The 3 C’s of business success

My wife is amazing!  First of all, let’s set the stage.  She is a very smart and capable lady who single-handedly runs our family as well as her own business.  She did not attend college and has no formal business training outside of 8+ years in property management…yet she has a thriving retail business that is doing 15% better this year despite the less than stellar economic environment.  What is most amazing her success is that she has done it all by herself one step at a time.  She did not have a “masterplan” when she started out.  She had never worked in, let alone managed, a retail store yet away she went.  There is an entirely separate story about how this all came to be that would astound you as well but that is for another time.  While there are many reasons she shouldn’t be successful, the fact remains she is. 

When I speak to students in the MBA classes I teach, the one thing I always stress to them is that their education should enable them to simplify the complex, not vice versa.  Lisa (my lovely wife) has been able to do just this.  In thinking about her continuing success, I concluded that there was a formula to her success and it consisted of the 3 C’s

  • Common Sense  – there are no secret rules of success…if it does not feel right, don’t do it
  • Connection – she connects to her business…she is her business.  her shop is an extension of her so there is very little work to be done.  decisions are easy
  • Caring – she goes the extra step because she cares about her customers.  she genuinely wants them to feel as good as she does when she walks into the store.  she wants it to be a place where they can escape for an hour or two and relax (and buy stuff).


Not only has the brick and mortar business been successful but she also re-named the business, created her own e-commerce site, writes a blog, sends a monthly e-newsletter, and just today developed a terrific and funny marketing effort around her efforts to recycle.  If you want to experience this first-hand, you will have to order something from her e-commerce site and have it shipped to you.

The more we learn, the more we believe things are complicated.  I think we do this to somehow rationalize the efforts and costs associated with the education.  Candidly, business is simple just not easy and we shouldn’t lose sight of that!  Thanks for reminding us Lisa…

You can experience Lisa’s genius at


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Filed under Adaptation, Leadership, Organizations, Small(er) Business, Strategy

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