90 Percent of Success is Down To . . .
I’m about to let you in on what I think might be the biggest reason I get enough work to keep me busy 365 days per year. And I think that if you apply it to your career, you’ll find that it might work very well for you, indeed. Ready? Here it is: I’m pretty easy to work with.
It’s not quite as simple as that, but to paraphrase Woody Allen I can tell you with absolute certainty that
90 percent of success is being easy to work with.
Now let’s look at what that means, and before we get down to how to make yourself easy to work with, let’s take a look at the parameters you might want to think about setting. Here’s what I refuse to do:
I won’t lie about whether or not I think any product is good or bad.
I won’t allow anyone to put words into my mouth.
I won’t accept work from a company that mandates that I can’t accept work from another company.
And here’s a list of things I highly recommend you think about incorporating into your work ethic:
Never agree to do something you don’t want to do.
Always meet deadlines. This means being on time for your shift behind the bar, and/or coming through on time with a new drink recipe that you’ve been hired to create.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. This means that, if for some reason you’re not going to meet a deadline, or you’re going to be late for your shift-because we all know that shit does happen, after all-LET SOMEONE KNOW.
Help promote your competition. This is something I learned years ago from Deepak Chopra, and believe me it pays off in spades.
Never badmouth anyone, ever. This is a tough one. Some people just piss you off, right? Me, too. And I can’t claim to live up to this rule 100% of the time, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that every time I say something bad about anyone at all, I feel bad about saying it almost immediately. When we badmouth others, what we are really saying is that we are better than they are. And that’s never true. Never.
Here’s an example of how best to handle the last two points: If someone asks you your opinion about a certain bartender who you don’t have a high opinion of, instead of putting them down, you might say something like, “Personally I prefer the style of Jim Smith behind the bar.” Like I said, these are tough issues to live by, but I promise you’ll be happier if you concentrate on the positive.
Don’t be a prima donna. You are no better than anyone else. And neither am I. If you never agree to do anything you don’t want to do, you’ll never have to imply that you’re too good to do that.
Never pretend to be good at anything that you’re not good at. If you’re very fast behind the bar, but not very creative, tell that to whoever is interviewing you for a job. That way they’ll never be disappointed if they hire you.
To the point above I’d like to tell you right now that I fit into that “fast but not very creative” category, though I must say that I’m a little more creative these days than I was, say, 5 or 6 years ago. Why? Because I’ve been learning from younger, more creative bartenders. That’s why. Keep learning. It’s a lifelong proposition.
If, say, you’re a bar consultant, and a bar owner asks you to accomplish 4 things for them, and you’re no good at one of those tasks, hire someone to work with you on that task. You’ll make only 75% of the fee, but your client will be happy, and you’ll get more work that way.
I think that just about wraps up what I have to say for the time being. I’d love to hear comments, though, so please let me know what you think.