Little Things Mean a Lot

I always tell my career mentoring clients that, when it comes to create a successful and fulfilling life and career, little things mean a lot. I had an experience at a doctor’s office last week that drives home this point.

As some of you know, my given name is LeRoy, but I’ve never used it. I’ve been Bud ever since I can remember. But my insurance card and driver’s license say LeRoy. After I signed in when I arrived at the doctor’s office, the receptionist called LeRoy. When I went up to the desk to take care of the paperwork, I told her that I prefer to be called Bud. She made a note and we concluded our business.

When the nurse called me to come into the area where the procedure was to be done, she called me Bud. When the doc came into see me he introduced himself and said, “I hear you prefer to be called Bud.”

These are small things, but they meant a lot to me. I really don’t like to be called LeRoy. I really prefer to be called Bud. It may sound silly, but I was really impressed by the fact that I had to tell only one person of my preference and everybody else got it right.

Maybe I live in a world of diminished expectations, and you should only have to tell people something once and they get it right. Nevertheless, I was impressed that the folks at the doc’s office cared enough to get it right the first time.

As I was leaving the office, I received an evaluation form. That was a first. I’ve never had a doctor ask for feedback on anything. I was impressed. These folks went the extra mile by focusing on the small stuff. They branded themselves as polished professionals.

And that’s the life and career success lesson here. Contrary to the old saying, you should sweat the small stuff. Sweating the small stuff brands you as a polished professional, gets you noticed in a positive way and puts you on the path to the career success you deserve.

How do you sweat the small stuff? Simple. Do these 10 things…

  • Keep commitments and meet deadlines. If you are going to miss a deadline, let other people know as soon as you can so they can alter their plans.
  • Proof your written documents. Don’t just run them through spell check.
  • Return phone calls and email messages promptly.
  • Be helpful. Think about what you can do to help other people reach their goals.
  • Be a team player. Focus on helping your entire team succeed.
  • Be well groomed and appropriate for every situation.
  • Learn and use the basic rules of business etiquette.
  • Create a positive on line presence.
  • Send handwritten thank you notes to people who have helped you.
  • Say “thank you” often.

These are 10 small things that you can do to build your brand as a polished professional and get on the road to the life and career success you deserve.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a free copy of my popular book Your Success GPS at When you do, I’ll begin sending you daily motivational quotes and give you a free basic membership in my career mentoring site.

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