There are so many benefits to owning your own business: we are truly blessed to live in a country where we can, if we choose, blaze our own trail and do our own thing. With so many plusses, it can be easy to forget that there are a few downsides to being the one 'calling the shots'! If we are not careful, we can easily end up in a very isolated and closed off-world. Not because we are anti-social but because the road to small business success is rocky and requires an uncommon focus. That is why the culture of your company and your close associations are so critical. Here are a few things we have learned over the years.
YOUR COMPANY CULTURE MATTERS: Our companies are filled with people and those people have personal lives outside of the 8 hours they spend working each day. The culture you create at your company permeates their home life and can have a dramatic impact (positive or negative) on the closest people in their lives. This means we have a responsibility to make sure our companies have healthy, positive, and constructive cultures. Tolerating anything short of that can play a role in ripping families apart. Do you have processes in place to make sure your company culture remains positive? Are you addressing any potentially damaging issues/situations immediately to protect your work environment? Since we have no control over what happens outside of work hours, it is imperative that we control what we can and do whatever it takes to provide an uplifting and supportive culture within our companies.
LOOK BEYOND THE WORK: Developing a positive culture means recognizing we have a community within the walls of our companies. Yes, work needs to get done, products and services need to be sold and profits need to be made. But if we do not stop to look beyond the work, we might miss some of the things that are happening within our community- the pains, triumphs, struggles & victories of our team members need to be recognized in order to maintain a strong culture. Are you meeting with your team members, discussing their personal goals and their goals related to their position within your company? Do you know how things are going for the members of your team- outside of work? When the community aspect within your company is strong and people care for each other, they can be more efficient in their jobs and much happier in their personal lives but we have to look beyond the work and see the people.
BUILD YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM: Knowing your people and being truly invested in their success will go a long way towards developing the kind of culture where people thrive. As business owners, we need to consider expanding that community to include coaches, mentors, and friends who can support you on the journey. Do you belong to any organizations filled with like-minded people? Are you finding ways to lift other business owners up as they blaze their trails? Do you encourage your team to constantly look for ways and materials to increase their knowledge both personally and professionally? Creating a strong support system will help you and your team grow together and work through the struggles that are always popping up on the road to success.
There truly is POWER in Community. Since business owners are the backbone of America- it is time we recognized the absolute importance of how our COMPANY CULTURES affect the families in our businesses, how the work we do is important but LOOKING BEYOND THE WORK is even more critical and that we need to create a strong SUPPORT SYSTEM in order to take care of ourselves and the people God Gave Us! (Thank you, Bob Beaudine! Author of The Power of WHO)