On April 1 (yes, I know, Aprils Fool’s Day) we celebrated our third anniversary of being in business. Although I’ve owned and managed a number of businesses it seems this one has taught me much more than the others. Or, maybe as I have aged I have become more open to such learning.
Either way, here are some things I’ve learned (or have been reminded of) over the last several years.
Be of Service
In all you do as you run your business, make service to others your priority. If you truly work to do things for others, the world will respond in a like manner. Like Zig Ziglar says: “You can have everything you in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.”
Time x Activity = Results
This seems to be the magic formula for accomplishing something. Whatever you’re trying to achieve if you do the right things for long enough, you will achieve your goal.
Manage Inputs and Monitor Outcomes
Since we cannot control outcomes why spend much time worrying about them? Sure we need to monitor them but that’s all. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to control something you can’t (like outcomes.) Instead, focus on the inputs or the actions that will lead to the outcome you desire. Manage that well and you’ll see the outcome you want.
Do the Right Things Every Day
Figure out what you need to do to to make your business work and then do them every day. By building this discipline into your daily routine you create a little more value each day. Before you know it you’ve built something wonderful.
I’m not sure I can add any clarity or value to the meaning of those two words, so I won’t even try.
Nothing of value ever happens over night. Focus on the long term not the short term.
Lead, Don’t Push
Help people by understanding them and then applying your talents or knowledge to their situation. Share with them your vision and how it relates to them, how it will help them. Make it real. Make it honest and make it relevant.
Surround yourself with good people then let them do their thing.
Apologize, Fix it, Move On.
When the excrement hits the rotary oscillator and you find yourself explaining to a customer (or vendor or employee) why something went wrong, use this simple formula. First apologize. That reduces the emotions and helps everyone work toward a solution. Then find a solution and do it, without hesitation. Finally, move one. We all make mistakes so there’s no reason to agonize over something or let it ruin your week.
Honesty is not the best policy. It’s the only policy.