In over 14 years of running a consultancy business and helping people and companies, I have learned a number of sensible life lessons that are rather simple yet truly valuable.
I want to share them with you because they have guided me in living each day, spending my time on work that feels like a hobby and tasks that immediately translate to profitability.
I hope you find the lessons useful if you have your own company, wish to be a part of the TalkShop team, or simply want to know my secrets in running a meaningful and profitable business.
The first part of running a business is hiring the right people. I hire people who have the 3 P’s:
1. Personality – I am referring to the individual being the right fit for the position in particular, and the company in general. A very talented and intelligent person who does not complement the traits of the team and the values of the company will not have such a positive influence in getting the business to the direction we are heading. If you feel you are the right person whose values are aligned with ours, willing to learn, and can give her best all the time, then let’s talk.
2. Passion – even with the right personality, I would think twice about even interviewing someone who does not project the passion to give his best. If at the onset, the person does not get excited about how important his role is and how fortunate he is to be working with us, then it will never happen even eventually. Make the right first impression by knowing about the business before you meet me for the interview. And spend some time looking your best. Since I still do not know much about you, your looks on the first meeting tell me almost everything about your level of decency and respectability.
3. Perseverance – interviewing people is important because this is when you can put their determination to test. The best thing any owner can do is not to spend time in the hiring process, interview the applicant at least 3 times with different team leaders, and ideally in different settings. Not only does it make clear to the employer how determined and interested the applicant is about the job, it is also an opportunity for the applicant to know more about the position and the organization. If we have asked you several times to return for a series of interviews, take that as a hopeful sign that you have made the right impression.
The second part of running the business is managing people. I have always been guided by the 3 S’s in this regard:
1. Simplicity – if the situation is too complicated to understand that even I, as the owner of the business, have a hard time connecting the dots and monitoring the process, then something is off. This can mean that my team will not be as efficient as I expect them to be. They may know the terms but not necessarily the purpose and principles behind the concept or process. I make sure that operational processes, administrative concerns, and management matters are clearly comprehended by team members in all ranks. In all your dealings and communications with me or any team member for the matter, aim for simplicity of presentation no matter how complex the idea.
2. Sincerity – I call a spade a spade. I mean what I say and say what I mean. If you are doing your job right, you will get the credit in whatever form you deserve. If you are not performing as well as you should, I will be the first one to let you know so we can work on the proper mentoring, coaching, or counselling arrangement – whatever will help you realize your potential and excel in your tasks. If all forms of intervention fail, rest assured that you will hear the real score from me so you may decide on the next best step you can take.
3. Statistics – numbers do not lie. Managing people is about using the carrot instead of the stick. It is important that team members are working in a fun and productive environment. At the end of the day, we will measure the company’s accomplishments based on the fulfillment of the employees and the management. Every target is set to be exceeded, if not met. And rest assured, this is a matter of importance with regard both company profit and individual performance.
The third part of running the business is creating the culture. Here, I am guided by the 3 A’s:
1. Attendance – I will not be an absentee leader. I believe that our close collaboration with the customers and one another will bring in the sale. Therefore, I expect the same amount of commitment from you in your attendance, complemented by your productive use of company time. I would appreciate your coming in, if not on time, a few minutes before the time. Team energy is sustained by having fun while we work, not the other way around. When you become a regular employee you are entitled to your leaves. And on days when you need to attend to important matters, I will be considerate. As long as I know you are giving your best, I will reach out as much consideration as the effort you are giving to your tasks.
2. Attitude – before your knowledge and skills, you were hired for your attitude. Team spirit is very important to us. When everyone is happy, work is light and giving our best becomes the norm, a daily routine. Your positive attitude means a lot especially on days when we have to multi-task or operate on a very tight schedule. We help every individual employee excel in what he does so he realizes his full potential. Mediocrity has no place even in tasks others would consider menial. This entails that you come to work bringing your open-minded approach to life, integrity of character, and appreciation of whatever you can contribute to the team.
3. Action – I value your ideas and good intentions. My only request is that you translate them to action. I will share with you everything that I can share, give you whatever training and tools you need to have fulfillment and joy in the work that you do. Realize that one of my most important considerations is that you deliver the results in the best possible way and the soonest possible time.
I want you to get a glimpse the same experience I have gone through from the time I was hired for my first job to this very day when I have to run the business that I set up. Because I have lived by these rules and values, I never experienced working a day in my entire professional life. Life is bliss when work happens in the process. I wish you the same fulfillment and happiness in your life choices.