Most businesses are crazy, hectic, agitated. I know, because my own business used to be one of them. I’d get together with my colleagues and vent about how crazy our clients were, how bad our employees were, and, frankly, how stupid we were to go into business in the first place. I’ve learned a lot since those days. Specifically: It doesn’t have to be that way.
I’ve diligently worked to bring calm practices to my business and develop our mindset of innovation. As we’ve done that, those “code red!” emergencies we were used to became a thing of the past.
If I were to sum it up, a calm business the type of business we all dream of running. You know, the kind where you get to work, everybody’s smiling or sipping coffee or just getting work done. The kind of operation you can be proud of. Compare that to the business most of us start out running: maddening, cashflow deficient, “Client X is late on payment again?!”, etc. The good news is that a calm company is within reach – I know, because I’ve been on the journey.
- Calm companies are companies that are free of anxiety-inducing surprises.
- Calm companies get paid on time and pay their people on time.
- Calm companies communicate deadlines clearly and deliver on promises.
- It means an unplugged vacation every year.
- It means money socked away for retirement.
- It means calm, not turbulent.
- It means monthly, automated W-2 deposits paid to my bank account so my family can plan for things.
- How about attending your little girl’s musical performance at her school?
- How about writing your own musical? Learning guitar? A camping trip to the boundary waters later this year?
- When you run a calm company, you free up your time.
- When you free up your time, you open up possibilities.
This is the company I used to run and that you might be running right now. Also note that this is a spectrum, not a place. We’ve all got calm and agitated practices running in our company dna at all times – the key is to recognize them and take action:
- Calm companies don’t jump from one emergency to the next.
- Calm companies don’t push calendars around at the whim of their customers.
- Calm companies don’t go crazy when a customer sends an urgent request.
- Calm companies are use knowledge and experience to their benefit and to the benefit of their customers.
I know it’s not easy.
I used to run an agitated company.
I converted it to a more calm company, but we’re still working at it. There is not “promised land” – it’s a work in progress.
The process of getting to our current place took years of continual improvements and small course corrections, but I’m proud to say that we experience Calm successes every day.
And you know what? My wife is happier, my kids are more fulfilled, my customers clearly-understand my value proposition, and I’ve got a hold of my life.
Can you say the same?
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