There’s an American idiomatic expression that’s used in a somewhat sarcastic way when describing something that should be easy to do but isn’t being done.

The expression is: “It’s not rocket science.”

Show up to class on time… it’s not rocket science.

Answer the phone when customers call… it’s not rocket science.

When crossing the street, look both ways first… it’s not rocket science.

What’s funny to me about this expression is that I’ve had actual rocket scientists as clients, and they assure me that the tasks above are indeed not rocket science.

I’ve been thinking about this idea on and off my entire business career.

One of my early mentors (who had built a Fortune 500 company starting with 30 employees) expressed this simple idea. You can build a great business just by doing the basics consistently every day. No heroics or miracles needed. Just the basics.

In working with various high-flying companies over the years, I’ve come to appreciate this sentiment. Even if you have an amazing invention, breakthrough technology, and a dominant market presence, the basics still matter.

It’s easy to do the basics on any given day. It’s difficult to do the basics consistently every day for long periods of time. It’s even more difficult to get all teams in a company to do the basics each and every day.

Do you know which people are the most fit?

They’re the ones with the highest attendance records at the gym.

Do you know which people are the most knowledgeable?

They’re the ones who read books and other materials every day.

Do you know who has the biggest and most vibrant professional networks?

They’re the ones who expend time every week growing and taking care of their professional relationships.

You can do nearly anything you want in life by doing just the basics… every… single… day.

After all, it’s not rocket science.

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