You Had One Job

One of my favorite memes is “You had one job.” It shows some of the most colossal failures on seemingly simple tasks. For instance:

It is funny, but also sad, when someone (or a company of someones) screws up something really fundamental to their business. The saddest part is how common it is.

Just today, my team has been dealing with a cascade of “You had one job” moments – wrong dates, people creating the wrong content, last minute changes to our schedules that should have been clarified months ago, billing issues, etc., from companies we are paying A LOT of money to do work for us. Instance after instance of people really not nailing the small stuff, which means we start to wonder if they can handle the big stuff.

At the end of the day, if someone contracts you to do work for them, they expect you to make their lives EASIER, not harder. The last thing I want to do with someone providing me accounting help, for instance, is to have to double-check every single invoice they send me because they are always incorrect. And I don’t want to spend good money creating content for a sponsorship, only to have the organization come back to me and say they cut two of the pieces of content, so we never needed to create them in the first place. And I really, really don’t want to agree to a company creating a certain quantity of something and then they only send me a fraction of it, along with a great deal of confusion about why I’m not thrilled.

These are service failures. And they are avoidable service failures. If your business is so busy/overwhelmed/understaffed that you can’t take on as much business as you’ve committed to, STOP TAKING BUSINESS. And if that’s not the case, and you are just lazy or inept, STOP BEING IN BUSINESS. That’s the thing – having your own consultancy or marketing firm or whatever isn’t just about the fun stuff. In fact, it’s very often not about the fun stuff at all. It’s about sending invoices and reading contracts and making sure that your employees are actually providing the services for which you are charging large sums of money. And if you think that invoicing or service check-ins are unimportant, you should talk to me. I mean right now, when I’m so angry and frustrated that I’m ready to blow up everyone at every company that has crossed me today. Trust me, it’s not going to be pretty.

The saddest part is that because SO MANY companies get the service after the sale wrong, when you run into a company that does it right, it is a revelation. And then you think about it for a few minutes and you realize that you’ve been gushing over someone DOING THE BARE MINIMUM. You are effusive about the accomplishments of someone doing just what it should take to simply not get fired. They aren’t going above and beyond, they aren’t being a hero, they are simply DOING THEIR JOB. But that is enough to make you want to promise them your firstborn.

So, to all of my business-owning friends out there, you have one job – make sure you get it right.


by Lacy Starling, President and Fearless Leader