What Tequila Taught Me About Being Consistent

It’s 1.54pm. I’m two days away from a business retreat with 30 ambitious entrepreneurs led by my mentor Natalie MacNeil. I should be planning a presentation I’ll be delivering about writing your book.

Instead, I’m in a stunning restaurant in Playa del Carmen, Mexico – a restaurant with its own waterfall no less – sipping my second margarita.

Let’s back up a bit.

How did the afternoon of writing go awry?

Lunch started amicably. I’m relaxing and finishing the last chapter of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I’m riveted by his explanation of the role of linguistics in critical aeroplane crash situations, so I’m speeding through it. As soon as I’m done, I have pens. I have journals. I’m poised to write. I sip on a margarita, awaiting my tacos.

Said tacos.

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An explosion of vivacious pink arrives – pickled cabbage, inviting shrimp. Words cannot do justice to the seafood on the Mayan Riviera. I polish off the Mexican dish in no time.

Awesome food, beautiful surroundings, my favourite cocktail, and an afternoon of writing. Could I think of a better way to spend a lone afternoon? Are you kidding?

But here’s where it plateaus.

That first margarita was nothing short of wow!

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The second… somewhat yum, just not quite delivering what the first one did.

And yeah, I know, total #firstworldproblems etc.

Bear with me, though. This demonstrates a point about having premium pricing and a business providing top-end services. You have to bring your A-game over and over and over again.

Consistently be the best.

Consistent excellence is hard to achieve. At that level, our clients are connoisseurs, each with their own definition of excellence.

Take my margarita example. I’m no expert, but I’ve drunk my fair share of tequila cocktails. (Some might say too much. And to them I say… define “too much”. Second thoughts, don’t bore me with the details.) The perfect margarita, to me, is this.

1.5 parts añejo tequila (I prefer Herradura)
0.5 parts Gran Marnier
1.5 parts fresh lemon and lime juices

{served in a tumbler on the rocks, no salt}

Not the most conventional, but exactly to my taste.

So, say I drink an epic margarita, such as Margarita Gran Golden (margarita numero uno at lunchtime in Playa del Carmen) and it ranks in the top three margaritas I’ve ever consumed. This is big! Now is not the time to falter. You’re on the bring of making this tequila fiend not only a very happy woman today, but also a lifelong customer. (You know, if I were to decide to live in Mexico or whatever.)


Then, say I order “una más”. You bring me one more, but what I get this time with margarita numero dos is not quite the same. You manage to disappoint your customer even by providing a top ten or top twenty experience.

“You just gave me one of the Best Margaritas Of My Life and now you give me just a Top Twenty version when I ordered the same thing! Why would you do this to me?”

So slurping my second margarita, I feel a touch of guilt as the customer. For expecting too much! (I know you know that one, ladies.)

Here’s the lesson in all this.

It doesn’t matter how good you are, if your client expects more.

Expectations come from what you put out there time and time again. Consistency, if you please.

It comes from showing up and meeting deadlines and not cancelling meetings if you can help it. It comes from choosing quality providers to maintain your high standards. It’s where dropping the ball is the exception to the rule, not the norm. It comes from great communication and putting systems in place (hat tip, Kelly Azevedo).

Most of all, and most relevant to my work, it comes from sharing your message consistently, with clarity and enthusiasm.

Know what message you want to be known for.

Not changing your mind every five minutes. Not contradicting yourself all over the internet. Not bashing out blog posts because you have to, but figuring out what underlies your writing and using that as fuel.

Want to hone your message and create a signature style?

Sign up here for More Exciting Writing and make a start today.

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2 Responses to What Tequila Taught Me About Being Consistent

  1. Kelly October 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Hmmmm, a systems manual for margaritas, tacos and guacamole may be in order…

    • Kris Emery October 9, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

      You could automate that shit? Deal!

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