6 Things I Used to Believe about Business

Life is a process with so many lessons to be learned. This week I was reflecting on how some of my opinions have changed. And how what I used to think just doesn’t really make sense anymore. Here are a few..

1. You need a truck to make sales in contracting 

A few years back I bought a Ford Ranger because I thought I needed to have the “contractor image” in a truck to look professional and respectable. I did book work driving the truck. However I also booked as much work driving a Honda civic. At the end of the day people trust you and not the vehicle you are driving. I think the vehicle should look clean but the image isn’t as important as I thought.

 2. Labour costs should be as low as possible:

Labour costs should fall within a feasible reason so your company can be profitable. However, your employees are marketing agents in your company through the quality work they deliver. Employees should be paid well, rewarded for good work, and taken care of. If you don’t care for your people, you don’t really have a business.
 

3. Work/life balance has to be just right:

I used to think that once you’ve achieved work/life balance, you have arrived, the perfect 40 hours per week with evenings and weekends off. I’m not sure this is the case. I do think balance is important but I don’t know that work and play need to be compartmentalized. I also believe business is about impact and that you should create something you love and are proud of. The business leaders I admire have a life that is very hard to tell if they are working or playing, because they love what they are doing. I think your work life and your personal life should be in harmony.

4. More hours means more productivity:

Starting a business takes a TON of work and effort which requires hours. Long days are the norm for the entrepreneur. But like anything in life there is a diminishing return at a certain point. Where that point is you would be more effective not to work and instead go exercise, or read, or visit with a friend for an hour.

5. Sleep is for the weak

“Sleep when you’re dead bro” as one of my friend’s once quoted. In today’s society, sleep deprivation is worn as a badge of honour. This is not right. Sleep is where the brain recharges. I used to think working late into the night and up super early means you are hustling and grinding. I think working hard is extremely important but not at the expense of your health (including sleep).

6. Likes, and follows mean lots of business:

An online presence is important, but a brands popularity does not necessarily mean a successful company. I think it’s valuable to use online channels to engage with customers and your community, but doing this to get likes and follows is not important. Some of my friends are building very fast growing companies but by looking at their “social media game”, you wouldn’t guess it.

I’m still learning a lot of valuable business lessons today, and have a long way to go.

In the words of Henry Ford, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

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