This weekend as I headed out to golf, I asked myself “why?” I’ve been playing this game for just over 10 years, and very rarely do I shoot under 90. In most cases, it’s 94 to 99. But, it’s great exercise and a type of meditation. I understand why so many business owners play it because for five hours you are released from thinking about your business. You are doing nothing but concentrating on a ball that needs to be put in a hole. Like business, it’s simple, but not easy.

And like business, the moment you start taking yourself too seriously, things go south. The other day I was out playing with Rick Boates at his club. When we made the turn he informed me that I shot a 42 on the front nine. To avoid taking myself seriously, I never track the score until I’ve finished the game. Why? Because guess what’s going through your head when you tee off on the tenth hole, “wow, if I can play the same game on the back nine, I’ll be shooting in the low eighties. I’ll cut my handicap in half”.

Business is like golf. The moment you take yourself too seriously, things go south. Click To Tweet

So, guess where my drive went off the tenth tee? It went out-of-bounds and things went downhill from there as I tried to calm myself and get back into the head space that I had when I started the game. It didn’t happen until the 17th hole, and even though I parred 17 and 18, the result was a 99. The good news is that people like to golf with me because they can be assured that they won’t be at the bottom of the scorecard.

Success can be a great enemy to sustainability in golf and business. As I watch my clients businesses become successful, what can settle in are things like arrogance, lack of caring, and distraction from the little things that help to achieve that success. You lose a valued customer and you just assume it’s because of price and you let it go without looking into it further.

So, the question is, has your success or good score allowed you to become distracted? When you lose a deal because someone was a lower price, are you calling them to explain the difference and letting them know that you will be happy to service them in the future if things don’t work out? Or, are you turning your nose up at them because they should have known that you were the better choice? Are you staying attentive to the little things that made you successful? Like something as simple as thank you cards, or is that not important anymore? Has your company’s confidence turned to arrogance?

Sometimes in business we look at our scorecard and feel good, but never forget Jim Collin’s famous saying, “good is the enemy of great”!

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