time to time tell me how great an opportunity this option this new situation is. and I wonder now how long have they been pursuing opportunities. and how long have they been jumping from one opportunity to the next? and at the end of 25 years, they have nothing to show for it, because they didn’t stay inside the lane. I asked you are you. staying inside your Lane of ability and skills. are you developing patience, you ask yourself that. you have to be honest with yourself. you’ve got to let time for the fruit that’s planted to mature and grow that you can have a harvest. stay inside your lane.

Number two, I would say that a good driver is a good over-the-road driver he creates a pattern of knowing his awareness of where he’s at in relation to other cars. let me tell you how it works. if I’m driving in the driver’s seat of a big semi I’ve done it. I would make a habit of looking left into my mirror, looking right into my mirror and looking in the front a short distance maybe a hundred and two hundred yards three hundred yards, and then looking out maybe as far as I could see a half-mile or more. and then on a routine I would look to my left I would look to my right I would look close and I would look at a distance. it becomes a habit I know where I’m at inside my surroundings. and I know what’s happening around me. there’s no surprise because if there’s a police car coming from behind me or somebody accelerating fast behind me or a big truck coming behind me I’ve already noticed. it has been coming there for the last five or six minutes. and I see where they’re at, and I notice ahead that somebody’s slowing down and I lost in the distance there might be something accident or something. I know my surroundings. well in business you better be looking around. you better be assessing what’s happening around you at all times. we have more data than we’ve ever had before. we have data from the internet, we have data from books, we have data from associations. but you know the data that’s important to you is that that’s around you. it isn’t around those other cars on the road it’s around you. you better be on top of your game you better be knowing what other people are doing. you better be doing some research into your competitors. you better know the new trends and trades of your customers. what’s there and where they’re headed what they want to know. you should be looking ahead looking a short distance ahead then looking at a long-distance head and looking left and right. you know what is coming and you’re not surprised with anything. are you aware of your surroundings in your business. are you on top of what’s coming up next? are you aware of what’s fading out, ask yourself that. are you doing a good job in there?

Number three well a good driver is going to have to back up. and if you look at some of these trucks. the trucks we drove were the largest that could go on the road. and you have to be able to back up using the mirrors. and not hit something behind you. well, guess what in business you’re sometimes you’re going to have to stop and backup. you’re going to have to look behind. and you know what a good driver would do. they wouldn’t pick a time and get into position if they have any doubt. they would put her input the brake on open the door jump back around and take a look. because they are not going to have an accident backing up. well you know in business you’re gonna have to from time to time take a good look. and say is this a time for me to change lanes. not just lane change the course change the definition change where I’m headed. I can’t go into detail but I had about three major changes in my life. I was raised on a farm and ranch, and I knew that my dad had wanted me to go to college the economy wasn’t good at that time and I finished my college degree. and I went to work in my first big change it was a big oil company. in a construction setup and I was there for nine and a half years. and then you know what it was time to get out of the vehicle get out of my future look around and make a major change. and I moved 1200 miles to go to Bible School in a town in the middle of the United States. and in that process, I plan to have a great job but it didn’t happen. and so I had to create my own by necessity my own moving and storage company. and you know I had that for 17 years but you know I had to like backing up. I had to stop and take a real close look because of what was happening to my industry. and where I was at was not gonna be happy I was not gonna end up where I wanted. and I sold that and then I set out for six years. and now I own this machine shop. I have no plans of selling. this I’m not I’m looking to help you. this is my passion now to help you in inspiring better business. and so I’m here to help you because I keep this business because it keeps me fresh and alive. but you see what I mean.

Now ask yourself, “are you on a course”,  “are you going to be happy with within the next five years?”  Don’t just jump ship like I mentioned the first time. we’re jumping lanes but you’ve got to be honest. there are times you need to make a switch and you make a major directional change in your life and your business. or you’re gonna find yourself very disappointed. well to wrap up here details matter, sometimes we’re focused on setting on things that don’t count. you’ve got to learn to focus on the big thing. I’m reading here behind here Albert Einstein said this. ever saying that can be counted does not necessarily count. and everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. let me tell you what he’s talking about that driver that got a million miles he didn’t count every time he backed up.  you can’t count that, but every single time when he backed up it counted. he didn’t count every time he drove a short distance or went through an inside a tight turn and he made this is the right choice hurry avoided an accident. he didn’t count those but they counted. you follow what I’m saying everything that that can be counted does not necessarily count. well at the end he went a million miles and that’s a good count. but there were a lot of things that he was not able to and did not need to count, that that he could have counted but he was counting the important things. that’s what it’s saying are you counting the important things. are you have a focus on like in business you know. you can count sales easily you can tell revenue easily but are you counting how the receptionist answers the phone. are you counting how clean the bathrooms are in your restaurant. are you counting how people address it’ll work for you how they address each other. those are little things that you count and you can’t put a number and count. but boy do they count. now in finishing up I’ll just be going to make another quote here. “that if you will pay attention to the details and take care of the little things you will find that the big things will take care of themselves”. Taking care of the little things makes it a habit and the big things the result. you’ll find yourselves maybe years down the line. maybe I mean I things don’t happen overnight so get that out of your head.


  1. Octavian 4 years ago

    Thank you once again, Gary. This is an excellent and applicable message. Staying in your lane and paying attention to details are very significant lessons. People are busier which make it harder to remain in their lane. Many are continually chasing after their next big thing but do not take time to be patient and pursue an opportunity to the fullest. Your lesson reminded me of the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible. Jesus responded to Martha, you are worried and concerned about many things, but ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED.

    • Author
      Gary Shotton 4 years ago

      Yes, the story of Mary and Martha is an excellent example of this lesson. This helps confirm that we are presenting materials and lessons that are true several thousands of years ago and still true today. Blessings,

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