I have a love/hate thing for those cutesy sayings slapped on inspirational photos.
Be a warrior not a worrier.
The first step toward getting anywhere is deciding you are no longer willing to stay where you are.
I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t.
These are the cat videos of the business world.
Bite-sized, mind-altering distractions that feed a society of emotion junkies.
I see one coming into frame on my iPad, cringe… and read it anyway to get an adorability high.
Then I create some of my own to send out into the world along with cute photos of my cat doing yoga.
These sayings and quotes feel like a teeny hug. A 2-second cheerleader telling me to keep going.
Because running a business is tough. Building a team is hard work.
Some days I wake up excited and ready to take another step in my business.
Some days I wake up feeling like I am as crazy as people think and should go get a job working for someone else.
Every dang day, it’s a battle.
- Battle to focus on the priority tasks and still have the creative energy to develop meaningful content.
- Battle to run lean but look put together.
- Battle to be a relationship builder and be authentic but needing to make sales.
Business isn’t easy. And being the big boss isn’t easy.
At one of the Dallas Startup Week 2015 sessions, a speaker said startups are like marriages. Some days you are in love, and other days you don’t even like your spouse. You have to keep going. Decide to work on the marriage even on the days (or months) you fall out of love.
That’s the same advice my dad gives me about finding a husband. Some days you are in love, and other days you don’t like them. So you have to choose to fall back in love with your spouse. Every. darn. day.
You have to choose to fall back in love with your business.
You are in charge, so you have to keep yourself moving forward. And you have to keep your team members motivated.
That is not easy to do. Now for the good news.
You can make informed decisions on how to motivate your team members. You don’t have to guess.
You gathered information – data – to determine salaries. To decide on which office space to choose. To choose which coffeemaker to put in the breakroom.
You gathered information on when is the best time to post to Instagram. Twitter. Facebook.
So many charts. Spreadsheets. Graphs. When you freak out about next month’s payroll. You consult the data. You don’t have to guess.
But what do you do when you see a team member veering away from the goal?
How do you get them focused and engaged in the work again?
Chances are you spend more time communicating with your team members than you do with any other group of humans. (Unless you spend more than 40 hours a week with friends and family outside of work.)
And the smaller the team, the closer the quarters, the more collaboration required.
Just like in a marriage, you can deal with Chris’s use of “irregardless” pretty easily for the first 30 days. But 90 days in, you grit your teeth and ponder if a dictionary would be an appropriate birthday present. (It’s probably not.)
Employees are one of your most valuable resources for your business. You invest in them. Take a chance on them.
What would it feel like if you had a cheatsheet on how to motivate Bob when he puts his foot down about the move to Agile development?
What if you could get sales guru Melissa to submit her paperwork to accounting on time?
What if you didn’t have to tell Susan and Olaf to stop giving each other the silent treatment and get to work – again?
People are complex and messy, but they can help you build your dream. You can meet your goals together.
If you don’t have any employee tension and the team is in the zone, please do a happy dance. You have a rare, wonderful situation. Cherish it.
If you are struggling with personality conflicts, loss of focus, missed deadlines, you don’t have to just figure this out by yourself.
You use data to support your business and help you meet goals, right? So do that for your employees!
You need to stay invested in the relationships. Talk to them. Ask them. Check in with them.
Have them give you a cheat sheet for how to keep them moving in the right direction and how to help the entire team happy and productive.
You can create a process from scratch to get that in place, but you don’t have to.
That’s what I do! That’s just the kind of thing that gets me excited about the day ahead. (Don’t judge me.)
I can get started today while you get back to that budget spreadsheet, sales meeting prep, or application for Shark Tank.
You don’t have to wing it to build a powerful team that kicks the competition out of the water.
Reach out today and let’s get this party started.
While you’re at it, post your favorite cat video… or inspirational quote.