Fundamentally, business is about service, about providing someone else with something of value. Whether we actively provide that something to those others (sales and/or delivery) or we work inside an organization serving some other function required for the effective delivery of that something, the whole point is to provide value.
In a culture preoccupied, if not obsessed, with attainment, achievement and status- with getting stuff- it seems difficult to keep the whole providing and service thing in our awareness. I mean, here in the U.S. anyway, our country was actually founded (at least partly) on the principle of the “pursuit of happiness”. Did you ever notice that if you have to pursue something, it inherently means that you don’t have it- or even have direct access to it? So here we are, in life and in business, pursuing and chasing happiness- and blaming others and external circumstances when we don’t “get it”. Hell, even when we get the “stuff” we want (the car, the promotion, the sale, etc.), notice how it (experience-wise) provides nothing more than a very temporary sense of gratification? Then it’s on to the next “thing”, and on and on we go…
It is a recipe for unhappiness in life, and unhappiness and ineffectiveness in business. Again, the whole point of business, of commerce, is providing value to others. When that value is provided, there is naturally a reciprocation of value. So, my assertion is: to the degree that your attention is on providing value, for your clients and anyone else inside or in contact with your organization, you will be happier and more productive.
I suggest you look at this from two fundamental points:
- Mission/Intention: What specifically is the value that you provide? More directly, what is the experience that you want each person that interacts with your business to be left with? When it boils down to it, people don’t buy stuff for the stuff- they’re looking for the experience that they think that stuff (product or service) will provide them. When you get clear on the experience you’re intending to provide, you are then able to ground all of your conversations and actions in that intention, and evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of those conversations and actions against it. It also leaves little room for unhappiness, dissatisfaction, etc. as you have your attention on the experience of others, not yourself. Don’t forget, this experience should be being had by everyone that comes into contact with the organization- that’s customers/clients, prospects, employees, vendors, suppliers, etc.
- Tolerances: You must not tolerate, or be willing to deal with, any behavior, process or part of your business that is inconsistent with that intention. If something being done does not leave people with the experience that you’re intending to, you must get creative and either (a) modify what’s being done, (b) create a wholly different way to produce the same result, or (c) just STOP IT. Don’t tolerate it with yourself, and don’t tolerate it with others. What you put up with, you end up with. If you put up with anything that doesn’t actively create the experience that you want to leave people with, your success and your satisfaction will suffer.
So, that’s the long and short of it (though mostly the short); find/create the experience that you want to leave people with- the kind of experience that, when you leave people with it, you’re lit up and fulfilled from having provided that- and then do what there is to do to create that with everyone you interact with in and around your business or organization. As your effectiveness grows with delivering it, your business will grow. And, once your attention is on the intention, on others, it will follow that your satisfaction, fulfillment, your happiness will grow as well.
Pretty simple, and pretty cool (if I do say so myself).
Try it out.