It has been awhile! I have been enjoying this great New England summer weather with my wife, and in fact, just spent a few days on Cape Cod with some of our dearest friends. Wow, maybe I should have titled this article Three things.... because spending time with good friends should always be on the agenda, but that doesn't need to be a skill you have to acquire, so I digress..
When I bought my business I was 37 years old. I was full of ideas, motivated like a lion who hadn't eaten in ten days, and enthralled in my opportunity to really be in charge for the first time in my life.
Think about that for a long minute. That is, in itself a lot to be processing. This is why owning your own business isn't easy, unless you are a one person operation! Which I am now, being an active consultant, but on my own.
But back in 1997, I had departments to manage, 65 employees to pay, and 104,000 square foot building to maintain! Oh yeah, and I had to sell a little bit of coffee to keep that all going.......
But with ownership comes a whole lot more than that. looking back on it now, I could write 25 or more examples of things I did wrong just because I hadn't yet developed a very important skill.
Listening! That's right listening. Do you understand how hard it is to really listen to other people, especially when it directly involves something you have total control of? Now, obviously there is a little bit of a lot of things attached to that statement. But if I got into all that, this post would become a novella. I just know that I have been in business for 27 years +, and I have seen first hand, the complete lack of upper management and especially owner's who do not listen to their employees especially! If you own a business or you are the key person(decision maker) in your company, this is one of the greatest skills you can develop. Not only does it engage your employees, who, by the way, make up your company and provide you with your livelihood, it allows you to understand and even see things from very different perspectives than you might normally process things. Even some of the more mundane suggestions can impact your operation, and lead to real measurable improvement. The bottom line is be approachable and then, LISTEN! You know, as a business owner, you are constantly juggling multiple balls on a daily basis. But even then you should always treat your employees with respect. Say someone comes up to you and you have a scheduled meeting or call, whatever, at that point you should say to your employee, "You know Linda, I know you want to talk with me, however, this is not a good time for me, but I'll tell you what, when I get a free moment today or tomorrow at the latest, I'd be happy to hear what you have to say". Wow, now there is a breath of fresh air, isn't it? Anyway, LISTEN!
Now for number 2;
Never Ever make a major decision about your business unless you sleep on it! Think about it. You know how many mistakes are made by making snap decisions and judgements without stepping back and really analyzing the issue? I would bet there are too many to count. I know when I was 37, I would just all of a sudden, come up with an idea and BOOM, let's go! It doesn't or very rarely will those types of things workout! You are a business owner, you owe it to yourself and your business to perform your due diligence on almost everything. Well certainly the important things anyway. Hopefully you can identify the important things anyway, otherwise as they say in my old neighborhood, You're Screwed!
Well anyway, that is all for today. I thought it would be helpful to address these issues, and I hope you gain some insight into how you run your own business.
Again, I am an active consultant that is for hire. Look up my profile on Linkedin, under Joe Leary, or feel free to contact me @firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with any aspect of your business.
All the best,