12 Most Definitive Two-Letter Words in Business

12 Most Definitive Two-Letter Words in Business

Sometimes, we overcomplicate business. Our vocabulary is stuffed with sophisticated buzzwords that give us the appearance of being professional but, in the end, don’t really mean anything.

We need to get back to simplicity. Forget “strategically optimizing workflow systems for greater efficiency in integrated processes” and so on. What are we really doing? At its core, what matters in business? I don’t think we need convoluted jargon in our vocabulary. I think two letters will do just fine…

1. Be

Be who you are. Your organization has a unique story and a definitive position in your industry. Stay true to your brand. Just be.

2. Do

You’ve heard it before. Actions speak louder than words. But do you live it? Business about action, not talk. Deliver on your brand promises.

3. We

Your team is everything. Harness the strengths of each person in your organization to create a collectively unstoppable force. It’s all about teamwork.

4. Me

Then again, self-improvement is essential. Focus on growing as an individual to be a better asset for your team and your clients. Never stop learning.

5. If

Never be afraid of possibility. Innovation comes from people who are willing to risk creating what was once thought impossible. Have the guts to say, “What If?”

6. Go

Over planning is a disease. It will never be perfect. Now is the time to ship. Send your stuff out to the marketplace and then manage the response. Whatever you do, don’t sit still. Go.

7. Or

Decisions, decisions. This or that. In many ways, business is all about making decisions. More than ever, alternatives abound and making the right decision from a handful of choices is key. Be decisive.

8. Hi

Welcome to the world of “Cheers”: everybody knows your name. There are no secrets. How social is your business? Are you hiding from the social web? The time is now to come out and introduce yourself.

9. No

Yep, although there are infinitely more things than ever to fill it with, there is still the same amount of time in a day. You can’t take on everything. Be willing to prioritize and turn down “opportunities” when you need to.

10. To

Who are your customers? Who is your audience? To whom are you directing your messaging? It’s a crowded and complex marketplace; you’d better figure it out.

11. So

Be able to answer the question, “So what?” What difference does your product or service really make for your customers? What is your edge? What do you improve? If you can’t successfully answer this, you should just pack up your bags and go home.

12. Of

Bottom line, schmottom line. Business is bigger than balance sheets. Your organization is part of the world; it’s part of your community; it’s part of history. What greater purpose does your organization aspire to?

In some circles, business can get a bad rap. We conjure up in our minds a picture of old dudes in suits sitting in a boardroom going over budgets. But business isn’t about appearances; it’s about action. It’s about life — creating something meaningful and making the world better off than when you found it.

Great business people, no matter how many stuffy board meetings they have to sit through, remember the simple principles and abide by them in all they do.

Featured image courtesy of earls37a licensed via creative commons.

Doug Rice


Douglas E. Rice is a marketer, writer, and researcher who blogs regularly. He is the author of The Curiosity Manifesto, a provocative guide to learning new things and keeping an open mind.

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Probably says something about my personality, but #2 Do and #6 Go are my favorites ;)

Seo Peace
Seo Peace

Liked the post very much! What I personally felt most important is the courage to say "what if". This is where the beauty of life lies in. Success happen to those who dare to ask "what if" and start exploring those untouched arena.


We and Me are the two I use the most.  "We" (or "you") when my business is doing well and surpassing goals and expectations.  "Me" when things aren't going as planned.  It's something one of my business professors always impressed upon me and I've kept it in mind and in practice since.


Doug ..great post...I love BE, GO, IF, ME...cheers..this one goes on the office wall!!


This is great! And it can apply to any group - family, volunteer, etc.