What Guides You in Your Business?

The title of this blog might seem heavy and it can be–but it also doesn’t have to be! It is so important as business owners to know what guides us in business and in life. We’ve all seen companies flip flop and not really know where they stand and the issues it creates. It creates confusion and leads to employees not knowing what to believe, what to think, what to stand for, what actions to take and it can turn into a huge unethical mess. People already have a hard time trusting businesses because of unethical companies. So how do we fix this? Well one thing that does not work is shaming and guilting companies. That is not what this post is about. We aren’t asking anyone to take a stance on or align with an issue that they are not connected with. That would actually widen the chasm of mistrust because ultimately consumers, employees and the like can see right through it. 

So the solution is to genuinely figure out what it is we stand for and who cares about what everyone else thinks! Let’s just figure it out, live for it, and then empower our employees to do the same. It makes decision making so much easier–we can be courageous in our decisions. We can not care so much if we have “haters” because we intrinsically know what our belief, our principles and our foundation is as a company. If you think about it, customers choose to buy from you because of the emotional side of buying. Same with employees, they want to be a part of something they align with. This is not a bad problem–but it can be when you don’t have a solid foundation of belief. The problem is so many companies are focusing on only the financial. When employees choose to align with the company only for financial reasons and the company is only worried about the financial side of things then the only bond between the two is greed. A bond that will eventually crumble. Same thing with customers, if the only bond between the customer and the company is monetary then the basis of that union is greed. To clarify we aren’t saying that businesses aren’t here for profit. A lot of good can be done with money but that needs to be the result not the foundation of what business is built upon.  

In order to get an idea of what guides you and your business it is important to identify your values. You don’t want your business values to be too general. It helps to choose actionable words so that there is individual responsibility for each person within the business. Teams and companies are all made up of individuals and teams are only as good as each individual person. So if our goal as business owners is to empower and inspire individuals on our teams and within our business then our focus needs to be on them as an individual. There are so many decisions you have to make within your organization, there are so many problems you have to solve, this can bring about a lot of fear. Then if you have outward and inward pressure it can feel and be almost paralyzing. But if what you stand for is already outlined in your values then you have a foundation you can be firm on and you won’t compromise those. So when the hard decisions in your company come up you can test the various decisions against your values to determine if they align. It takes a ton of pressure off you and your decisions and it helps your team to understand why you chose the path you did. This even extends to employees who maybe aren’t aligning with your values. It makes it easier to part ways with that employee and explain to them why they are not a fit within your organization.

Once you really determine what it is you believe and stand for as a company you can convey that message to your team. This helps empower them to make decisions, take risks and to know where the boundaries are. They can stand on their own two feet and make decisions that align with your company’s purpose, values and vision. And if that decision is called into question or maybe doesn’t work out like your employee predicted they can explain why they chose the choice they did based on your values. This helps ease the sting of a misstep of failure for both the business owner and the employee. With set values there is a lot more of a basis behind what you and your employees do. Values are critical for your organization. Don’t remove the feeling from it when you are deciding what your values are. If you don’t care about the values you have established for your business then you most likely need to dive deeper. It is so easy to play at the surface level and never want to get deep or connect on a deeper level but that is what makes the world sick. We are no longer forming deep connections which is the root of many of the problems we are facing in our world today. People are hungry to feel and be connected again. Defining values that convince you and your team to be better than yourselves will be felt by your customers which will lead to more loyalty and ultimately make a difference in the world. The size of your company does not matter, it is strictly your mindset. You can do it!

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