Fundamentals: They're Not Fancy, They Just Work

Don’t worry, this is not a High School Harry, “let me tell you how good I used to be” story. But we are going to talk about high school wrestling and what a little school from southern Indiana can teach us about success. Specifically, the power of fundamentals.  

When I was a high school wrestler, the team from Evansville Mater Dei was impressive. They won a title and finished runner up the following year. Well after I stopped keeping up, Mater Dei was still winning.  

You probably don’t care about wrestling. You care about yourself and your business. That’s exactly as it should be. 

So, what’s the usable takeaway from the Monarchs of Mater Dei? The power of fundamentals. 

While other teams showboated, Mater Dei was a throwback to the old days. No double Gramby rolls or Souffle combos, just basics. Like a double leg takedown and a half Nelson. Basic wrestling moves you probably learned in gym class. But the kids from Evansville executed those basics with excellence. 

Fundamentals aren’t fancy, they just work

Fundamentals work in business as well as they do in sport. The problem arises when business people get lazy or bored.  They stop practicing the basics and start chasing the latest business fad.

After all, basics are boring. Executing the fundamentals requires work. Easier and more appealing to chase the mythical four hour work week.  

What sort of fundamentals am I talking about?  

  • Returning calls and emails

  • Responding to customer needs

  • Constantly upgrading your methods

  • Ongoing training and education

  • Showing up on time

  • Doing what you said you’d do

  • Disciplined sales and promotion (because old clients die!)

  • Reading trade & business publications to stay current

  • Practicing personal frugality to reinvest in the business

  • Critically analyzing your product for improvement

All pretty simple stuff isn’t it? Business basics. But are you doing those things?  

It’s natural to be seduced by what’s flashy, new, and easy. Just remember when your back’s against the mat: fundamentals beat flash, especially for the long haul. And isn’t long term prosperity what you’re really seeking? 

Focus on the fundamentals. They’re not fancy, they just work.  

Damian Mason is a self-made businessman, farm owner, author, podcaster, speaker, and a firm believer in focusing on the fundamentals. Check out his latest book, Do Business Better and connect with him at 

Angie Carel