Check out my latest video explaining how success is more than just money and stuff within your small business.
Archive for the 'Motivation' Category
Congratulations, your small business is successful. But has what kind of success has it produced?
There are times when being one with your business is not only a good thing, it’s essential. But extreme commitment weaves a fine seam between business and owner. And unfortunately, entrepreneurial single-mindedness often results in the opposite of what’s intended: a business in jeopardy, run by unhappy humans.
The best way to be a successful AND happy small business owner is to define success in many ways, including having a life that’s balanced with richness outside of the business.
A small business is more like a patchwork quilt than a security blanket. Some patches represent good things and some not so good. Some patches are about the business, others are about the owner, and some are hard to tell. Small business happiness is found by those owners who feel successful regardless of which patch is in front of them.
Having multiple touchstones of success, not just money and stuff, helps keep the rough patches in business and life in proper perspective. Clearly getting a new customer contract is a measure of success. But so is being able to schedule the time to attend a child’s school activity in the middle of the day.
If you became a small business owner to find financial success, good for you; as a capitalist, I admire that motivation. But if you think getting rich will make you happy, get your umbrella out because I’m going to rain on that parade with these two truths:
- Wealth only provides options, it does not guarantee happiness.
- If you can’t be happy without wealth, you aren’t likely to be happy with it.
Now let’s talk about being serious and having fun.
Reasonable people disagree on where we will spend eternity, but most agree that this is our only trip through this life. And every moment that goes by without some kind of joy is a precious opportunity lost. You’re no doubt planning for success this year, but have you made any plans to have fun? Not the trip to Disney World. Are you having fun on any given day as you run and grow your business?
If you want to have maximum small business success, learn how to run a tight ship while encouraging your people to laugh and find joy in their work.
And one more thing: don’t forget to laugh at yourself — in front of others. Those are usually the best laughs of your life.
Define success in more ways than just money and stuff. And don’t forget to have fun.
Recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked about the pursuit of happiness in your small business with happiness expert Kita Szpak. Click on one of the links below to hear what she and I had to say. I’m also interested in what you think, so please leave a comment.
Is happiness part of your small business ownership? with Kita Szpak
You only have the right to the PURSUIT of happiness. with Kita Szpak
We’re only 10% into the 21st century, so there is a pretty good chance that a lot of what you know was learned in the last century. Having said that, here’s the bad news: Most of what you learned about the marketplace in the last millennium is now obsolete. And that includes how to motivate and manage people, especially the young folk.
Having come of age in the marketplace in the last third of the 20th century, it seems to me that managing and motivating people wasn’t much different in that era than it was for my mentors. Indeed, senior managers in those days were pretty much doing in the 1970s, 80s and 90s what they had learned and practiced for decades. But somehow, seemingly coincidental with the advent of the new millennia, best practices for leveraging human power effectively and successfully in business began to change as two new generations came online.
One of the most noticeable changes was how different these new generations were from earlier ones with regard to motivation. Clearly, the motivational books are having to be rewritten for the 21st century, and not surprisingly, one of my long-time Brain Trust members, Dan Pink has done just that.
Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with Dan about why the old “carrot and stick” approach is not as effective in the 21st century and what managers should know about what he calls ”Motivation 3.0.” Dan is the author of several provocative, bestselling books about the changing world of work, including his latest, Drive, in which he reveals his ground-breaking ideas on modern motivation best practices.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to what Dan has to say in this recent visit with me. And be sure to leave your own thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!
One of the unfortunate markers of the Great Recession is significant evidence of fear and anxiety in the workplace. There is fear about job security, anxiety about financial loss, both real and imagined, and a general concern for the overall wellbeing of the country. Sadly, even months into the recovery, vestiges of these emotions still prevail. So, in a workplace charged with so much unproductive emotion, how do we as managers create an environment where our employees get and stay engaged?
Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate, I talked with engagement expert, Leigh Branham, about some of the motivational challenges that are unique to this recovery for most employers. We talked about how re-engaging employees in a time of great workplace stress is a discipline that can and should be cultivated and leveraged.
A long-time member of my Brain Trust, Leigh is Principal of Keeping the People, Inc., and the author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave. Take a few minutes to listen to our conversation. And as always, leave your thoughts about your best motivational practices and greatest challenges. Listen Live! Download, Too!