Do YOUR Thing

Do your own thing
In 2000, I was working as a salesman for a great company, selling vinyl fencing, railing and decking across the Midwest. I had many ideas about how to do my job better and approached my boss about them. I remember leaving that meeting and saying to myself, I need to quit this job. What precipitated that response? After all, I was making six figures, had a company car and good benefits, why would I want to leave? In the meeting, my boss stated a poignant fact that many businesses have when it comes to their employees; he said, “We pay you to do the job we want you to do, not the job you want to do.” Huh?

I was frustrated. Was this really how businesses thought? Are employees squelched and not heard across America? Surely, this had to be an anomaly, it couldn’t be the norm. Sadly, I have to say that based on ten more years of talking to business owners, and employees, I think it is a standard practice in business today. Think about it, what business would want a bunch of employees running around thinking they know what’s best for a business they don’t own, that they didn’t create?

One of my passions in starting my own company was that I wanted to have the exact opposite approach. My goal as a business owner is to find employees that can do a better job for me than the one I hired them for. Let me explain…

Let’s say I hire a graphic designer, of course to design things. Now is that all I expect of them? I always say if that’s all I wanted, I would hire a monkey and teach it design (tongue and check as we all know monkey’s would never work for money). I want to hire a graphic designer that will grow, expand my companies horizons, push the envelop, learn new tricks and create better designs and have bigger ideas than I could ever imagine. I don’t want to tell them how to design things, I want them to tell me!

The same goes for programmers, developers and support staff. We hire more people at Fat Atom that have the ability/passion to learn and grow rather than those that have a degree or pedigree. It is our philosophy that if you hire only people to do the job you want them to do… that what you’ll get is a lesser employee. Everyone has more potential than they are currently utilizing, if you are the company that helps someone grow into their potential, you’ll get the benefits from that philosophy.

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Four Quotes All Entrepreneurs Should Read

Number 4I Read some good quotes in a local publication and thought I would share them with you, as I think they are great, especially for my fellow entrepreneurs:

1) Don’t apply rules of reason to unreasonable people. resist the temptation to assume everyone is like you. They are not.

2) To the one who understands, no explanation is necessary. To the one who doesn’t, no explanation will suffice.

3) A prudent person sees trouble and seeks refuge. The simple keep going and suffer for it.

4) Stop finding reasons why something won’t work and start looking for reasons why something will work. Life is WAY more fun if you think like this.

I hope you enjoyed these. Please share any great thoughts, ideas and quotes you might have with me!

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RESPECT find out what it means to me

Everyone has their own definition of the word respect. When talking about a person, you might admire them. When it’s a company, you may like the way they run their business or love the quality of their products. When it comes to a religion, you may be tolerant of other’s ideas. But as a business owner, how can you “Respect” your employees?

Don’t Think Negatively - You have hired a person to do their job, don’t think they aren’t just because they take a vacation day, a long lunch or an unexpected sick day. Respect that the person you pay is making good decisions for you.

Meetings - Everyone has them and nobody likes them. Respect your staff’s time. Just because it’s urgent to you doesn’t mean it can’t wait an hour or a day. Plan your meetings in advance and don’t just assume that if your employee is sitting at their desk they can be interrupted without creating some sort of havoc.

In Trouble - Sometimes you have to sit down and correct an employee’s attitude or behavior. As business owners, we almost all hate confrontation, but sometimes you cannot avoid it. Respect the fact that the person you are talking to is a grown up and makes mistakes, too. Talk factually and to the point. Don’t get caught up “in the weeds” and keep your tone level.

Firing - In the book Double Double, Cameron Herold talks about firing with dignity and respect. Don’t disgrace the person you have to let go. Don’t take the years of service they gave your company and make them meaningless with an off hand remark. Furthermore, don’t let others talk despairingly of the employee who was just let go.

In the last month, I have had to keep all four items above fresh in my mind, as I have been through each. Looking back, it has been hard, but I know whatever the outcome going forward, my employees will respect the decisions I had to make.

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Two Quotes For The Price Of One

While at my monthly CEO group meeting, I heard a couple great quotes. Side Note: If you are a CEO or President of a company and you don’t have an “advisory board” or people who you can talk to and about your business…you’re doing it wrong. And now for the quotes:

“If happiness is on the other side of success, you’ll never get there”.- A great quote to remember when you say to yourself, “If I just had insert your wish here (million dollars, the next big sale, a hot girl friend or wife). If your happiness is defined by what comes after success, you will go through life miserable.

The new quote I heard was, ”NEVER confuse activity with results”. This one struck home. Think about going to the driving range and hitting golf balls and expecting to be better, just because you went to the range and hit some balls. Or what about thinking that just because you made 30 phone calls you expect to make a sale, when on the call you didn’t have a plan or script to follow. And lastly, I love that you can use this when it comes to marketing your business…just building a website or running ads online or on the radio aren’t necessarily going to get you results…at least not without a solid strategy and performance tracking.

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